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Titanic's last supper's among culinary-theme weekends at Penn. bed and breakfast

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The Titanic sank 102 years ago April 15, and its sumptuous last supper was recreated and consumed at the English-style Hamanassett Bed & Breakfast's Brandywine (Pennsylvania) Country Cooking School April 12-13.

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At the monthly culinary-themed weekend, professional chefs steered guests through preparing the 11-course dinner served to first class passengers. Then, they not only enjoyed eating it -- but also living to tell of it:

  • Luncheon: asparagus salad with champagne-saffron vinaigrette, chicken Lyonnaise, and peaches in Chartreuse jelly.
  • Dinner: Consomme Olga, poached salmon with Mousseline sauce, punch Romaine, filets mignons Lili, minted green pea timbales, Waldorf pudding, and much more. Courses are paired with appropriate wines.

Some dressed in Edwardian era dinner clothes. Perhaps they gathered pointers from the nearby exhibit "Costumes of Downton Abbey" at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, only a few miles away from the Hamanassett.

The wildly popular PBS series "Downton Abbey" began with both its heirs, James and Patrick Crawley, sinking on the Titanic. (Or was Patrick unsinkable? Stay tuned for Season 5...)

Meanwhile, back in the U.S.A., guests felt less like the cook Mrs. Patmore and her put-upon assistant Daisy, and more like Lady Cora and Lord Grantham during their culinary weekend at the Hamanassett.

Participants (minimum of four, maximum of ten) in the monthly cooking weekends enjoy:

Two nights' accommodations (Friday and Saturday) with welcoming reception Friday evening, breakfast Saturday and Sunday, lunch and dinner on class day prepared during the cooking class. Participants also receive class materials with recipes, tips and techniques, a Brandywine Country Cooking School apron, plus other favors, like home-baked cookies and a tote bag.

The cost is $450.00 per couple ($300.00 for a single) plus cost of accommodations, tax and gratuity. Here are a few of the gorgeous room selections -- perchance the Windsor, Cambridge, or Cotswold room, perhaps the Inverness Suite... (Click here for video.)

Participants who extend their stay at the exquisitely restored, antique-resplendent 1856 Hamanassett to tour the Brandywine Valley on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, will receive a discount off the B&B's normal rates.

Brandywine Valley attractions within a few miles of the B&B, in addition to Winterthur, include Longwood Gardens; The Franklin Mint; The Brandywine River Museum of Art, with works by the Wyeth dynasty -- N.C. Wyeth, best known for illustrating "Treasure Island", Andrew Wyeth, best known for "Christina's World", and Jamie Wyeth; the Andrew Wyeth Studio; the N.C. Wyeth House and Studio.

One of the most delightful aspects of the Hamanassett is "Ashley's World" -- the welcoming, gracious atmosphere created by owners-innkeepers Ashley and Glenn Mon.

For more info: Brandywine Country Cooking School at Hamanassett Bed & Breakfast, www.hamanassett.com, 115 Indian Springs Drive, Chester Heights, Penn. Reservations: 877-836-8212. Their monthly cooking school weekends include Tapas and the Flavors of Spain June 13-14; French Country Cooking July 11-12 honoring Bastille Day; Brandywine Bounty -- Amish cooking Aug. 15-16. Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, www.winterthur.org, 5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52), Winterthur, Del. 800-448-3883 or 302-888-4600. "Costumes of Downton Abbey" at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, www.winterthur.org, 5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52), Winterthur, Del. 800-448-3883 or 302-888-4600. "Downton Abbey", www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/downtonabbey.

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