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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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Announcing Harewood’s 2021 season

Harewood reveals first part of 2021 UP+OPEN programme with a focus on Wellbeing, Culture Outdoors and Open History.

Yorkshire’s 2020 Large Visitor Attraction of the Year is open throughout the week once more as Harewood House Trust invites everyone to enjoy its 250-year-old House and its Gardens, Bird Garden, Play and parkland. Aiming to inspire and enrich, it today announces a programme to help us all recover from the ongoing effects of Covid-19, opening up new parts of the site for the first time with a brand new circular walk, and continues to push the agenda in being open about its past, calling out racism, and reiterating that Harewood is a place open for all.

UP+OPEN:
GET OUTDOORS, FIND YOUR WELLBEING

Harewood’s spring season has begun, welcoming people back to enjoy its beautiful surroundings bursting into spring life, its gardens coming into bud, and to find a moment of respite from the last year. In line with dates to be re-confirmed by government, from Monday 29 March there’s no better place to re-meet friends and family as the rule of six comes back into play; our Courtyard Café, run by the Harewood Food & Drink Project, will be open again (for take away only until 17 May). The Harewood Bird Garden, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, will open on Monday 12 April, along with the Courtyard Shop.

Together We Are, by graphic artist Anthony Burrill, launches a brand new three mile circular walk (see below) taking in Harewood’s North Woods featuring this latest commission. Opening in mid-May and featuring six unique flag artworks, Burrill’s work will encourage moments of mindfulness, giving pause for thought set against a backdrop of stunning views of Harewood and beyond.

The circular Big Harewood Walk unlocks brand new parts of the site for the first time. Split into three sections – the North Woods, the South View and the Lakeside Tour – the circular route will take in All Saints’ Church with its beautifully-crafted alabaster tombs and a secret tunnel in the North Woods, with our Horsebox newly relocated for an energy-boosting treat; it will open up Harewood’s East Terrace and South View for the very first time, and link up with the Lakeside Tour which takes in the Bird Garden, Himalayan Garden, Bothy and Walled Garden.

Pop-up play is back after being such a big hit last summer with children and grown-ups alike. Harewood’s Woodland Wonderland features willow mazes and tunnels by artist Leilah Vyner, nestled next to the Church, opening up yet more of this beautiful site for families to adventure into.

UP+OPEN:
OPEN HISTORY

Harewood’s Open History programme is part of our commitment to bring our past to life. Being transparent about colonial history and ensuring the Trust hosts much-needed, and sometimes difficult, conversations is vital to calling out racism, and to forge new connections with visitors and the communities of the cities and countryside around us. Open History is therefore devised to engage our audiences with the urgent issues of our time, and aims to engender empathy and understanding of these issues in order to celebrate diversity.

Harewood have teamed up with Leeds-based DSRG (the Diasporian Stories Research Group) to bring to life the story of Harewood’s first black member of staff, George ‘Bertie’ Robinson, who traveled with the 5th Earl and Countess from St Vincent to Leeds aged 13 to work for the Lascelles family. The display, Bertie Robinson: The Footman from St Vincent, which launches in the Yellow Drawing Room from 17 May, is part of an annual series which will celebrate and share the histories of people of African descent with Yorkshire connections throughout history. Bertie lived at Harewood from 1893–1922. Letters, diaries and photographs chart his life, as well as exploring some of the Lascelles’ links to the West Indies, the history of St Vincent, and attitudes towards people of colour at that time.

Launching in early summer, Heritage Corner bring their unique brand of insightful Black History Walks to Harewood following the success of their regular events in Leeds City Centre. In their walking story – A Storm at Harewood, stretched across the House and Grounds – 
Joe Williams and Vanessa Mudd explore inspiring black history and hidden connections to the splendours of Harewood in an imaginative, fun and family-friendly way. Walks go on sale from mid-April.

The Trust looks forward to revealing more aspects of its Open History programme later in the year, as part of its continued commitment to combating racism.

UP+OPEN:
HAREWOOD UNLIMITED

In the coming weeks, we will unveil a new series of exclusive opportunities to experience Harewood in UNLIMITED ways. Summer twilights on the Terrace with live music and great food, bird watching tours, behind-the-scenes access to Harewood’s Attic Rooms and Below Stairs, early evening boat trips with fizz joined by expert zoologists and gardeners, curator tours and more will give audiences fascinating ways to explore Harewood like never before.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Harewood will be the first venue to host MAMMA MIA! in an outdoor performance of this West End hit from 13 to 30 August. The feel-good musical, now in its 22nd year, gives families and friends a great opportunity to enjoy a fun-filled show with Harewood as its stunning backdrop, whilst enjoying great food and drink under open skies.

