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The basement kitchen was almost 200 feet long: it was sparse and shadowy, and most of the utensils were coated in a thick layer of grease – probably dating back to Queen Victoria’s reign.
Back in the day, there would have been a fleet of staff, but now it was just me.
Rachel Walker recalls learning the essentials of poaching whole fish the hard way, in a vintage PG Wodehouse-style tale of cooks, castles and kettles.
There were cast-iron scales, icing syringes, butter paddles, intricate jelly moulds and skillets so heavy that I could barely lift them – but no fish kettle.There are also rooms above The Seafood Restaurant, while just up the lane is St Edmunds, the newest addition to the Stein stable with six luxurious bedrooms; all modern cherrywood four-posters, polished oak floors and rainfall shower heads.The cookery courses are full for most of the year, and getting a table at The Seafood restaurant at the weekend is virtually impossible.He and his wife Jill opened The Seafood Restaurant in 1975.
They now own Stein's Seafood Deli, Stein's (an art gallery and gift shop), Rick Stein's Café, St Petroc's Hotel and Bistro and, of course, the Cookery School.And it’s amazing how the patter of footsteps overhead as the final guests arrived for supper can mar even the sanest person’s judgement.