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Food & Drink

More than just a pretty flower – It’s Cherry Blossom season for HF&DP


This week marks the peak of cherry blossom  season here at Harewood, a brief but magical moment in our seasonal calendar.

Here are the trees looking incredible.


Known as Sakura in Japan, Cherry Blossom takes on a spiritual meaning, symbolising the transience of life and acts as an icon for the nation. They’ve become a cultural phenomenon around Japan attracting huge numbers of domestic and international tourists to marvel at the displays all over the country. The display at Harewood may not be quite as spectacular but we still eagerly look forward to it before it’s gone in a cloud of pink & white blossom sprinkled around the Estate.
Another sign that Spring is here and, in many ways, the perfect embodiment of seasonality.


Cherry Blossom & HF&DP

Cherry Blossom has become an hotly anticipated moment in Josh Whitehead’s foraging calendar, patiently waiting for the blossoming buds to appear before rounding up a team to harvest. Plenty for our chefs to play with but not enough to impact on the display. Josh will be making a range of sugars, salts, vinegars, oils, syrups and cordials using the years harvests. They’ll feature in sweet & savoury dishes and cocktails throughout the course of the year. Courtyard Café and Terrace Tearoom General Manager, Iain Silver is eager to work the syrups in to our cocktail menu at the Terrace Tearoom when we reopen at Harewood House.

By using a range of methods, like dehydrating, pickling and curing, we’re able to prolong their season and enhance their flavours.

Expect flavours of marzipan and a very light hint of the fruit.

There are some spectacular blossoming trees on the estate, but the best display is at Knap’s Yard on the lawn in front of the Harewood Holiday cottages.

The view from the cottages is spectacular and a special treat for any guests staying at the right time of the year.

In Japan there’s a designated forecast for when the blossoms will be at their best, known as the “Cherry Blossom Front”, eagerly watched by those planning “Hanami”, celebrations amongst the Blossoms.

We don’t have a forecast for it in Yorkshire but they’re usually at their best in the last week in March or first week of April.

Eddy Lascelles, Managing Director, Harewood Food & Drink Project


It’s good to be back! Harewood Food & Drink Project return to the Courtyard Café

“The last twelve months have left us all a little battered and bruised but so thankful and humbled by the incredible support you’ve shown us”

In advance of Harewood Food and Drink Project returning to the Courtyard Cafe on 29 March, Eddy Lascelles reflects on the past twelve months in the latest HF&DP blog. 

I began writing this on 21 March,  which is a year to the day that we took on the running of the catering on behalf of Harewood House Trust at the Courtyard Cafe and the Terrace Tearoom. You could say that things haven’t quite gone according to plan.

The last twelve months have left us all a little battered and bruised but so thankful and humbled by the incredible support you’ve shown us, a huge thank you from all the team here. We’ve never felt more excited and motivated for the future, and we think you should be too.

We’ve had more openings, closures, cans and cannots than we can count, at times it’s been tough, but hopefully the end is now in sight.

As spring is sprung there’s plenty to look forward to. The landscape starts to show signs of life having laid dormant over the Winter months.


Spring at Harewood  – Brighter Times on the Horizon

The first daffodils of the year are always cause for celebration and optimism for the year ahead, as well creating a beautiful display all around the Estate. The Cherry Blossom will soon burst in to life, a stunning spectacle which takes on spiritual connotations in Japan.

All in all, there’s plenty to be optimistic about :

  • Muddy Boots Café is open again and running a specials board with some great dishes cooked by chefs Iain and Callum.
  • The Courtyard Café reopens for takeaways on the 29th March. Keep reading for what to expect.
  • We’ll announce plans for reopening the Terrace Tearoom in due course.
  • We’ll soon be announcing a series of exciting events we’re working on. Keep your eyes peeled for updates, or sign up to our mailing list. These are not to be missed.

If you’re visiting the Courtyard Café, expect a variety of seasonal hot and cold savoury and sweet dishes made by our team of chefs and local independent artisan suppliers.

Hebridean Black Sheep

It’s difficult to talk about Spring at Harewood without talking about Harewood Lamb. Or, in this case Hebridean Hogget.

Visitors to Harewood will probably have seen the flock of Hebridean Black Sheep grazing much of the year on the South Front, between the House and the Lake. In the next few weeks you’ll start to see adorable little black lambs appearing amongst the flock.

