The Embroiderers’ Guild : Landscapes of Capability Brown

CB logo

As noted in a previous post, 2016 marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Brown was a designer who changed the national landscape and created a style which has shaped people’s picture of the quintessential English countryside.

cbtreelogoAs the first ever celebration of Brown’s work, the Capability Brown Festival (CB300) brings together a huge range of events. The Embroiderers’ Guild is a Festival Partner and is contributing to the celebrations with a series of unique textile exhibitions at venues across the country through- out 2016.
We are delighted to be one of of these venues.

Using the landscape and gardens as their inspiration, members have interpreted these using fabric and thread to create unique pieces of work.  Up to the end of October you can view the work of a number of a number of branches in our Orangery Tea Room.

As well as exhibiting their work, each branch has kindly offered to carry out some demonstrations to our visitors between 11am – 3pm on the following dates through the year… Continue reading

Recipe : Charlecote Pork Burgers

In our recent regional mail out our chef, Nick, shared a delicious recipe for Charlecote Pork Burgers. We thought we’d also share it on the blog for those of you who are outside of our region so didn’t get to see it…

Ingredients (for 6 burgers)
625g (22oz) Charlecote  pork mince
1/4 of a large white onion
1/4 of a large eating apple
Pinch of salt and pepper
20g (3/4oz) spiced apple and Scrumpy Cider chutney
30g (1oz) plain flour
1tsp vegetable oil
6 x 4-5inch round floured baps


1. Finely dice the onion and apple. Heat 1 tsp of vegetable oil in a sauce pan. Add the onion and apple, sweat off until soft but not browned.

2. Place the mince in the mixing bowl. Season with the salt and pepper and add the fried onions and apple, plus the 20g (3/4 oz) of chutney. Mix together well.

3. Slowly add the flour until you have a firm mixture. Separate the mince mixture into 6 equal parts and roll into a ball.

4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the balls on the baking tray and flatten them down into round burger shapes of 4 inch/10cm in diameter and 1 inch/2cm thick. If you have time, pop them in the fridge for half an hour to help them firm up.

5. Place burgers in a preheated oven of 180’c (350’F/gas mark 4) for 10 minutes. Turn them over and cook for a further 10 minutes. Always check they are cooked through and leave them in for longer if required. (If you have a food temperature probe then we recommend it reads in excess of 75’C/1678’F)

6. Place burgers in the floured baps. At Charlecote we like to add some mixed leaves and apple chutney to the baps as well. Ideally serve with salad, crisps and coleslaw or homemade chips.


This is a great recipe for spring and summer evenings. We use our own Charlecote minced pork, when available. Otherwise we recommend you use a good quality local butcher. The chutney we use is The Kitchens Fine Food Co. Spiced Apple and Scrumpy Cider Chutney, which is available in our shop.

Nicola, Charlecote’s Chef

Who was Joan Hill?

Have you noticed this sign in our Orangery Restaurant? It is right by the door and you’ll probably see it on your way out of the main door.

joan hill

But what is the story behind it? Who is this elusive lady, Joan Hill?

One of our team, Rebecca was intrigued and has been doing some digging with the help of volunteer Ted…

“…So who was Joan Hill? I’m sorry to disappoint you, but she was not related to Octavia, but that does not mean she is any less important. What was her connection to Charlecote?

When Joan passed away, she left her estate to Charlecote, and her connection to the property was that she was one of the earliest members of the Coventry Centre, which is an association consisting of National Trust members living in the Coventry area. They meet monthly for meetings, outings and for events to raise money to support properties belonging to the National Trust in the area.
But I still hear you asking why Charlecote? Why not Baddesley or Packwood which are closer to Coventry? Well Joan volunteered here for at least 30 years on and off.

During the 1960’s the Coventry Centre was asked if they could help with a few events by manning the Gatehouse and welcoming guests. You could say they were our first Welcome Host volunteers, which we have welcomed back this season.

This was not only Joan’s first time volunteering at Charlecote, but the beginning of our involvement with the Coventry Centre members as volunteers, many of whom who still volunteer here and are possibly reading this today!

Volunteers are involved in all aspects of our work here at Charlecote. We couldn't do without them!

Volunteers are involved in all aspects of our work here at Charlecote. We couldn’t do without them!

But like many of our volunteers, Joan went above and beyond – she was the first of the Centre’s members to organise the rotas of those members who were giving up their time to volunteer at Charlecote. Joan continued doing this until 15 years ago in 1999, when it began being combined with the property rotas.
Unfortunately all we know about Joan’s personal life was that she had a brother, who died of a fever during the battle of El Alamain in 1942. After her parents’ death she became the sole heir of their estate and having no intimate family of her own she left the entire estate to Charlecote

So why is the plaque in the restaurant and not anywhere else?

We used the money Joan left to update the restaurant, to make it the much more functional space you see today.

I hope you will now feel you know a little bit more about an unknown name, to whom Charlecote owes many thanks and maybe you’ll make a little nod to the plaque next time you’re in the Orangery.”

Rebecca, Retail Assistant

Recipe: Charlecote’s Christmas Treacle tarts…

This Christmas our chef, Nick has put a festive twist on her usual treacle tart recipe by topping them with a reindeer figure (or could it be a fallow deer?!). Many of our visitors are enjoying these tarts after a bracing walk around the park during the week. Nick is baking like crazy to make sure we have plenty for our weekend visitors to our Christmas events too! But if you can’t make it to Charlecote to try them, or you’d like to share them as foodie-gifts this season, you’ll find the recipe shared below…

The Orangery is looking very wintry at the moment!

The Orangery in the midst of winter!

Paul, Assistant Catering Manager

Recipe for Treacle Tarts


350g/12oz golden syrup
250g/9oz shortcrust pastry dough, thawed if frozen
12oz breadcrumbs
plain flour, for dusting
125g/4fl double cream
some finely grated lemon rind
2 tbsp lemon juice


  1.   Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface.
  2. Use a pastry cutter to make individual ‘bite-sized’ tarts or you could use it to line a 20cm/8-inch loose-bottomed tin. Don’t forget to save some back for the pastry trimmings.
  3. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and leave to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Mix together the syrup, breadcrumbs, double cream, grated lemon and lemon juice.
  5. Then pour the mixture into the pastry case(s) and decorate the tart as you wish.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven, 1900C/375oF/Gas Mark 5 for about 30 minutes, or until the filling is just set.
  7. Once cooled, serve. We find that a good cup of tea is the perfect accompaniment to this tart!

treacle tarts1

If you like treacle, why not try these other recipes?

Orange and treacle sponge
Treacle flapjack