The kitchens of houses like Audley End House, Brodsworth Hall or Witley Court would have been a hive of activity in Victorian England, as the cooks and staff busily prepared the food for their illustrious employers.
Those with a taste for the past can explore the life and times of Mrs Avis Crocombe, head cook at Audley End House in the 1880s, in our new cookery book, or watch her Victorian recipes come to life through our popular YouTube series — The Victorian Way — below.
The Victorian Way
Watch Victorian recipes brought to life on YouTube
Meet Mrs Avis Crocombe, head cook at Audley End House and Gardens in the 1880s and now - as played by historial interpreter Kathy Hipperson - an international YouTube star.
Now also available as a cookery book, The Victorian Way provides a visceral connection between the past and present of our nation's food tastes.VIEW THE PLAYLIST
The Real Mrs Crocombe
Discover the history behind the cook with our six-part documentary series, featuring expert insights from Dr Annie Gray and Andrew Hann.
Behind the Scenes Interview
Food historian Dr Annie Gray puts audience questions to Kathy Hipperson, the face behind Mrs Crocombe and her portrayal in our YouTube series.
Below Stairs at Audley End
What were Victorian servants’ lives really like? Discover the stories of the men, women and children who worked at Audley End House in the 1880s.
Victorian Cooking at Home
Join Annie and Kathy at home as they recreate a simple-to-make Victorian recipe from the new cookery book - lemon cheese cakes.
Learn to Cook the Victorian Way
How to Cook the Victorian Way with Mrs Crocombe is the definitive guide to the life, times and tastes of YouTube's favourite Victorian cook.
Alongside specially adapted recipes and insights into the culinary world of the Victorians, you'll find beautiful photography, social history, and - for the first time - the full manuscript of Mrs Crocombe's handwritten recipe book. An absolute must-have for fans, foodies and anyone with an appetite for the past!BUY THE BOOK
Big, bold dishes to make an impression
A prestigious fish and a popular dish
Spectacular decorative centrepiece
Gâteau de Pommes
Sweet dish with apples from the gardens
Best of Vegetables
Plant-based delicacies with unusual greens
Ideal for a delicate vegetable entremet
Sea Kale with Melted Butter Sauce
A wild, exotic taste of the coast
Vegetable Salad with Aspic
An elaborate 'crown' of hearty vegetables
Best of Sweets and Cakes
Sugar, spice, all things nice
Lightly spiced, exceedingly nice
Cheap, easy and very delicious
The classic sandwich cake, as authentic as it gets
Best of Beverages
Delicious Drinks to Quench a Thirst
A refreshing beverage made with... bread?
A Cup of Tea
Time for a brew? Be sure to do it properly
Ideal for Christmas, or any celebration
Best of Winter Warmers
Dishes to bring comfort and warmth in the colder months
Tasty and filling with bacon, onion and vegetables
Hearty pastry-cased pudding to warm the bones
One of housekeeper Mrs Warwick's favourites
THE ENGLISH HERITAGE PODCAST
Join presenter Charles Rowe each week as we bring the history of our sites to life with news, views and expert interviews.
To celebrate the launch of new cookery book, How to Cook the Victorian Way with Mrs Crocombe, we met the book’s authors - senior properties historian Andrew Hann and food historian Annie Gray - to discover the story of Audley End’s former head cook and the recipes she left behind.LISTEN ON SOUNDCLOUD
Places to visit with Victorian history
Seeking a day out in history? We care for 28 Victorian sites
Audley End House and Gardens
Discover the fascinating life of a Victorian servant in our 1880s Service Wing including historic kitchens, a dairy and laundry rooms to see what life would have been like for the servants that worked here.
Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens
With so much to see and do, a trip to Belsay is one of the best value family days out in north-east England. Explore the medieval castle, the Grecian inspired Hall and acres of impressive gardens.
Brodsworth Hall and Gardens
Catch a glimpse of Victorian life at this 'conserved as found' country estate. Brodsworth Hall was built and the pleasure gardens laid out in the 1860s as an up-to-date new home for the Thellusson family and their servants.
Home of Charles Darwin - Down House
Down House is a site of outstanding international significance. Here the famous scientist Charles Darwin lived with his family for forty years and worked on his revolutionary theories.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's family home. Take a glimpse into the private life of the royal family at Osborne House and enjoy the vast estate and gardens.
St Mary's Church, Studley Royal
This magnificent High Victorian Anglican church was designed in the1870s by the flamboyant architect William Burges, and has been called his 'ecclesiastical masterpiece'.
Stott Park Bobbin Mill
In the Lake District in Cumbria, this extensive working mill was begun in 1835 to produce the wooden bobbins vital to the Lancashire spinning and weaving industries.
Witley Court and Gardens
A hundred years ago, Witley Court was one of England's great country houses, hosting many extravagant parties. Today it is a spectacular ruin, the result of a disastrous fire in 1937.
More to Explore
Blue Plaques Scheme
Founded in 1866, London’s blue plaques scheme celebrates the links between notable figures of the past and the buildings in which they lived and worked.
Victoria and Albert's Birthdays at Osborne
Presenter Charles Rowe interviews art curator Michael Hunter at Osborne, the royal couple’s beloved former holiday home on the Isle of Wight, to find out how they celebrated their birthdays.
Our free learning resources are packed with everything you need to give your learners a deep insight into the history of our places. Browse by theme, key stage and region.
Become a member
Experience memorable days out at hundreds of majestic castles, historic houses, awesome abbeys and glorious gardens.