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The Abbey Hotel Create a Jane Austen Cocktail – ‘Northangover Abbey’

The Independent Bath Literature Festival is just around the corner, with the first events due to start on Friday 26th February 2016. The 10-day celebration of the written word has a packed program catering for an impressive variety of literary tastes. Among their headline shows is the ‘Literary Death Match’, hosted at The Abbey Hotel‘s Igloo venue. The contest will see four authors compete in a 7-minute ‘write-off’ with hints at a humorous finale.

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As well as hosting events, The Abbey Hotel are sponsoring the festival and are welcoming visitors into their Art Bar and Allium Restaurant where they can save 10% on food and drinks by showing a ticket or wristband. Their quality offerings include a special literary-themed cocktail list that includes a cocktail named in honour of The Jane Austen CentreThe Northangover Abbey!

For those not in the know, it is widely believed that Northanger Abbey is in fact based on real-life happenings in Bath (that’s our Abbey !). It’s therefore very fitting that The Abbey hotel would choose this particular novel as their cocktail’s namesake. We haven’t yet been told what’s in the cocktail yet but we hope to reveal the recipe after the festival concludes.

If you’d like to try one for yourself, the Northangover Abbey cocktail plus five other marvels of mixology will be on sale from Friday (more…)

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Jane Austen Day – 16th December 2015

Jane Austen Day with Charlotte

Happy Jane Austen Day!

 

Happy Jane Austen Day

Today we’re celebrating Jane’s birthday in Bath at the Jane Austen Centre and on the streets of the city.

At the Centre we been performing traditional carols, giving out Cassandra Austen’s recipe plum pudding and mulled wine and generally having a bit of fun on this special day.

Have you done anything for Jane Austen Day? Let us know.

Jane Austen Day with Charlotte

We’ve been asking members of the public if anyone knows what day it is. The results are great and you can see a short film we’ve made below.

(more…)
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Jane Austen Festival 2015 – success

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Masked Ball

The Jane Austen Festival 2015

Wow, what a great Festival we’ve had this year. 10 days and over 60 events plus record attendance. I think everyone agrees it was the best ever.

jane austen promenade
Stopping the traffic on the Promenade

Continue reading Jane Austen Festival 2015 – success

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2015 Jane Austen Festival in Bath

Attend The Jane Austen Festival...
Jane Austen Festival Promenade
Festival Promenaders taking a break.

The Jane Austen Festival starts on the 12th of September and looks like it will be the biggest and best ever.

Jackie Herring, Jane Austen Festival Director is happy with the arrangements and ticket sales. ‘Lots of events have already sold out but there are still a few tickets left. If you want to see something spectacular turn up on to the Regency Promenade on Saturday. Watch 600 spectacular promenaders in their Regency finery as they take to the streets of Bath.’

The event has been covered by The Bath Chronicle. Take a look at their article here

More Promenade information;

Each year the Jane Austen Festival officially opens with our world famous Grand Regency Costumed Promenade. The Promenade is a parade through the streets of this beautiful city and over 500 people all in 18th Century costume take part, making it a record breaking event. In 2014 the Jane Austen Festival achieved the Guinness World Record TM for ‘The largest gathering of people dressed in Regency costumes at 550′ All sorts of people take part from the very young to the young at heart plus red coats, dancers and our official town crier.

The Promenade stops the traffic in Gay Street, The Circus, George Street, Milsom Street and Orange Grove, making it difficult for (more…)

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Sally Lunn Buns or Solilemmes

800px-Sally_Lunn's_famous_bun

A Sally Lunn is a large bun or teacake made with a yeast dough including cream, eggs, and spice, similar to the sweet brioche breads of France. Served warm and sliced, with butter, it was first recorded in 1780 in the spa town of Bath in southwest England, though it is not the same as Dr. Oliver’s Bath Bun.

A selection of Sally Lunn buns on display.
A selection of Sally Lunn buns on display.

The origins of the Sally Lunn are shrouded in myth – one theory is that it is an anglicisation of “Sol et lune” (French for “sun and moon”), representing the golden crust and white base/interior. The Sally Lunn Eating House claims that the recipe was brought to Bath in the 1680s by a Huguenot refugee called Solange Luyon, who became known as Sally Lunn, but there is no evidence to support this theory.

