Cider, venison, chestnuts, black and red currants, pigeon, pork, walnuts, lamb and raspberries may all be encountered in other recipe books, but you are less likely to find eel, carp, elderflowers, marigolds, cowslips and Roman sauce as you do in this work. This is more than just a recipe book. Interspersed are snippets of information about culinary history; how carrots arrived in this country; the confusion caused by the first tomatoes; the effect of the Crusades on cooking and the impact of the French Revolution on the British palate. And all this is entwined with the history of Burton Court itself, a manor house dating from the 15th-century near Eardisland in Herefordshire. Drawing on her widespread experience of cooking, the owner Helen Simpson has produced a multitude of her own recipes such as Knights of St John Pie and included more handed down through her family. Others she has adapted from ancient cookery books, including Roman and 16th century manuscripts. With soups, savouries and starters, pies, puddings and pomanders, breads and cakes, this book has a range of dishes, many of them easy to prepare, to suit different occasions.