Easter bakes and banquets – Whatley Manor’s Easter recipes to please a houseful

As winter fades away and spring blossoms with new life, one of the most eagerly awaited celebrations emerges: Easter. Beyond its religious significance, Easter holds a special place in the hearts of many as a time of joy, renewal, and of course, feasting. From traditional family gatherings to elaborate communal meals, Easter banquets are a cherished tradition across cultures and communities worldwide.

Embracing Tradition

Easter feasts are deeply rooted in tradition and symbolism, reflecting both religious and cultural significance. For Christians, Easter means the resurrection of Jesus Christ, symbolising hope, redemption, and new beginnings. The feast is preceded by Lent, a period of fasting and reflection, making Easter Sunday a time of joy and indulgence.

The Feast of Plenty

At the heart of Easter feasts lies the concept of abundance. After the solemnity of Lent, families and communities come together to indulge in lavish spreads, heralding renewed hope and looking forward to the warmth and light of the spring and summer months.

Traditional Easter bakes and dishes vary widely across regions, each reflecting local culinary traditions and ingredients. From succulent roasted lamb or turkey to decadent Easter breads and desserts, the feast is a celebration of earthly delights and culinary craftsmanship.

Whatley Manor is the ideal place to enjoy the long weekend, either on a quiet break or getting together with family and friends.

It is the perfect opportunity to sample the best seasonal dishes enhanced with the freshest vegetables and herbs from our sustainable gardens, carefully created by our team of talented chefs to celebrate the advent of spring.

Whatley’s Easter recipes to please a house full of guests

Alternatively, if your plans revolve around entertaining at home, there is a plethora of recipes to delight your guests.

While chocolate, hot cross buns and the traditional Simnel Cake are staples at Easter, our kitchen team has a couple of suggestions for an exquisite Easter feast.

Braised shoulder of lamb, pomme anna, pea fricassee

1 shoulder of lamb

8 sprigs rosemary

1 onion

1 head garlic

3 garlic cloves

Mirepoix vegetables consisting of;

3 carrots

6 celery stalks

½ onion

Lamb stock
2kg/4lb 8oz mixed lamb bones

1 onion, quartered

3 carrots, quartered

1 garlic bulb, halved horizontally

2 celery sticks, cut into 5cm/2in lengths

4 bay leaves

2 tsp black peppercorns

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar


  • Set oven to 120 degrees
  • Salt shoulder of lamb for 2 hours with a light layer of chopped rosemary and garlic powder
  • Rinse and dry shoulder
  • Take the lamb stock, and cover the shoulder of lamb
  • Rinse and dry the shoulder of lamb
  • Take the lamb stock and chop some mirepoix vegetables, bring to boil with the vegetables. Add the shoulder, cover and cook for 8 hours (until tender)
  • When tender separate the meat from the bones, line a deep square dish (6 inches by 6 inches) with paper, season the pickled meat if needed with salt and pepper.
  • Add a little of the stock to the moisten, fill dish, cover top, press with a light weight and chill.
  • When chilled out, cut into desired pieces, dust with flour, fry on all outside surfaces, warm through in the oven.

Pomme anna


Marie Piper or Edwards Potatoes




Parchment paper

Salt and Pepper


Peel and slice potatoes

Melt and infuse with some garlic and rosemary in melted butter

Line a tray with parchment paper, gradually layer up the potatoes with the infused butter and add salt & petter lightly. Do this until all the potatoes are used up.

Add enough butter on top of the liquid until it reaches 2 cm from the top. Cover with parchment, cook at 180 degrees for around 40 – 60 minutes. Test with a small knife to ensure the potatoes are soft.

When cooked, take out from oven, add a small weight to press down slightly. Set aside and chill.

Portion to desirable sizes. Shallow fry each side, them keep warm in the oven until required.

Pea fricassee



Smoked bacon lardons

Baby gem lettuce

Banana shallots



  • Chop some baby gem, banana shallots and smoked bacon lardons
  • Caramelise the lardons slightly with butter
  • Add the shallots and cook until translucent
  • Add the peas, cook for 30 seconds, season with salt & pepper
  • To serve ensure everything is hot and the potatoes are crispy. Serve with a lamb jus or red wine sauce.

Tarte Tartin


30g sugar

60 g butter

2 Large Pink Lady apples (6 x ¼ needed)

1 star anise

½ vanilla pod (split in half)

1 cinnamon stick

7 inch puff pastry disc


Take a cast iron dish, slice cold butter and cover the bottom of the dish.

Add the sugar, dispersing evenly

Add the cinnamon, star anise and vanilla. Keep the spices as flat as possible.

Peel, quarter and core the Pink Lady apples.

Arrange the six quarters and fan them out.

Lay the disc of puff pastry on top, cut an air vent in middle at the top to allow the steam to escape.

Cook on a stove on a medium heat until the sugar and the butter starts bubbling up the sides and is almost a pale caramel colour.

Transfer to the over at 180 degrees

Bake for 35-40 minutes. It will be ready when the caramel has turned an hazelnut colour.

Turn out and serve with Vanilla ice cream.

Easter Tree Workshop

Easter Eggs – Symbol of Fertility and Rebirth

No Easter banquet is complete without the iconic symbol of the Easter egg. Dating back centuries, the egg has long been associated with fertility, rebirth, and the cycle of life. Decorated eggs, whether dyed, painted, or intricately adorned, hold a special place in Easter traditions around the world. From the Ukrainian pysanka to the elaborately decorated Fabergé eggs, these ornate creations serve as both edible delicacies and works of art, adding colour and symbolism to the festive table.

Whatley’s Easter Tree Floral Workshop

While we don’ t traditionally decorate our homes in the same way at this time of the year as we do at Christmas, a homemade Easter tree provides a stunning focal point for your celebrations.

To learn how to create a showstopper why not join us here at Whatley Manor on the morning of Maundy Thursday (28th March) for a morning of Easter crafting?

Master Florist, Emily Hepworth, will be on hand to guide you through the process of making your own centrepiece for the sideboard or the dining table.

This will be followed by a full afternoon tea with a glass of bubbly.

A lovely, relaxing start to the long Easter weekend and an ideal present!

For more information or to book: www.whatleymanor.com/offers/events/floristry-easter-tree-workshop

Embracing the Spirit of Easter

In a world marked by division and discord, Easter feasts serve as a reminder of the values that unite us—faith, family, and community. Regardless of religious affiliation or cultural background, Easter invites us to come together, to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, and to embrace the promise of renewal and hope.

As we gather around the Easter table, may we savour not only the delicious food but also the company of loved ones, the richness of tradition, and the beauty of the season. For in these moments of shared joy and gratitude, we find nourishment for both body and soul, and the promise of a brighter tomorrow.

Happy Easter!


From 24th - 26th December the Whatley Manor will be closed to non residents. If you need to contact us please send an email to reception@whatleymanor.com and one of the team will respond. Thank you