Historic recipes and stories of 18th century dining at Worksop’s Welbeck Abbey are to be revealed during an online talk hosted by The Harley Gallery on 30 April.
Former head curator of silver and metalwork at the V&A Museum, Philippa Glanville, OBE will be guest speaker during the Desserts for a Duchess online event. She will draw on the recipes and bills from the Portland archives held at Welbeck Abbey and Nottingham University to dining. She’ll talk of the entertaining that took place on the estate; the former country seat of the Dukes of Portland.
As The Harley Foundation’s Curatorial Advisor for many years and a well-respected author, Philippa is a leading authority on all aspects of historic silver plate and the history of dining. She will talk about desserts and food history and reveal more about the Duchess of Portland, who like her mother-in-law, the Countess of Oxford, was a renowned hostess.
Their recipes, garnered from relatives, friends and housekeepers show how they used their gardeners' skills in cultivating soft fruits, grapes and pineapples to preserve and create exotic desserts. She will also discuss how Duchess Margaret’s table included a 178-piece silver gilt service made by London goldsmiths, John and William Café.
Philippa said: “Laying a fine dessert table was the duty of a noblewoman. Using treasured porcelain brought from fashionable English factories as well as Dresden, Sevres and Asia, the Welbeck dessert tables groaned with homegrown delicacies and sweetmeats from the Italian caterer Domenico Negri.”
Desserts for a Duchess forms part of a series of online talks hosted by The Harley Gallery to bring the historic Portland Collection to people online while its art gallery and museum are closed during lockdown.
More details about the talks programme can be found on: www.harleygallery.co.uk