Sticky Beak Flies In For The Opening Of The Kedleston Country HousePublished On Friday 14 Aug 2015 by Sticky Beak
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Well dear reader what a topsy-turvy summer we seem to be having this year. On more than one occasion I have looked to the skies and thought “best we change to plan B“, but luckily for the team at Kedleston Country House the weather fairy was smiling kindly on them for their official opening on Tuesday afternoon. What few clouds there were skipped merrily along the skyline only causing the sun to hide for brief interludes, so all the invited guests were able to avail themselves of comfy seats surrounding the Croquet lawn and newly planted garden whilst sipping on Gin and Cider Punch.
The view was most pleasant from our seat, and we drank in the tranquil scene of fields filled with bales of fresh harvested hay and cows munching contentedly away in the distance as we awaited the arrival of Lady Scarsdale, who was conducting the official opening and traditional cutting of the ribbon.
After the ceremony we were all invited inside the house itself for Canapés and viewing of the dining rooms and other ground floor rooms. Several of the Canapés on offer take their inspiration from the formal dinner menu and were all beautifully presented. The Herb scone with cured Salmon and Creme Fraiche was a real delight to my taste buds, and the Boy Wonder was equally smitten with his Pork Belly and Fennel pesto offering. Spring rolls are always a popular canapé, but the Kedleston team gave theirs a delightful twist with Moroccan seasoning. The Ham hock terrine with Pineapple jam was also enthused over by myself and His Nibs, and I don’t think we were alone in our enjoyment of them.
There were also little pots of flavoured popcorn being passed around and we happened to sample the Parmesan variety, which sounds a little strange but actually works very well (I may do this for myself next time we have a cinema night at the nest). The Man Bird has a very sweet beak as you know so he was particularly enthused by the Black Treacle mini doughnuts that had been rolled in Strawberry Sherbet; I also tried one and was instantly bowled over by them - so much so that we sneaked a second one from the young man holding the platter!
Each room has retained its own feel; some are cosier, some are more formal but each has managed to retain an appealing, comforting ambience. This is in no small part due to the input by the award winning Plum and Ashby team who were brought in to decorate and furnish the Country House in keeping with its Georgian roots. Throughout the interior there is a traditional country feel to the colour palette, with plenty of wool throws and cushions in evidence in the seating areas and I especially loved the curtains with their print depicting several breeds of dogs.
Upstairs there are 5 bedrooms (2 are suites) which again have been designed by Plum and Ashby, so you could always come and combine a sumptuous dinner with an equally indulgent overnight stay. If busy lives and schedules (not to mention offspring) can’t accommodate that then why not escape for a sneaky few hours and pamper yourselves with Afternoon Tea at only £15.95 per person? You could always even upgrade to a Champagne afternoon tea which is only £22.50 per person. As well as 3 different types of sandwich the Kedleston team have done something a little off-piste, so you also get smooth Chicken liver parfait served with crisp toasts for dipping as part of the savoury course. To follow this there are 4 different sweet treats to indulge in, so the afternoon tea is certainly something to be savoured and not rushed.
I have yet to sample the dinner menu but given the standard of the Canapés on offer at the opening I can imagine it would be delicious, so why not give it a try dear reader. We had a superb time, thank you Kedleston Country House for inviting us to share your proud moment with you; it truly was amazing to see this magnificent near-derelict building brought back into use and restored to glory. We wish you every success for the future :)