Much missed last year, the Great British Food Festival returns for the late spring bank holiday weekend from Saturday 29 to Monday 31 May. The Luna Drive-In Cinema makes a welcome return between 3 and 21 June bringing more box office hits to Harewood, plus more Outdoor Theatre will be announced for the summer months.

Jane Marriott, Trust Director comments:

‘Covid-19 has changed, perhaps permanently, how we live and how we enjoy our time. After such a difficult year, we are delighted to welcome everyone back to Harewood for our UP+OPEN 2021 programme to take advantage of our wonderful site to its fullest – discover new parts of Harewood they’ve never seen before and offer a timely moment for both fun and exploration, or more mindful calm and respite.

‘Our Open History programme continues our commitment to being open and transparent about Harewood’s past as part of bigger commitment to ensure Harewood is a place for everyone. We cannot change the past, but we can use it as a stark, unequivocal truth to build 
a fairer, equal future.’

Tickets for Harewood’s 2021 season are now on sale, with tickets for 17 May onwards being released as and when the government moves forwards with its roadmap.

For further press information on Harewood, please contact info@harewood.org

Download the full press release here.

Restoring the Terrace for years to come

‘You are often dealing with an element of the unknown … there may be structural issues that tell an important part of the Terrace story.’

Over the last year, visitors will have noticed barriers surrounding areas of the Terrace – this was due to the deterioration of the historic balustrade, which was no longer deemed safe for visitors. 

Built in the 1840s by Sir Charles Barry, best known as the architect of the Houses of Parliament in London, the Italianate Terrace is the largest of his projects at Harewood, which also included major alterations and improvements to the house itself, all commissioned by Louisa, Third Countess of Harewood, whose portrait hangs in the Dining Room.

Louisa, 3rd Countess of Harewood standing on the Terrace. George Richmond, c.1855.

Historic England’s Emergency Heritage fund

The work to repair the balustrade and ensure its safety  was stalled due to the pandemic, the closure of the site for three months and the subsequent loss of income. Following our reopening in the summer, as part of a joint application with four other Treasure Houses of England, we were delighted to receive a significant grant from Historic England as part of their Covid-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund, meaning the work could begin again.

From November onwards, the Dobsons team have been working hard to restore the balustrade to its former glory. The main tasks included the strengthening and damp proofing of the undercroft rooms that sit below the Parterre, as well as replacing a number of the carved stone ‘bottles’ along the balustrade itself.

No simple task

Work such as this is no simple task, and a team from Pearce Bottomley Architects were brought in as specialist conservation advisors on the South Terrace repair works, which involved reviewing the work carried out by the project team and providing specialist advice and recommendations.

‘We discovered a lead lining to the brick vaults which was presumably installed by the Victorians’

“When working on historic buildings you are often dealing with an element of the unknown. There may be structural issues that are not apparent until the opening up works start or even hidden archaeology that can reveal itself throughout the project. During the opening up works on the South Terrace we discovered a lead lining to the brick vaults which was presumably installed by the Victorians to act as waterproof membrane. This is an unusual and unique technique which we felt told an important part of the Terrace story. Therefore the lead lining remained in situ and we carefully placed a new modern waterproof membrane on top to redirect the water which was leaching into the brick vaults.”

 

The South Terrace Undercroft and the lead lined vaults. Photo credit PB Architects.

 

Some of the decayed bottles on the balustrade. Photo credit PB Architects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Along the balustrade, several bottles needed to be replaced, ensuring the historical accuracy of the replaced bottles, whilst also ensuring their longevity. To do so, one of the existing stone bottles was carefully removed from the balustrade, taken to M&G stone workshops based in Keighley where it was used to create a template for the new ones. New stone, sourced from a local quarry at Leeming in Clitheroe, was selected due to its similar colouring and properties to the historic stone. When the work was being done, it became clear that there had been a number of replacements over the years, in different materials including some concrete bottles inserted in the 1960s.

Protecting it from the Yorkshire weather

The South Terrace is of course exposed to all sorts of Yorkshire weather, and as PBA explains, “’to ensure longevity it is important to consider the compatibility of materials, for example the lime mortar used must be more porous than the stone. The mortar acts as a sacrificial layer and draws moisture through it via capillary action so the stone remains as dry as possible. Water is the biggest enemy in terms of stone deterioration, so making sure the stone is protected by drip mouldings and repairing these if they are damaged to ensure water is directed away from the stonework’.”.

The work has now been completed and visitors can once again enjoy walking along the balustrade and taking in the stunning Capability Brown landscapes. Why not also see if you can spot which bottles are new on your next visit ? 

The finished balustrade.

 

Special thanks to Pearce Bottomley Architects for their work and contribution to this blog and Dobsons Construction Ltd for undertaking the restoration work. 