There is a passing mention of “Sally Lunn and saffron cake” in a 1776 poem about Dublin by the Irish poet William Preston. The first recorded mention of the bun in Somerset is as part of a detox regime in Philip Thicknesse’ 1780 guidebook to taking the waters at Bath. Thicknesse describes how he would daily see visitors drinking 2-3 pints of Bath water and then “sit down to a meal of Sally Lunns or hot spungy rolls, (more…)

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Apricot Ice Cream

Apricot Ice Cream

Ice Cream, as we know it, was a relatively new invention in Jane Austen’s day. Enjoyed in Italy and France in the 17th c, the first recorded English recipe was published in 1718.

Recipes featuring fruit not available until early summer were, no doubt, a treat reserved for the wealthy, who could afford to buy their ice and keep it cool in ice houses, until wanted. If you did not have access to ice in the summer, you could always visit the local Pastry Cook for a variety of sweets, including ice cream. Molland’s, in Bath, was one such establishment.

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In Jane Austen’s, The Beautiful Cassandra, her heroine “…then proceeded to a Pastry-cook’s, where she devoured six ices, refused to pay for them, knocked down the Pastry Cook & walked away.” Slapstick comedy does seem to have been the name of the game in Austen’s early work. Mr. Punch would be proud. The following recipe for Apricot Ice Cream is taken from Cooking with Jane Austen and Friends, and is based on one first printed by Hannah Glasse in her Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, 1755.

Apricot Ice Cream

To Make Ice-Cream
Pare and stone twelve ripe apricots, and scald them, beat them fine in a mortar, add to them six ounces (more…)

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Caroline Herschel

caroCaroline Lucretia Herschel (16 March 1750 – 9 January 1848) was a German British astronomer and the sister of astronomer Sir William Herschel with whom she worked throughout both of their careers. Her most significant contributions to astronomy were the discoveries of several comets and in particular the periodic comet 35P/Herschel-Rigollet, which bears her name.

She was the first woman to be paid for her contribution to science, to be awarded a Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1828), and to be named an Honorary Member of the Royal Astronomical Society (1835, with Mary Somerville). She was also named an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy (1838). The King of Prussia presented her with a Gold Medal for Science, on the occasion of her 96th birthday (1846).

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Statue of William and Caroline at the William Herschel Museum , Bath. Photograph by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net). Herschel Museum of Astronomy. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org

Caroline Lucretia Herschel was born at Hanover on 16 March 1750. She was the eighth child and fourth daughter of Isaac Herschel and his wife, Anna Ilse Moritzen. Isaac became a bandmaster in the Guards, was away with his regiment for substantial periods, and suffered ill-health after (more…)

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William Herschel and the Bath Museum of Astronomy

William and Caroline Herschel polishing a telescope lens, 1896 Lithograph.

Sir Frederick William Herschel, KH, FRS  (15 November 1738 – 25 August 1822) was a German-born British astronomer, composer, and brother of Caroline Herschel. Born in the Electorate of Hanover, Herschel followed his father into the Military Band of Hanover, before migrating to Great Britain at the age of nineteen.

Replica in the William Herschel Museum, Bath, of a telescope similar to that with which Herschel discovered Uranus
Replica in the William Herschel Museum, Bath, of a telescope similar to that with which Herschel discovered Uranus

Herschel became interested in astronomy in 1773, and after constructing his first large telescope in Bath, in 1774, he spent nine years carrying out thorough sky surveys, where his purpose was the investigation of double stars. The resolving power of the Herschel telescopes revealed that the nebulae in the Messier catalogue were clusters of stars: catalogues of nebulae were published in 1802 (2,500 objects) and 1820 (5,000 objects). In the course of an observation on 13 March 1781 he realized that one celestial body he had observed was not a star, but a planet, Uranus. This was the first planet to be discovered since antiquity and Herschel became famous overnight. As a result of this discovery George III appointed him ‘Court Astronomer’. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society and grants were provided for the construction of new (more…)