Because it is called Mary Arden’s House in some of the guides, I assume we will visit just a house; the house Shakespeare’s mother used to live in. But we’re in for a nice surprise: it’s a Living Tudor Farm Museum. We arrive just before one o’clock, and the first scheduled event is a Tudor Dinner.

Tudor dish

Tudor dish

In the kitchen of the farm a Tudor dinner is prepared, and we can watch the owner of the farm, and his servants, eating it.

Tudor meal

Tudor meal

While eating they explain all about their lives on the farm, in Tudor days. Very interesting!

Then we explore the rest of the farm. There are the usual farm animals, there is a falconer, a black smith, a wood worker, and of course Mary Arden’s house.
I especially like the kitchen of the farm. And they actually prepared the whole dinner in this kitchen. Made the bread in the oven outside. Brilliant.

Falconer

Falconer

All the vegetables are from the gardens around the farm. The gardens are great. Flower gardens, herb gardens, and a vegetable garden. I love all of them. Especially when I discover this:

Endive

Endive

I can but stand in front of it and think of Stamppot Andijvie (see http://wea-ry-tired.co.uk/boerenkoolstamppot/).
When I see Alan, the gardener, I ask him: “You don’t, by any chance, sell produce out of your gardens?”
“No, it’s all for here, and the restaurants in the other Shakespeare museums. Why?”
So I explain about our national dish, and me not being able to buy endive in the UK.
To my surprise he says: ” I have to take something out of the endive anyway. There is too much of them. You can have a head, if you like…”

Looking forward to it!

Looking forward to it!

If I like? I’m over the moon! OK, it looks a bit silly, Lawrance walking through the museum with a head of endive. And it is the curly type, so not as bitter as the normal type. But I can but smile, thinking of a nice stamppot andijvie!

At around three o’clock Lawrance is ready for his afternoon siesta, so we go back to the boat.
But I return to the museum at half past four, to do some Tudor dances. And revisit the parts of the museum I really like.

Tudor farm

Tudor farm

Tomorrow we have to buy potatoes and lardons, and we’ll have a delicious Tudor Stamppot Andijvie.

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