Downton Abbey Lavender Tea Bread
Enjoy this Downton Abbey Lavender Tea Bread recipe and more pictures and stories from Highclere Castle!
Friends, will you be watching the final episode of Downton Abbey this next week? I still have to pinch myself, that I was able to visit Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey was filmed, and the little town of Bampton, a few short months ago. A dream come true!
I don’t feel I can say much about the show, becuase some of my readers are not quite caught up with the series, but let’s talk “estate.” Since 1679, the castle has been home to the Earls of Carnarvon.
Currently Highclere, the centerpiece of Downton Abbey, is home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, but did you know there are over 5000 acres? I would have loved to spend time touring the entire estate!
By 2009, the castle was in dire need of major repair, with only the ground and first floors remaining usable. Water damage had caused stonework to crumble and ceilings to collapse; at least 50 rooms were uninhabitable. The 8th Earl and his family were living in a “modest cottage in the grounds”; he said his ancestors were responsible for the castle’s long term problems.” As of 2009, repairs needed for the entire estate were estimated to cost around $12 million, $1.8 million of which was urgently needed for just the castle. As of late 2012, Lord and Lady Carnarvon have stated that a dramatic increase in the number of paying visitors has allowed them to begin major repairs on both Highclere’s turrets and its interior. The family attributes this increase in interest to the on-site filming of Downton Abbey. The family now live in Highclere during the winter months, but return to their cottage in the summer, when the castle is open to the public. — from Wikipedia
Lady Fiona was so generous with her time, and at tea, she shared the history behind all the portraits that lined the walls, plus what it was like to live in the castle, raise their son, all her charity work, and … a fun tidbit. Did you know that the Downton “kitchen” was off site, on a set in London? The actual Highclere castle kitchen is now modern, remodeled to accomodate events that take place there.
In the dining room are portraits of Carnarvon ancestors who took part in the civil war in England in the 1640’s.
There are over 5,650 books, the earliest dating from the 16th century. The Library is as much used by the family today as in the past, and is a focal meeting point for drinks and conversation, both before and after lunch and dinner.
Either side displays portraits of Carnarvon ancestors who took part in the civil war in England in the 1640’s.
Lavender Tea Bread
During Christmas, reflecting on my Highclere visit, I hosted a tea in my home. It was simple, lovely, and today I’m sharing a delicious Lavender Tea Bread recipe with you!
Downton Abbey Dinner Party Menu
Lori, at RecipeGirl.com, has a Downton Abbey dinner party menu if you’re feeling courageous and want to host a party this week. Do it! And come back and let me know how it goes.
Here’s my post with tea sandwich recipes.
And possibly you’ve tried my Pear Potato Soup recipe? I think Mrs. Patmore would approve!
I’m a huge Downton Abbey fan … I hate that this wonderful show is ending. I think at this point my favorite character is Tom. Possibly because he is an Irishman, and I’m married to the most amazing Irishman, or maybe it has something to do with his virtuousness. Maybe they’ll do a spin-off with Tom … what do you think?
Who is your favorite Downton Abbey character?
Downton Abbey Lavender Tea Bread
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lavender, finely chopped (or 2 Tbsp. dried)
- 6 Tbsp. butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
- Combine the milk and lavender in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat to a simmer, then remove from heat, and allow to cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg until the mixture is light and fluffy; add in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture alternately with the milk and lavender until just blended.
- Pour into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes in the preheated oven.
- To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and remaining ingredients. Spread over hot cake. Cool in pan 20 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
Highclere Castle photos by TravelChannel.com