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August is Time to Entertain Outdoors at the Garden Party

How we can forget the glorious Garden Party from last episode of Season 1? Not only was there all drama between Mary and Matthew, Lord Grantham announced that Britain was at war. This dates the episode at August 4, 1914, 105 years ago today.

Garden Parties at English grand houses are traditionally held in late summer, and are an important part of entertaining.  I have dedicated a whole chapter to Garden Parties in my book Abbey Cooks Entertain.  You can order a signed eBook from my website, or hard copy from Amazon.

Excerpt from Abbey Cooks Entertain:

The large estate grounds of the English country house were created for garden parties, with lush grasses, huge shade trees, and sculptured gardens. Whether your Abbey has 18 acres (7.3 hectare), a postage stamp yard or a few precious feet of balcony, summer is the perfect time to gather friends and family. Try some Edwardian touches at your next outdoor party for a change of pace.

The proper garden party was held outside in late summer, often connected to a charity event. The hostess would have games arranged for guests to enjoy, such as tennis and croquet. Sometimes ball games and races were added, and often an area was set aside for dancing, with a band hired to entertain.

It was usual to have a tent pitched where the refreshments were served, but there were always back up plans to move indoors in case of rain. All of the dishes for the meal are cold, which included salads, poultry, ham, pâté de foie gras, patties, salmon, jellies, charlottes, ices and cakes. Pots of hot tea and coffee were made available in the house for those who desired it.

Garden Party Menu
You find recipes by following this link.

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