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Victorian Kitchen from the 1830s Uncovered in U.K.

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Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge The preserved Victorian stove is just one piece in a huge kitchen hidden for decades in the basement. - DAILY MAIL / CASCADE NEWS
  • Daily Mail / Cascade News
  • The preserved Victorian stove is just one piece in a huge kitchen hidden for decades in the basement.

To all those who own estates in North Wales, try rummaging through your basement. You might find a perfectly intact Victorian kitchen from the 1830's, complete with a cooking range, pots, pans, antique fire extinguishers, a spit for roasting pigs and enough tables and benches to seat a team of twenty servants.

According to the Daily Mail, Archie Graham-Palmer and his wife Philippa discovered the hidden kitchen when looking through the home they had inherited and moved into earlier this year. The basement had become a dumping grounds to store family junk, and these belongings quite literally piled up, blocking the door to this cavernous kitchen.

click to enlarge Pots, pans and other cooking utensils remained unused for decades. - DAILY MAIL / CASCADE NEWS
  • Daily Mail / Cascade News
  • Pots, pans and other cooking utensils remained unused for decades.

The home, built around 1800 and bought by Graham-Palmer's forefathers at an auction at the Wynnstay Arms Hotel in 1830, has been passed down generations, and in fact, the kitchen appears to have been used in World War II as a kind of safe haven from air raids. But no one bothered to tell the current owner.

The kitchen comes with a cookbook of recipes that require a team of servants to successfully pull off, leading us to believe that Chef Grant Achatz must be salivating somewhere in Chicago. At his restaurant Next, Achatz and his team spend three months crafting food from a uniquely specific place and time -- turtle consomme and pressed duck for their concept Paris 1906 and tom yum soup and catfish in caramel sauce for Tour of Thailand -- before completely scrapping it for another. Chef, we want to see you do Victorian-era potted meats, whole pig, jellies and some kedgeree. You have the culinary equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls to guide you.

click to enlarge The kitchen was hidden in this estate, surrounded by 50 acres in Wrexham, North Wales. - DAILY MAIL / CASCADE NEWS
  • Daily Mail / Cascade News
  • The kitchen was hidden in this estate, surrounded by 50 acres in Wrexham, North Wales.

The pictures bring up a lot of questions: Are those irons on the stove? Were those for clothes or for grilled cheese sandwiches? Is that a hand-cranked spice grinder? Is wood or coal used to heat up those stoves? Now that Graham-Palmer and his wife have decided to preserve it, will someone cook there? Can Achatz? And then can we eat there?

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