 

The Terrace Balustrade Restoration was funded by Historic England and DCMS as part of their Programmes of Major Works grants and we are incredibly grateful to DCMS and Historic England for generously supporting this as part of the Culture Recovery Fund. 

 

Sue Sharpe: In memoriam

Sue Sharpe

Whilst places like Harewood are built in stunning surroundings, feature beautiful architecture and remain as awe-inspiring as they always have, there’s one thing that truly makes a place – its people.

Harewood is blessed with its volunteers and staff members, some who not only love Harewood but make everyone else love it to, and the Trust was particularly saddened this week to learn of the passing of one such person who had a gift to draw people into Harewood’s magic – Susan (Sue) Sharpe who sadly passed away at the end of January.

It’s fair to say that Sue led a fun and rather glamorous life. Her late husband was the former England cricketer Phil Sharpe, and she herself was an ‘Air Hostess’ (she’d never allow the term cabin crew) in the air industry’s hey day – a role where she could excel by combining her welcoming charm and witty personality in huge style with great aplomb.

Sue with VE teamA chance occurrence in 2007 bought her into Harewood’s fold. Whilst visiting the House as a potential venue for her daughter’s wedding, she was unable to see one of the rooms due to interviews taking place for House Steward positions. Having told her husband Phil, he remarked that the role would have been right up her street, to which Sue picked up the phone to ask if she was too late. Of course, she wasn’t too late, and even if she was it’s fairly certain she would have talked whoever answered the phone around – the rest is history.

For many Harewood Members and visitors Sue was such a recognisable figure and someone who was repeatedly mentioned in visitor comments with overwhelming warmth and thanks. Latterly she was often based in Harewood’s Old Kitchen, where not a soul could pass without Sue learning part of their life story intermingled with a totally effortless imparting of Harewood knowledge. Everyone left Sue’s presence not only feeling that they had learned something new, but also like they’d made a friend. Sue became renowned amongst the team for causing visitor congestion because she’d engaged so many people in conversation or because she’d started a free impromptu talk, but not a soul could’ve minded waiting as by the time they reached her she would soon envelop them with her warmth. Sue was also part of Harewood’s tour team – needless to say a short introduction to the House would be an hour and a half minimum.

Sue at Prince of Monaco eventSue didn’t just bring the House alive to general visitors either, she often helped with education projects (a true Jackanory) or at events (meeting the Prince of Monaco being a particular career highlight for her), she volunteered in several roles and whenever there was an opportunity to learn more or be involved she would grasp it.

The staff loved her too, and Sue loved them, taking a keen interest in everyone and never forgetting a soul. She had a way of getting away with things that no one else ever would – hiding a tea thermos under her chair, arguing a point without you even noticing, writing her Christmas cards whilst on duty but in a way that you’d think it was part of the visitor experience.

Her generosity knew no bounds too, not least with her time. Her time was her gift to everyone, and sharing a moment with Sue made you feel special. Harewood will be forever in her debt and she will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with her family – daughter Catherine and nephew Fergus who himself now works for Harewood House Trust too – and all her dear friends.

Sue’s family have set up a Just Giving page, in thanks to St Gemma’s Hospice for the care and comfort they gave Sue.

Sue Sharpe worked at Harewood from 2007 to 2021.

With thanks to Jackie Gascoigne & Aileen Larsen for helping to compile this tribute, and the many who have sent their memories and condolences to the Trust.

Sue with VE team

National Lottery Heritage Fund Supports Harewood

Harewood is delighted to have received just under £50,000 of National Lottery support to help sustain the Trust and fund crucial projects following the impact of Covid-19 on the heritage industry.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown began, Harewood has, like many culture and visitor attractions, seen irreparable financial impact, with 14 weeks of unavoidable closure. The Trust now faces £1 million deficit this financial year. Despite major efforts to offset such losses, through encouraging Membership, launching bespoke premium events and tour opportunities, and launching an Appeal for the Harewood Bird Garden raising £8,000 generously donated by members of the public, the Trust is incapable of bridging such a gap without assistance.

Jane Marriott, Director of Harewood House Trust, said:
‘We are delighted to be the recipients of this crucial funding and thanks to National Lottery Players we can now move forwards with renewed positivity and vigour as we plan Harewood’s future and its vital place in our community just outside Leeds. The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s support has become a vital lifeline at this time in ensuring this country’s world-renowned heritage places, something we and all our colleagues are passionate about sustaining for everyone to enjoy for the future.’
The funding, made possible by National Lottery players, was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund. £50million has been made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector. The UK-wide fund will address both immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
‘Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to
be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis.

‘Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as Harewood during this uncertain time.’

Harewood House Trust plans to use part of this fund to launch a significant Member engagement and recruitment campaign, ensuring the Trust’s long-term future with sustainable, secure income whilst continuing to grow its community.