The master of reinvention and champion of Michelin stars, Heston Blumenthal, is bringing his visionary creations to Weston Park as viewers of his latest series, Heston’s Great British Food, will see on Thursday 22nd May at 9pm on Channel 4.
The programme begins at the very point at which the 4th Earl of Sandwich is said to have inadvertently created what, the Wall Street Journal has called, “Britain’s biggest contribution to gastronomy”. A renowned gambler, the Earl would demand that servants bring him ham served in slices of bread to the gaming table, and so was born the humble sandwich.
The casino scene has been recreated in the Library at Weston Park for the episode. Built in 1671, the house would have been well established on the social scene during the Earl of Sandwich’s lifetime; he was born in 1718 and lived until the ripe old age of 72.
However, it took the Victorians to develop the idea of the afternoon tea and the delicacies and traditions that it has come to stand for, with one of Queen Victoria’s own ladies in waiting, the Duchess of Bedford, acknowledged as its creator. The programme takes up this part of the story in Weston’s Victorian Orangery, which creates a beautiful setting in which to serve the perfect afternoon tea.
But this is no ordinary afternoon tea, it is an afternoon tea formulated by the creative genius of Heston. In a world where nothing is quite as it appears, guests were served sandwiches that were actually cakes and cakes that were actually sandwiches. All of which are presented on edible plates and enjoyed with tea poured into edible cups and saucers.
Guy Day, Head Chef at Weston Park, says, “This is the second time that Heston has visited Weston Park and it has been a delight to not only host him, but to see him at work. In a nod to Heston’s original and inventive thinking I’ve created a sublime afternoon tea that will be served at Weston this summer.”
Mark Ball from the series’ production company Betty says, “The team at Weston Park were hugely helpful and welcoming, it was an amazing location to film in.”
Visitors can see the locations where Great British Food was filmed when Weston Park opens for the summer season on 24th May (The Victorian Orangery can only be seen on a Behind the Scenes Tour). And for those who want to enjoy the experience over afternoon tea, Weston will be serving Guy’s visionary creations in the Victorian Orangery on 26th, 27th and 28th August.
House, Park and Gardens
Children (4-14 years) £6.00
Family £23.00 (2 adults and up to three children. Includes admission to the House)
Afternoon Tea at Weston Park
From £25 per person, including admission to the house, park and gardens