– So in today’s episode of things I thought I would never be doing on the internet, I’m going to be doing an unboxing video. One of those internet trends that I do not understand and yet people seem to enjoy, but you know what? No judgment.
I have just now received a very exciting parcel by Owl Post and I thought, you are probably just as much invested in all of this as I am. It is from the lovely folks at English Heritage. Let’s not show my address.
The lovely folks at English Heritage have sent me this lovely box. If you missed the video that I put out a couple of weeks ago in which my friend, Hana, and I attempted to recreate one of Mrs. Crocombe’s gingerbread recipes and I shall link that on the screen somewhere, if for any reason you feel like watching that monstrosity.
My deepest thanks to English Heritage for not suing us for that. And in fact, instead, they offered to send us presents. I would open it live, here on the camera, except this isn’t live because it’s recorded and put up a couple of hours later.
But let us find out what they have sent! Sadly, Hana had to go back to England and so she is not here to experience the excitement with me. But, hopefully, she will experience the excitement through the other side of the screen.
And, whatever this is, if this is something that is meant for the both of us, which, hopefully, it is, then I shall have to bring it, or a bit of it, whatever it is, with me next I go back to England.
Probably, this spring. So without farther ado, let’s find out what’s in this box. Well, first of all, it looks like there’s some sort of message on the top of it, so I think I’m gonna try and get that out.
Can’t even see the box. I’ll just sit on my feet like so. I’m not sure if this is just my address, or if there’s a note. Oh, well, whatever it is, I’ve just torn it. Nope, it’s just my address. Ok, good.
It’s very heavy and very solid but very heavy. I hope you didn’t spend a fortune to send this to me. Please, don’t tell me you spent a fortune to send this to me. I’m not sure that that video was worthy of such financial commitment.
Pro-tip, don’t open well-taped parcels with sewing snips. Oh, there’s lots of floofy stuff. There’s no historically accurate way to open a parcel like this, I don’t think. Oh, ok. It’s quite a care package! First of all, look, it’s full to the brim and it’s got loads of floofy stuff in it.
Here you go. Oh, excellent! I was just scrounging around, looking for some corset padding before the video, so that this corset looks like, vaguely, it has the right shape. Which it doesn’t. This is my mock-up for the next project, by the way.
So, mock-up number one. There are two more to come still. Good, now she’s got some hip-spring. This goes down really deep. They’ve tied it all up. This is better, yeah. So, they’ve tied it all up like this and it goes really, really far down.
Let’s just do this. So, they seem to have sent us a whole stack of presents, which is absolutely delightful of them. Ok, first of all, can we behold the state of this bow? This is some artistry in bow-tying here.
Oh, I don’t want to untie it. I want to analyze it and figure out how to do it, so I can do it myself. Too late for that. Bernadette and Hana, look, they spelt your name right! Yeah, is it backwards? I don’t know.
Let’s do the polite thing and read the note first. Oh, it’s handwritten. Oh, that’s so very nice and beautiful handwriting. Shall I read this out? Dear Bernadette and Hana, we were all so delighted that Mrs.
Crocombe inspired you both to bake our Victorian gingerbread recipe. To help you celebrate the new year, I hope it’s okay to be reading this out loud, I hope this isn’t confidential and personal. To thank you for creating your video, we’d like to share with you some history-inspired gifts.
Oh, the best kinds of gifts! In my own biased opinion. These products are available on the English Heritage online shops and are also for sale at our historic places. So, friends, if you like the items you’re about to see on the camera.
Is this sponsored? Because I guess they’ve sent us this stuff for free, but this wasn’t intentionally sponsored. We have also included a copy of Dr. Annie Gray’s book about Queen Victoria. Dr. Annie Gray, I believe, is the woman behind the whole Mrs.
Crocombe video series thing. I will have to look that up. Dr. Gray collaborates with us on the Victorian Way series. Ok, good, so I’m not making that up. So, we thought you’d enjoy learning about some of her insights into the Victorian era.
Yes, that is very true, I would. It would be wonderful to see more of your videos showing your spin on the Victorian Way recipes in the future. Oh, well I’m glad you didn’t think it was complete garbage.
