You know how things happen: you get back from a trip (remember, I was gone for a whole month) and have to catch up on everything you didn’t do when you were away. And it just so happened that 7 of my daughter’s early action university applications were due 10 days after I returned–yikes! Then we went right into the holidays and well–you get the picture.
This year has already been a whirlwind with so much travel: five days in Seattle and Portland, and a weekend in Washington DC in January, and of course you probably know I just returned from my fabulous trip to Jamaica, which I won courtesy of BevMo! (posts on that trip coming soon!) I should already have tickets to fly back to DC in May for my son’s graduation from Georgetown, but I just haven’t had time. I feel as if I’m going to blink and it will be October!
So now that you know why I’m just writing about Rye, The Royal Oak Foundation and Eccles Cakes now, we can get started.
Disclosure: The Royal Oak Foundation provided me with two Individual Memberships for my mother and me while traveling in the UK last autumn, however, I have purchased family memberships for years and as always, all opinions are my own.
You’ll remember that I wrote a little about Rye, England in my post about the wonderful Mermaid Inn.
This is a town I’ve been visiting since I was a little girl, because my Aunt Rosa lives there. It is one of the most beautiful towns I’ve ever seen, with its cobblestone streets, Tudor architecture and hilltop location overlooking the English Channel, and sometimes even sharing a peek at France.
When I’m in Rye, I love to wander around the history filled streets, popping into food shops, charity shops and gift shops…
Another place I love to go to in Rye is Lamb House, which is part of Britain’s National Trust–similar to our US National Park system, but it includes so much more. The National Trust protects British…
- Houses & buildings
- Gardens & parks
- Nature & wildlife
- Coast & countryside
- Sites & monuments
Lamb House, for example, is the former home of American-British writer, Henry James.
I don’t know about you, but I just never tire of learning history when I travel, especially since the US is such a relatively “young” country. However, the reason I’m telling you all about the National Trust is because I want to introduce you to The Royal Oak Foundation (Americans in Alliance with the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland), which is based here in the US and is a sister organization to the NT.
I don’t remember how I originally discovered the Royal Oak Foundation, but I have been buying a family membership for many years whenever we visit the UK. The annual membership saves us a lot of money because it provides 2 adults and their children full admittance to every National Trust property in the UK (reciprocal benefits with the National Trust for Scotland, too) and a parking pass, too!
Here are just a few photos of the many places we’ve been to with our Royal Oak Membership~
We’ve been to so many other places, too, including Stourhead, where part of the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie was filmed, as well as Lacock Abbey, one of the filming locations for Harry Potter, Chamber of Secrets; my kids loved this!
If you are heading to the UK this year, I have some great news! Just for being one of my readers, the Royal Oak Foundation is offering you a DISCOUNT CODE FOR 20% off MEMBERSHIPS!
The Royal Oak Foundation has also launched a new blog, Anglofiles, which you’ll find here, and please show them your support (even if you’re not heading over to the UK), by following them on social media, which you’ll find on their website or blog. Thank you for helping to support an organization I truly believe in!
Join The Royal Oak Foundation
No admission fees. No waiting on lines. Just quick and easy access to the best of Britain!
ALL membership levels provide:
- Unlimited entry to over 350 properties of the National Trust of England Wales & Northern Ireland
- Unlimited entry to 100 properties belonging to the National Trust for Scotland
- Reduced admission price for U.S. lectures, tours and other programs
- Tax-deductible member dues
- 10% Discount on Royal Oak merchandise
Remember to use Promo Code: “CUCINA16” for a 20% discount on annual memberships.
And now for that Eccles Cake recipe I promised you!
adapted from Delia Smith’s recipe
puff pastry or flaky pastry (I made my own flaky pastry-recipe coming soon)
1 tbsp (15g) good quality butter, like Kerrygold
1/4 cup (40g) brown sugar
1/2 cup (75g) currants
zest of an organic orange, which has been washed
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
2 pinches of allspice
1 egg white, beaten
sugar, for sprinkling on top of cakes
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C)
Place the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until just melted, then remove from heat and add the rest of the filling ingredients, stir to combine and set aside to cool.
Roll out the dough to a rectangle measuring about 6″ x 15″ (16cm x 40cm), cut lengthwise in half, then cut into 10 equal sized pieces.
Pop into the preheated oven, on a lower shelf for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, place the tray in the middle of the oven for a further 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from tray and place on cooling rack.
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- 1 tbsp (15g) good quality butter, like Kerrygold
- ¼ cup (40g) brown sugar
- ½ cup (75g) currants
- zest of an organic orange, which has been washed
- ⅛ tsp grated nutmeg
- 2 pinches of allspice
- 1 egg white, beaten
- sugar, for sprinkling on top of cakes
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C)
- Place the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until just melted, then remove from heat and add the rest of the filling ingredients, stir to combine and set aside to cool.
- Roll out the dough to a rectangle measuring about 6″ x 15″ (16cm x 40cm), cut lengthwise in half, then cut into 10 equal sized pieces.
- Place a spoonful of filling onto the center of each square, using all of it evenly between the 10 pieces, then wet the edges of one of the squares, using your finger.
- Now, hold the pastry in one hand and close the edges together to seal the filling inside, forming it into a round shape when finished.
- Place the pastry on a lined baking sheet, with the pinched side down and press down slightly.
- Repeat with the remaining 9 pastries, then make three slits on top with a very sharp knife or razor blade, brush with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar.
- Pop into the preheated oven, on a lower shelf for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, place the tray in the middle of the oven for a further 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from tray and place on cooling rack.