There’s no doubt that the main draw for folk to a historic house or garden centre these days is the quality of the tea shop. In the old days one would just turn up at a heritage property at the specified opening time, park for free and take a nice wander round the property and the grounds. Then back to the car for a home supplied picnic of sandwiches, maybe a scone, but always some luscious home made sponge cake. Today though, the first thing visitors seem to do is look out the tea room for that refreshing and delicious coffee – always the tasty ‘home made’ sponge cake. I recall several of the houses had their own kitchens operating so that you could genuinely enjoy a home made cake – from the oven of the orginal Mrs. Bridges! These visits serve to remind us all of the joy of baking especially after the last year of restrictive visiting – many a home cook has surfaced from the gloom. Hurrah!
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