It’s funny, I think that’s my most controversial video on this platform. Either people commenting on that video and all my other other videos, saying, “Please, do more Victorian Way!” “Please, do Mrs.
Crocombe!” Or people commenting on the video like, “Please, never do this again.” Haters gonna hate, am I right? I would really love to find someone, next time I go to England, who has an actual sort of Victorian-ish kitchen because there’s no one in New York like that, and see if we can do another one sort of like that.
We are sure Mrs. Crocombe would have been equally impressed. Aw, thank you Mrs. Crocombe. We tried, we tried. Nobody can match Mrs. Crocombe. Warm regards, the English Heritage Film Team. All right, now let’s find out what they sent us.
I shall have to give Hana a call in just a minute and see what she wants of these things because I can’t keep these all. She was just as much a part of all of this as I was. I’m still undoing this ribbon, by the way.
I never got round to actually undoing it. So, if and when I potentially make it over to Audley End next time I’m in England, I think we may have a little vlogging adventure. Hopefully, we get to meet Mrs.
Crocombe. I would fan-girl so hard. Oh my goodness. Ok, this is some serious ribbon-tying ability here. Bertha Banner probably would of approved. if there’s a Victorian way to tie a ribbon, this was it.
Ok, so the first thing we have in our magical pile of good things here. Oh, it’s a little tea towel. Okay, it’s a little tea towel, I think. Yes, it’s a tea towel ’cause it says tea towel right on the front there.
That’s so lovely because we don’t have nearly enough foliage here in New York. I’ve got a little community garden that makes me really happy but, otherwise, we don’t have very much greenery. Second, we’ve Annie Gray’s book “The Greedy Queen” which is very thick and lovely and has got a beautiful cover design.
This is very cool. Oh, it’s got pictures. It smells like Waterstones. This is making me so nostalgic. Okay, so the official title is “The Greedy Queen: Eating with Victoria” so I think this is, well I can read the back.
No, I can’t read the back because the descriptions on the inside. “What does it mean to eat like a queen? “Elizabeth gorged on sugar, Mary on chocolate, “and Anne was known as Brandy-nan. “Victoria ate all of this and more.
“The Greedy Queen celebrates Victoria’s appetite, “both for food and, indeed, for life.” That sounds very interesting. So yeah, yeah, this’ll be a nice read. Ok, so next we’ve got three little packages of biscuits.
Oh, thank you! My English friends are always sending me good tea and biscuits because you just can’t get them here in the U.S. Oh, English Heritage is now my friend. Thank you. So, we’ve got three types of biscuits.
We’ve got zesty orange and lemon biscuit, delicious with Earl Grey tea is what it says. We’ve got indulgent chocolate chunk shortbread, delicious with afternoon tea, it says. We’ve got irresistible spiced ginger biscuits, delicious with rich Assam tea.
I’ve got afternoon tea and I’ve got Earl Gray but I don’t know what Assam is. Let’s taste them. Well, I don’t know which one Hana wants and I don’t want to open them. Hana lives in England and Hana can get good biscuits, so I’m gonna open one of them and see.
Just a little taste test. I’m gonna try the spiced ginger. Oh, they’re nice and thick. They’re quite big. Mm, oh, they’re very good. Let me put these dropped crumbs. Oh, I like this very much. They’re much better than our gingerbread.
Probably, not as good as what Mrs. Crocombe would’ve made though. I know what I’m doing after I turn off the camera, I’m going to make some tea and have some more biscuits. Next, we’ve got something in a little burlap baggie.
This is so clever! Ok, so it’s literally a bag to carry teacups. I don’t want to spill it over because I don’t want to break them. It’s got little dividers in it so that all of your teacups are separate.
I guess you put your teacups in here, I don’t know if you fill them. These are not teacups. They’re not teacups. I need to reserve judgment until I open the package. Whatever it is, the bag is adorable, and I don’t see why you couldn’t use it to transport your teacups.
