Curiouser & curiouser

Jane Pikett escapes to the Edwardian world of Curiously Wicked

Of the many wonderful foodie gems around these parts, few are as magical as Curiously Wicked. Step through the doors of this Morpeth emporium and take a journey back in time to Edwardian England; a place of elegance and style where every customer is addressed as ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am’ by the butler, footman and maids.

Founded by Krystyna Dodds, Curiously Wicked is an Edwardian home from home where you are a privileged guest of Lord and Lady Cuwick of Cuwick Manor. This is a living period drama, the staff beautifully attired in period costume, each of them playing their own part in the story, each with their own personal stories to tell. Many objects in the household also tell a story, including a Titanic memorial to relatives and friends of the household lost in the tragedy.

There is a butler named Mr Beckoncall, there are family photo albums to enjoy, and the decadent surroundings feature silver chandeliers, oak panelling, swags and tails, silver, lead crystal and crisp linen with fine china commissioned in Germany by Lord and Lady Cuwick.

Ask the staff for the latest gossip and you will be entertained with stories about the family. The maids include Krystyna’s daughter Stefanya, who explains: “It’s a magical period drama, a place to escape and find space from the pressures of modern life. All of us step into the Cuwick household the minute we arrive. It’s like being a member of staff at Downton Abbey.” The owners of the fictional home that is Curiously Wicked, Mr and Mrs Cuwick, are never in attendance. “Either they’re ill or on holiday or visiting,” says Stefanya. “It adds to the magic.”

The food at Curiously Wicked is all homemade. “There are no machines, nothing is sourced from outside other than our Turkish Delight from Turkey and our incredible Grenada Chocolate Bars,” says Stefanya. The comfy Snug with its Chesterfields is home to morning coffee, afternoon tea and chocolate indulgences, while the dining room is home to wonderful dishes by head chef David Hall. The Yuletide menu includes such gems as sautéed mushrooms with chestnuts on toasted stottie with Northumbrian smoked cheese; turkey and choux snowball filled with sausage, ginger and apricot stuffing; and Colonel Albert Hubert Harman Cuwick’s figgy pudding.

The cakes are baked daily by Krystyna and the team, who also excel in chocolate and patisserie. The Crawleys of Downton Abbey would no doubt consider this very fine indeed.

Curiously Wicked, Sanderson Arcade, Northumberland, NE61 1NS, tel 01670 458 183,
The Curiously Wicked Christmas Carol event at 7.30pm on December 15 presents a four-course dinner, entertainment and unexpected twists with a Charles Dickens theme, priced £42.50 per person

Wild country
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