Life in the Country at Christmas

Living miles from the nearest town, beyond a fair stretch of the legs, shopping becomes an event…not to be treated in a casual way at all!

There is no such thing as, ‘just popping out to the shops,’ as the journey there and back can be costly on limited resources, such as petrol for the car.

Running out of food is simply not an option, so a pantry is essential, where a good stock of food can be built up and held in reserve.

The pantry really comes into it’s own at Christmas and other festivals where visitors are expected to descend with little notice…and the tradition is to always feed the visitor!

As the pantry is a cool, dark place, storing food is easy, much better than a fridge in some cases, especially when it comes to cakes, home made bread, vegetables and the like.

The Victorians were especially adept at designing and building pantries and larders.  However, there appears to be little inclusion of this excellent feature in any modern design. I would even go so far as to say that few architects would even have heard of this small, but very essential room.

I used to live in an old Victorian house in London that came complete with a stone slabbed pantry, with fine mesh wire window, facing north for ultimate coolness!

Ideally the only light to penetrate the pantry is an artificial light or weak light from the north.

It is possible to build a small pantry in any home and I have even seen them made from wood, lined with various materials, in city apartments. 

The pantry here at Bealtaine Cottage is well stocked. Over the course of this week it will fill up with home baked goodies. Jellies and cakes will jostle with cans and jars on the shelves.

Christmas cannot be bought…well, not here at any rate!


  1. Your home looks so cosy. I love that you have a pantry … the first home my parents built included a large pantry, necessary when living out in the bush. I have not seen one in any of the homes I have lived in since. Bring it back I say!

  2. My boyfriend’s mother loans me a cookbook during the holidays called, “The New England Butt’ry Shelf Cookbook”. It’s full of recipes for using that pantry to cook in advance and use up all the stored goodies. My kitchen faces the north–I may just have to figure out how to add on a pantry!

    • The cookbook sounds fascinating, especially as it’s the time to cook…and be merry! I must say that I’m looking forward to all the baking and cooking and experimenting too!
      You will never regret investing in a pantry…just think cool…so it can be built with wood, but lined to keep the air cool!

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