An Appetite for Violets - the journey
An Appetite for Violets was originally inspired by the wonderful National Trust kitchen at Erddig Hall, near Chester, which formed the basis for fictional Mawton Hall. One day I was casually looking at some photocopies of handwritten recipes in the kitchen when a spark ignited and lit up my mind. I decided to write an historical novel about a clever young cook that evoked a world of lost recipes, and an account of a journey to foreign lands.
I then set off on a thrilling journey to follow my heroine Biddy Leigh across France and the Alps to Italy. Following in the footsteps of the Grand Tourists I asked myself what travellers really ate in the eighteenth century? Where did they stay and what would they have seen?
While writing the novel I retraced Biddy’s journey, travelling to Paris, Lyons, Savoie and Tuscany. The guide book I followed was Thomas Nugent’s Grand Tour originally published in 1756.
Biddy Leigh's Journey 1772-3 from
Cheshire to Tuscany, Italy
Follow the journey: