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Cooks return!

6 October 2006

The Hampton Court Palace Cooks are heading back to Argyll's Lodging in Stirling this October to recreate the feasts and fancies enjoyed by 17th Century aristocracy. On 11-15 October from 10.00am to 5.00pm, visitors will get the unique chance to watch as the seven-strong team experiment with the sumptuous cuisine enjoyed by a Scottish nobleman of the 1680s. For the past decade they have been rediscovering the secrets of Tudor cookery in the England of the 1500s in the impressive kitchen complex at Hampton Court Palace, London.

Visitors enjoyed the impressive talents of the cooks back in July, so much so that Historic Scotland has invited them back to the town house, close to Stirling Castle, to give a further insight into what life was like in the days of Archibald Campbell, the ninth earl of Argyll.

Marc Meltonville, Food Historian and Hampton Court Cook, said:

'As this was Argyll's town residence the kitchens were not as big as at his main home but he would have expected the meals to be just as courtly and have all the trappings of his status. So our challenge for the week will be to discover how you prepare food fit for an earl in that setting!’

‘He could have had a balanced diet as all the fruit and veg he could desire would have been readily available.  Instead, he chose to have lots of expensive meats and sweet things that showed he was a great man – he would eat badly just because he could afford to!’

The Hampton Court Cooks will bring along all the authentic cookery equipment needed to run a kitchen of the times and will be dressed in period costume. As well as preparing the food they will show how it would have been dressed and presented and even lay the tables with appropriate crockery and cutlery. In researching Scottish food of the 1680s, the team found differences from English cookery but identified little French influence despite the Auld Alliance. The team will happily pass on recipe ideas to anyone who wants to cook up the flavours of 17th century Scotland in their own homes.

17th Century Cooking will be at Argyll’s Lodging from Wednesday 11 - Sunday 15 October between 10.00am - 5.00pm each day.

Notes for Editors
  • Tickets: £4 for adults, £3 for concessions and children are free for all of October. Tickets to Stirling Castle include entry to Argyll’s Lodging. Telephone 01786 431319.
  • Tastings are not possible due to health and safety regulations.
  • Argyll’s Lodging is a beautiful townhouse on the upper approaches to Stirling Castle. Originally built in 16th Century, it was extended by its first owner Lord Stirling.  However, after being acquired by Archibald Campbell, ninth Earl of Argyll in the mid 1660s, it stayed with this family for the rest of its time as a residence.   Archibald was executed in the late 1600s for supporting Cromwell, but after his son pledged allegiance to King Charles II, the family estates and earldom were restored.
  • The Lodging is described as the finest and most complete surviving 17th Century townhouse in Scotland.  It is fully furnished, recreating how it would have looked in the late 17th Century.
  • Historic Scotland has 345 outstanding historic properties  and sites in its care. These include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae.

For further information

Kate Turnbull
PR Executive
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8959