Antiques Roadshow at Bowood

Fiona Bruce and the Antiques Roadshow team were at Bowood House and Gardens near Calne on June 25, 2015.

Lady Lansdowne  served up the perfect ‘inheritance recipe’ in the vintage tea tent – elderflower drizzle cake based on a recipe from her mother (see below to make it for yourself). The elderflowers were picked on the estate by her grandchildren.

Lady Lansdowne said: “For me recipes and a love of food, with their underpinning family traditions and reworkings, can be even more evocative in linking the past and future than an inherited artwork or item of jewellery. I am thrilled therefore that the Antiques Roadshow at Bowood provides the chance to spotlight the legacy that food and entertaining also lay down.”

The tea tent was a new feature for this (the 38th) series.

The two programmes filmed on the estate aired on BBC1 on Sunday 3 January at 8pm and Sunday 10 January, 2016.

Treasures featured in the first one-hour episode included a collection of glass car mascots, a portrait used for target practice by schoolchildren and a previously unseen account of the sinking of the Titanic written by an officer who survived.

More about episode 1

Andy McConnell applauds a man with a passion for glass mascots that would once have adorned the radiators of luxury cars, but were they designed by master craftsman René Lalique?

An 18th-century portrait of a lady catches the eye of Dendy Easton, but he’s alarmed to discover that the pupils of the local school where it hangs have been using it for target practice.

Ronnie Archer Morgan admires an unusual 19th-century walking stick carved with the head of a goose, intertwined snakes and a pair of boxers, while Hilary Kay hears how an Australian woman got to meet the Beatles during their visit to Melbourne in 1964.

The team are impressed by a lavishly illustrated book documenting the travels of 19th-century explorer John Whitehead and a collection of personal documents belonging to an officer who survived the sinking of the Titanic, including a moving account of the cries of the drowning passengers.

View photos of the Antiques Roadshow at Bowood

More about episode 2

Treasures include an 18th century box engraved with a secret code, an enamel cigarette case by a Russian master craftsman and a collection of items from the golden age of tailoring.

Jon Baddeley is intrigued by a mysterious 18th century box engraved with a secret code that may once have contained cosmetic ‘beauty spots’ while books specialist Clive Farahar enjoys a cartoon inspired by a news report about a lion that escaped from a circus and took refuge in a Wiltshire school.

The team admire a collection of vintage transistor radios, a scent bottle housed in a wagon drawn by a pair of goats and a blue enamel cigarette case presented to an Englishman who aided the White Russian cause during the Russian Revolution.

Mark Hill meets two young men with a passion for tailoring and the work of Montague Burton, while glass specialist Andy McConnell is inspired by the story of an ordinary Stourbridge glass engraver, as told by a proud son.

In a moving encounter, Fiona Bruce meets a man who only discovered he had a different biological father when he found letters to his late mother from an American soldier, prompting him to undertake a remarkable search for answers in North Carolina.

BBC Antiques Roadshow records programmes throughout the UK with some of Britain’s leading antiques and fine arts specialists.

Elderflower Tray Bake recipe from Lady Lansdowne

Lady Lansdowne with her lemon drizzle cake
Lady Lansdowne with her lemon drizzle cake

(Adapted from Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Tray Bake)
Tin sized 28cm x 44cm
Oven 160o/325o/Gas 3

450g butter, softened
450g caster sugar
550g self raising flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
8 eggs
8 tablespoons milk
Finely grated zest 4 lemons
150ml elderflower cordial
Line the baking tray with baking paper.
Beat all ingredients together in one bowl on full speed until light and airy, or by hand if feeling strong!
Pour into the baking tray and level the top.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

Meanwhile make the syrup by heating the lemon juice and icing sugar together until melted, cool and add the elderflower cordial:
Juice of 2 lemons
200g icing sugar
150ml elderflower cordial

Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes and then pierce all over with a skewer.
Pour the syrup all over the cake whilst still warm (it will absorb the syrup).
Cool completely, then sprinkle with granulated sugar if crunch required.