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Two Penn’orth


A Tudor Feast at Christmas was a one-off one hour special produced as a follow up to Tales of the Green Valley.

The programme was filmed at Haddon Hall where the usual team is joined by Marc Meltonville and Hugh Beamish.

Much of the action takes place in the kitchen complex where there were different rooms for different purposes. Peter starts work lighting the fire under the copper while Alex gets to work in the bakery.

All of the work in the kitchen is done by men. Intriguingly, this is because men were paid more. So having male staff was a status symbol. Ruth first demonstrates the kind of work that women would do - fetching water from the river Wye - then moves into the still room. This is where the most expensive ingredients were kept and used. Such expensive ingredients that servants were not allowed in, so the work was often done, or at least overseen, by the lady of the house.

Of course cooking is only part of the picture. Before you can roast your wild boar, you have to catch it. So Alex and Peter head down the road to nearby Syndnope Hall Farm where Anthony Salt has reintroduced Wild Boar. There’s no hunting to be seen, of course. This is a farm.

A form os hunting is seen later when Peter and Richard try to catch some trout in the river.

Read more about Tales from the Green Valley and where it was filmed.

A Tudor Feast at Christmas

Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall is a beautiful fortified manor house dating, in parts, back to the 12th Century. It lay empty for over 200 years from 1700 until it was restored by the Duke and Duchess of Rutland in the 1920s. It has an impressive CV as a location for television and film productions and is open to the public. You can find out more on the Haddon Hall website.

Mark Meltonville

Syndnope Hall itself was home to Charles Darwin’s uncle. It is not open to the public, having been converted into residential apartments during the 1990s

Marc Meltonville is an expert in this kind of cooking. This is almost the day job for him. He runs the kitchens at Hampton Court Palace which operates 50 days a year as it would have done during the time of King Henry VIII.

Sydnope Hall

Humble Pie

After spending the day preparing some of the meat for the feast - venison and wild boar, the team sit down to eat humble pie for dinner. Very literally a pie for the humble people, this is filled with some of the other parts of the animals that won’t be making it onto the table for the feast - pretty much the internal organs.

The Menu

The centrepiece is Peacock pie ‘spitting fire from its beak’

Spit roasted wild venison; spit roasted wild boar.


Fried Chicken; fried black pudding

Cheese balls



Sweets and puddings.


Bread & toast.

(And probably more that I didn’t catch.)

‘A Tudor Feast at Christmas is not available on DVD but it will be showing over Christmas 2013 on the Good Food channel (Sky 247/Virgin 260).

Monday 16th December 2013 - 5:00pm and Midnight.

Tuesday 17th December 2013 - Midday.

Monday 23rd December 2013 - 2:00pm.

Tuesday 24th December 2013 - 1:00am.