Tartar Sauce

Yesterday marked the beginning of National Fishing Month back in Blighty. As there’s nothing much else on the calendar this summer (ahem, Olympics), we’re certain this piscine party will be everyone’s main point of focus. And we’re getting in on the action with this week’s British Pantry, the ideal accompaniment to a nice bit of fish: Tartar Sauce.

A delectable mix of mayonnaise, dill, lemon juice, chopped pickles and capers, this is one of our all-time favorite condiments. We don’t sell any branded varieties in-store, but instead send people around to A Salt & Battery. They make their own from scratch to a recipe they won’t share with anyone – not even us!

We recommend a dollop with a portion of steaming battered haddock and a cold can of shandy. Reminds us of wet summer holidays on British beaches… here’s hoping the Olympics isn’t a washout!

Mrs Beeton: the godmother of British cookery… and the original Martha Stewart!

Isabella Beeton, 1836-1865

Born in 1836 in Cheapside, East London, Isabella Beeton is remembered to this day as one of the most influential cookery writers of all time.Her seminal book Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management gave advice on all important aspects of running a household, from fashion, childcare, animal husbandry and the management of servants to notes on science, religion and industrialism. At over 1,112 pages long, the book contained 900 recipes and Mrs Beeton was a keen advocate of the use of local and seasonal produce; ideas which we at Tea & Sympathy hold dear.

Original cover of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, first published in 1851.

Pretty much every cookery great since – see Elizabeth David, Julia Child, Delia Smith and Martha Stewart – owe something to this amazing woman. The book is also remarkable for its beautiful illustrations. We thought we’d treat you today with a few our favourites, which define vintage chic as well as make our mouths water!

And that all British classic: the Christmas plum pudding. Beautiful – to the taste buds and the eyes!