As the name suggests, the “Hebs” are indigenous to the island of St Kilda in the Outer Hebrides. They were brought here by the 5th Earl in the 1880’s after he’d seen them visiting friends in Northumberland. They’ve settled in well and have been a feature on the landscape ever since. If they’re younger than one-year they’re classed as Lamb and older than two years is known as Mutton.

Harewood at Home // Easter Special

Hebridean Hogget will be the main feature for our upcoming Harewood at Home // Easter Special. Harewood at Home is our premium takeout offering which has proven to be so successful throughout the last two lockdowns. Expect a decadent three course meal prepared by Josh. His menu sees a twist on familiar Easter classics such as Hot Cross Buns, Spring Lamb, Easter (Duck) Eggs and, of course, Chocolate.

The menu heavily features Harewood produce throughout the menu, from the land, from the farm and from the gardens. Great food, you can feel good about! The “Hebs” will also feature in our Harewood Spring Lamb Stew served with Wild Garlic Dumplings, available from the Courtyard Café, which is another thing that’s abundant around the Estate for the next couple of months.

Go to the link at the bottom of the page to see the full menu and booking details.

The Next Generation 

This week marked another milestone for HF & DP as we presented our first ever apprentice, Callum, with the certificate of his apprenticeship. He passed with a distinction – here’s Callum being presented with his certificate by Eddy, Josh and Fliss.

When we set up HF & DP, we wanted to create an environment where the next generation could learn and develop. Seeing Callum develop both professionally and personally is something we’re extremely proud of.

Since joining us almost three years ago, Callum’s become an integral part of our team, Josh Whitehead’s sidekick, a Muddy Boots maestro and you’ll find him regularly let loose running the pots and pans at Muddy Boots Bistro evenings.

Developing the stars of tomorrow is key to HF & DP’s mission, so to see Callum’s development is a real privilege. Following hot in his footsteps we’ve taken on three new apprentices, one in the kitchen and two front of house: We’re sure that Jasmine, Annabelle and James will prove to be equally as successful in their careers.

With talents like these, the future of the industry is in good hands.

Welcome back to the Courtyard Café

Harewood Spring Lamb Stew with Wild Garlic Dumplings, available at the Courtyard Cafe

We’re delighted to be back running the Courtyard Café and there’s plenty to enjoy on our new menus, as well as classic favourites. As well as the Harewood Spring Lamb Stew served with Wild Garlic Dumplings, you can expect the return of our fish and chips with a difference, a Northern Monk Ale Battered Haddock with Skin on Chips, Minted Mushy Peas and Home-Made Tartar Sauce. It developed an almost cult following last year. We source all our fish from the brilliant Tarbetts Fishmongers, based in nearby Chapel Allerton, a must visit if you’re looking for great fresh fish.

The legendary Courtyard Café Fish and Chips

For those with a sweet tooth, you’ll find a range of bakes, cakes and brownies made by local artisan bakers Bakeri Baltzersens and Jodie Bakes – we highly recommend the Cruffin, a hybrid between a croissant and a muffin. Yes, it is as good as it sounds.

Have you tried the Cruffins from Bakeri Baltzersens? They are as good as they look.

For coffee lovers, expect the best, made by local independent roastery North Star Coffee.

It’s good to be back, we can’t wait to welcome you to Harewood again.



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Christmas Tree Custard by Josh Whitehead


Josh Whitehead, Executive Chef at Harewood Food and Drink Project, shares a recipe that can turn this years leftover Christmas tree in to a delicious dessert.

  • 1400ml whole milk
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 9 tbsp cornflour
  • 400g caster sugar
  • Two handfuls of Douglas Fir or other edible Christmas tree branches

Begin by removing the pine needles from the stem with scissors.

Combine the pine needles and sugar in a bowl and blend in a food processor to break down the pine, the sugar should turn a light green colour and give off a lovely resinous aroma. Tip this out on to a tray and leave to dry for 1 hour.

Place a heavy saucepan on the hob and heat the milk and cream with the pine sugar added.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolk with the flour until smooth and light in colour.

Once the milk mixture is hot, but not boiling, add one ladle at a time to the egg yolks, whisking whilst you do so, until you have used up half of the pan of milk.

Return the mixture to the pan and cook gently on the hob until thickened, strain the custard to remove the pine. Allow to cool or serve immediately over puddings, mince pies or, if you’re like me and inclined to do so, drink it by the pint!