They’re very much wrapped in bubble wrap, which I’m going to keep in case Hana wants one of these and then I can get it to England in one piece. This one is all butter lemon curd. So, these look like they’re going to be spreads for your scones, or your scones, depending on where you’re from.
Raspberry curd. So, lemon curd, raspberry curd, passion fruit curd. I’ve actually never had this, any of these. I was not prepared to do a curd taste test. I have no scones, I’ve got no, I mean, I’ve got biscuits.
We shall have to let you know how the curds are. Finally, oh, we’ve got an Audley End guidebook! I imagine this is what you can pick up when you’re actually visiting Audley End and it just tells you all about the house.
It’s telling me what the rooms were used for and showing me the portrait, Mrs. Crocombe in here. Oh, look, it’s got a little bit on the family as well. Okay, so it’s got a map of this as well. I shall have to remember to bring this when I got to visit Audley End, which is rapidly working it’s way to the very top of my list.
It doesn’t, from first glance, say anything about Mrs. Crocombe though, which is fine. Because, yes, I know some stuff about Mrs. Crocombe but… She is the queen. She is the real queen at this manor house.
We all know that. So those are all of the things in the lovely parcel that English Heritage sent me. Thank you so much, English Heritage. I did not expect this warm reception to that stupid video we did, but thank you very much.
I love these things very much. I shall be getting in contact with Hana to see which of these lovely gifts she would like to take. And, I guess, maybe we’ll have to do another one. Probably, a little bit better planned.
I would like to do one that’s more seriously focused on actually reproducing the history, as is my custom. That will probably involve having to make some 1880’s clothes, which means it may very well happen in two years.
Or maybe we shall just have to do a video of reconstructing Mrs. Crocombe’s dress as it would’ve been done historically. That sounds like a lot of fun. Thank you, thank you, thank you, again, English Heritage.
This was such a delight. It’s always so nice to have little bits of England back here in merry New York because I miss it so much and I can’t wait to go back. See you soon, maybe. I will do a little complementary sponsorship plug.
If you are interested in any of these products, I guess, wait did they say it was on their website or in their shop? They’re all available in the online shop. I shall put a link to that down in the description box below if you are interested.
If you are in the U.K., you should also go and visit Audley End. I wonder what she’s like to talk to in person. In person in character, not, I’m not trying to be a stalker. Meanwhile, the actual reason I planned to film a video today, the actual reason I went out to the post office today, and then, of course, returned home to find this parcel and then changed my plan completely, is because I have now officially, according to mass request, I have opened a P.
O. box. Primarily, because I’ve been sending out so many sketches and prints and things via Etsy that now I’m starting to need a place to accept the returns for those, if those for some reason fail to go through.
So, for my own safety and security sake, I now have a P.O. box to accept Etsy returns but I’ve also received, obviously, a lot of comments from people with calligraphy pens at the ready, saying, “Please, do you have a place where I can send stuff?” Now I do.
I shall put that on the screen. Here, maybe. I shall also put that in the description box if that’s preferable, if for some reason this isn’t sufficient. I cannot promise at all that I will be able to reply, only because, especially in the coming months and the coming few weeks, I’ve got a couple of really big projects going on.
And I’m just barely going to be making time to edit videos to keep going up whilst also continuing with the sewing projects. So my time is going to be very, very strictly budgeted for the next couple of weeks and I cannot, sadly, promise that I will reply.
Although, I would so deeply would love an excuse to pull out my quills and inks and parchment and write beautiful replies to everybody. I don’t know what the volume of mail is going to be. If anyone knows me in life, you know that I literally write novel-length comment responses to anything that I’m asked.
So, I probably shouldn’t be doing that. Please know that I will read your beautiful letter, I will appreciate your beautiful letter. I will cherish and adore and muse over your letter, but I just may not be able to sit down and write out the reply.
So, thank you. With all of that being said, I’m now going to go make myself a cup of tea and then I’m going to resume attempting mock-up number two of this corset project, which is probably not going to see the light of day for a couple of weeks, just because it’s requiring a lot of prototyping.
Because corsets are hard, corsets are really hard. All fun things coming soon. So, stay tuned if you’d like and I shall see you soon.