Five compelling reasons why you should volunteer at the Regency Town House

Are you fascinated by food and history? But the combination is so quirky.  Where can you do both?

It’s fun practising at home, by yourself, but you want to try out recipes with other people. You want the challenge of cooking for a large group of people, just like you were cooking in a restaurant.

Before you know it, it’s been days (or even weeks) since you’ve tested out new recipes. And it’s not always because you’re busy – sometimes you just feel like you’re all out of ideas.

If this sounds like you, please feel reassured that you’re not alone. One of the biggest challenges of improving your cookery is being consistent, doing it on a regular basis so that you improve.

That’s why I decided to invite people to join me at the Regency Town House – I’ve set up a place where people can learn or improve their cookery skills in a safe environment.
Here’s five reasons why it could be worth thinking about the Town House.

1. You’ll learn in an historic Regency Kitchen.

The Town House has its own historic kitchen which was rescued from ruin.

  • In 1984 Nick Tyson bought the basement.  It was in a terrible state of repair, the roof had started to collapse.
  • In the 1990s funds were found to restore the kitchen and a roof was created and a temporary blue plastic sheet stopped the rain from coming in.
  • Funds were found to put in a skylight in 2013
  • From 2013-2016 the kitchen was cleared, plastered and electrics were added.
  • In 2016 the room was used as a wood store.
  • At Christmas 2017 I decided to reinstate the kitchen as a kitchen, the first mince pies were made and a volunteers’ dinner was held.
  • Now it is a fully functioning kitchen used for events like Dine Like A Servant and Lunch with the Curator.

2. You won’t be alone

If you are anything like me then you enjoy cooking by yourself – to a point.  I’ve found that I also like to do it with others.  During the courses that I give although I’m sharing my skills I’m also learning from others. During some of the courses/sessions we eat together at the end with each person making a part of a meal.

3. You’ll learn basic skills if you need them

A great pleasure in the courses that I give and the volunteers that I work with is teaching the basic skills.  Seeing people respond to pastry or learning how to kneed dough. We work in small groups and usually people of very different abilities help each other too.  I’m very keen to build a community in the kitchen where we all work together.

4.  You’ll get a challenge if you want it

It’s not just about basic skills though.  In the courses that I give and with the volunteers that I work with it’s also about the challenge. Working with historical recipes is challenging.  That’s why I work these things out before we start cooking. Both the volunteers and the people taking the courses are given recipes that have been tested by me first.  I have often tested these recipes many times.

But when you are ready there is no reason why you can’t translate the recipe yourself.  I can give handy pointers to get you started.  This is something else which is incredibly satisfying and which I am keen to share with other people, the feeling of taking an old recipe and getting it to work again, to taste how it would have tasted.

5. You’ll work from historical recipes

This is the part that people are really passionate about.  Can you imagine the pleasure to be had from making an historical recipe in the place where the recipe was made? For a cook it doesn’t get much better than that.