Regional England : The Three B’s

Beds., Bucks. & Berks.

I quite like the sound of the first and the second but the third? Hmm, not so sure . . .

Bedfordshire: located in central England (the second county as you head north from London) is the smallest of the ‘Shires’. There are no cities but many fascinating towns including Bedford, it’s county town, (North), Dunstable and Luton (South) and  Leighton Buzzard (South-west). Despite being just 30 miles from London, it is a gentrified County bordering Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire.

It is a county steeped in the history of old England.

Woburn Abbey has been the home of the Dukes of Bedford for nearly 400 years.

Buckinghamshire: the home of ‘Chequers’ the country retreat of the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, can be found in the rolling Chiltern Hills.

Long established market towns and ‘chocolate box’ villages give a taste of what rural Southern England has to offer, despite its proximity to the City of London.

The 19th century Bletchley Park, (where British Intelligence managed to break many German military codes, including the infamous Enigma Code, during World War II), Waddesdon Manor and the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery are among its many attractions. Aylesbury, the county town, also gives its name to the Aylesbury Duck, a white duck that is native to the area. (Also very good for eating I believe!)

Berkshire: (a.k.a ‘Royal Berkshire’) Here can be found the town of Windsor and the world renowned royal retreat of Windsor Castle. Another Royal connection is the town of Ascot, famous for its prestigious horse racing festival, ‘Royal Ascot’.

Like Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, Berkshire also boasts many picturesque villages and unspoilt towns despite its close proximity to London.

All the recipes I have given above come from Granny Robertsons archive and must be given some leeway in terms of ingredient quantities given the great leaps in food technology over the past forty years. As a simple example, the flour available today is far better ground and refined than it ever has been! Experiment!

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