I received this book, Entertaining Lives, as a Christmas Present and have enjoyed both the recipes and stories that accompany each section.
The ‘Two Nancys’, as they were sometimes referred to, Nancy Astor and her niece Nancy Lancaster were two of the great chatelaines of the twentieth century, entertaining a glittering array of political and society figures in London, at their English country houses and Mirador in Virginia. From Mirador, their childhood home, both women absorbed the spirit of generous Southern hospitality, elegant entertaining, and wild sense of fun that migrated with them to England.
They served their guests at Mirador, Cliveden House, Kelmarsh, Ditchley Park and Haseley Court delicious, uncomplicated and healthier dishes. In addition, they began using a wider variety of vegetables and salads, fruit and eggs, thus paving the way for more related and informal entertaining that we take for granted today.
Combined with women’s flair and genius for interior decoration, Entertaining Lives is a recipe book that documents their immaculate taste, sense of humour and love of fresh, delicious food.
The book is created and compiled by Jane Churchill, the great-great-niece of Nancy Astor and Nancy Lancaster’s great-niece. She grew up staying at Cliveden and constantly at Haseley Court. She discovered the MIrador cookbook in her family archive and was inspired by its contents to create this book. She is an internationally acclaimed interior designer in her own right, with over 40 years in the business.
Emily Astor is a photographer, author and Nancy Astor’s granddaughter. She grew up at Cliveden and is an expert family historian. Combining these two ladies has produced an excellent book of recipes, photography and a homage to these two great women, their accomplishments and their way of life.
There are over 70 recipes that were regularly ‘mixed in with’ classic French and English cuisine. I have selected one of the recipes, Individual Marmalade Soufflés, to feature on our website. Click HERE.