'a fascinating insight into a culinary world that has disappeared forever' The Sunday Times 'informative ...fascinatingly illustrated' Country Life The kitchen was very much the heart of the home in country houses the length and breadth of Britain. Although, this hive of activity was kept behind closed doors and often hidden away in the depths of great houses, this room ensured that the house and those who lived in it were provided for. Country houses were formerly self-sufficient to a degree not easy for us to understand today, requiring a range of purpose-built accommodation for food provision and a hierarchy of servants with particular skills. From brewing and baking through to dairy work and distilling, and even ice-storage, we are offered an intimate look into the ingenuity and creativity that kept these kitchens running smoothly. We also explore the evolution of the cooking fire and the kitchen range, cooking vessels and gadgets and the kitchen staff who used them, as well as the relationship between kitchen, serving room and dining room. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in our national food heritage and how country houses' culinary skills ensured good food was always on the table. PAMELA A. SAMBROOK was a museum curator and is now a freelance writer, lecturer and domestic historian, currently working as associate lecturer at Keele University, Open University tutor and consultant to the National Trust. PETER BREARS was formerly Director of Leeds City Museums Service. He is a well-known writer and lecturer on food history and consultant to the National Trust.