Dining out on mustard magic

Diners with a relish for mustard have been rushing to sign up for a mouth-watering menu at a pop-up restaurant at Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House in Wisbech.

The museum at 7 South Brink, which was the home of the co-founder of the National Trust, opens its doors at 1pm on Saturday (November 11) for the annual Mustard Day, which celebrates Wisbech’s historic connection with mustard growing.

In the afternoon freelance food consultant Alison Sloan is set to serve mustard and cheese scones and offer a spot of mustard tasting from 2pm to 4pm in the wood-beamed tea room.

All the tables have now been snapped up for the evening Pop-up Supper Club, which will continue the mustard theme with a three-course set meal sourced from fresh and local ingredients and prepared by Mrs Sloan, who has managed National Trust restaurants at Peckover House in Wisbech and Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk, as well as working alongside television chef Gordon Ramsay at the BBC Good Food Show.

During Octavia Hill’s lifetime mustard markets were staged in Wisbech every Saturday in October, attracting seed imported from Holland as well as the local produce – and mustard seeds were stored in Wisbech granaries for Colman, Keen and Sadler.

In the United Kingdom mustard cropping is concentrated on arable farms in eastern England, principally in Cambridgeshire, southern Lincolnshire and Norfolk, and an exhibition at the museum, mounted by English Mustard Growers Ltd, of Thorney, will provide visitors taking part in the day with a basic overview of mustard seed, the growers involved and Colman’s at Norwich.