“Let’s return to a town soon” – Food in the Wild

[A preliminary note: While watching the opening credits of this episode, my girlfriend said, “Oh, I never realized before they’re having a little conversation during this song.” She’s cute. – WK]

TITLE: Food in the Wild

NUMBER: Series 1, Episode 6

ORIGINAL AIRDATE: November 13, 1996

SETTINGS: The Hawkhirst Camp of the British Boy Scouts Association, Kielder Forest, Northumberland. The ladies go fishing for their field trip.

DISHES: Jennifer does a “shooter’s sandwich” of beef and mushrooms in a hollowed-out bread loaf. (She uses expensive steak to make it, but says it’s of better value than store-bought sandwiches, “which can cost two to three pounds and are filthy.”)


[In Cooking with the Two Fat Ladiesshe says this recipe comes from the book of an interesting Nineteenth-Century person called Thomas Earle Welby.]

The late Right Reverend Thomas Earle Welby, Bishop of St Helena

The late Right Reverend Thomas Earle Welby.

In the second segment, she makes a frittata with vegetables (and a hell of a lot of butter). Continue reading

“From the hip” – Game


NUMBER: Series 1, Episode 5

ORIGINAL AIRDATE: November 6, 1996

SETTINGS: Lennoxlove House, East Lothian, Scotland, “the home of the fifteenth Duke of Hamilton.” Clarissa explains the house’s name: “Well, Frances Stuart, Duchess of Lennox, had a favorite nephew, Lord Blantyre – she’s the one who was Britannia on the coins.

The Duchess as Britannia.

The Duchess as Britannia.

The Duchess as herself.

The Duchess as herself.

“She left it to him, and its correct name is ‘Lennox’ Love to Blantyre.’” (“We should have such aunts,” Jennifer says.) Continue reading

“Our duty is to be fat” – Cakes

TITLE: Cakes

NUMBER: Series 1, Episode 4

ORIGINAL AIRDATE: October 30, 1996

SETTINGS: The village of Hallaton, in Leicestershire. Anthea [Kenyon], a friend of Clarissa’s “from my W.I. days,” has asked the ladies to contribute some baked goods for the annual village fête.

“Famous Anthea” (r.).

Traditional village fete.

Traditional village fête.

(Clarissa seems familiar with the village, pointing out Virginia creeper and a buttercross as they arrive. [Or perhaps she’s just a know-it-all.]) Continue reading

“Who’d want to be Protestant when you can have Cardinals?” – Fruit & Vegetables

TITLE: Fruit & Vegetables

NUMBER: Series 1, Episode 3

ORIGINAL AIRDATE: October 23, 1996

SETTINGS: Westminster Cathedral, London, where Jennifer’s uncle is Gentiluomo to Cardinal Basil Hume.

Westminster Cathedral.

Westminster Cathedral.

Traditional costume of a gentiluomo.

Traditional costume of a gentiluomo.

Jennifer's uncle, Anthony Bartlett.

Jennifer’s uncle (and roommate), Anthony Bartlett.

Her grandfather did the job before him. She notes the current Cardinal’s predecessors are “under the sod.” Continue reading

“Now it’s fun time!” – Meat


NUMBER: Series 1, Episode 2

ORIGINAL AIRDATE: October 16, 1996

SETTINGS: Westonbirt, a Gloucestershire girls’ school housed in a (rather fantastic) country house. [In Cooking with the Two Fat Ladies, written during production, Clarissa says (or implies, anyway) that Westonbirt was the alma mater of producer Patricia Llewellyn.]



Patricia Llewelyn, the auteur of  Two Fat Ladies.

Patricia Llewelyn, the auteur of Two Fat Ladies.

The ladies are impressed with the building (“Plenty of room for the smell of boiled cabbage to rise,” says Clarissa) and in particular with its industrial-sized kitchen, with “railway sleepers on the ceiling” and Brobdingnagian cookware. Continue reading

“I like rich food” – Fish & Shellfish

TITLE: Fish & Shellfish

NUMBER: Series 1, Episode 1

ORIGINAL AIRDATE: October 9, 1996

SETTINGS: Mevagissey, Cornwall. Jennifer and Clarissa cook at the Sharksfin Quayside Pub and Restaurant.

In recent years, the Sharksfin has added a gaudy new sign.

In recent years, the Sharksfin has added a gaudy new sign.

For the field trip, they collect mussels at Hemmick Beach (with Jennifer carrying them in her helmet) and take a ride on a crab boat. [In Spilling the Beans, Clarissa says series creator Patricia Llewellyn got seasick on the boat ride.] Continue reading