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Speke Hall celebrates Liverpool’s food heritage with local favourites on new menu

Speke Hall is celebrating Liverpool’s food history this autumn with two local favourites on its Home Farm restaurant’s new menu.

As the seasons change and the weather gets colder, visitors can now warm up and enjoy a comforting bowl of Scouse in the autumnal surroundings of Speke Hall before setting off on a woodland walk. For those with a sweet tooth, a slice of Wet Nelly cake is also on offer.

A simple and hearty winter staple around many dinner tables across the city, Scouse is typically made with lamb or beef cuts, chopped onion and chunky pieces of potato and carrots. It has a strong connection with the Port of Liverpool having been introduced to Liverpudlians by Northern European Sailors, who travelled to the region with a rich and flavoursome home-made stew called Labskaus. 

As the dish grew in popularity, the name was shortened to Skaus, and later the spelling changed to the version we all know it as today – Scouse. In time, all sailors in Liverpool were referred to as Scousers, a nickname now familiar and welcomed by everyone.

Speke Hall celebrates Liverpool's food heritage with local favourites on new menu

“Scouse is the city’s beloved traditional dish and has always been hugely popular amongst our visitors.” says head chef, Terry Redman. “Many families have their own unique recipes that are passed down through the generations, and Speke Hall is no different: we make ours with beef.

“We try, where we can, to use fresh produce grown in Speke Hall’s kitchen garden to make our Scouse that extra bit special. We’re so excited to have it back on our menu again and to give visitors the opportunity to enjoy a taste of Speke’s local heritage.” 

Another local treat visitors can tuck into is a slice of Wet Nelly cake. It’s a moist version of Nelson Cake, a Lancashire fruit cake, hence the name Wet Nelly. The recipe is based on one discovered in the archives at Speke Hall and it’s been a firm favourite at Home Farm restaurant for many years.

In 2020, Speke Hall was one of only seven Merseyside restaurants to be awarded a Good Food Award. “We are really proud to be holders of the Bronze Food for Life Served Here award also,” says Terry. “It shows our commitment as part of the National Trust to serve local, fresh and honest food made from ethically sourced and sustainable ingredients.”

Speke Hall celebrates Liverpool's food heritage with local favourites on new menu

Home Farm restaurant is open every day, 10.30am-3.30pm, serving a delicious menu including hot food, sandwiches, snacks and a selection of cakes, hot and cold drinks, including some traditional classics such as scones with jam and clotted cream. Also on the current menu are two seasonal hot drinks, pumpkin spiced lattes and tiramisu lattes.

Indoor and outdoor seating and picnic tables are available for visitors to enjoy, or visitors can get their food and drink to take away on a stroll around the grounds.

Every purchase from the restaurant supports the conservation of the property and its collections. Earlier this year, Speke Hall opened a new second-hand bookshop to also raise funds for its conservation work. Visitors can step inside Speke’s Volumes to treat themselves or a loved one to books of every genre and age range. 

Entry to the property is free for National Trust members and under 5s, admission fees apply to non-members. For more information, go to: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/speke-hall

READ MORE: Speke Hall invites families to experience new autumn garden trail

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