Aynhoe Park White Hart Dinner

When James bought Aynhoe Park over 10 years ago he believed it was going to be another one of his award-winning restoration projects – but when he fell in love with this house he couldn’t leave!

The house is more than the bricks, the house has so many stories to tell and we are still learning them.

James’ dream – from the beginning was to reinstate the house into a family home, and has wanted to realise the visions of our predecessors ever since.

If asked what my favourite part of the house is – of course I answer all of it! But one thing I love most is the view of the park from the now back, of the house.

The landscape is like an oil painting – Just so simply beautiful and perfect and we have Capability Brown to thank for that.

  Unfortunately, not all of capability Brown’s visions and drawings were realised.

With drawings of the deer park and lake still outstanding, James took on the project of buying back the land bit by bit to realise these visions but knew he couldn’t do this alone.

James approached friend of Aynhoe, Michelin star chef Brett Graham of the Ledbury in London. The Ledbury’s menu features a lot of game, and Brett is more than passionate about where and how his food reaches his table.  

It was important to embark on a project like this with a partner that understood Aynhoe – and as he has cooked several times here and also chose to marry here, we knew this would be the perfect partnership.

Brett really took the deer by the antlers last year (pun intended) and went across Europe with deer specialist John Fletcher to find the deer that would create this magical park land.  

James wanted the mystical looking white deer, for their looks whilst Brett had his own ideas of the different breeds that might make his restaurant table.

On the 12th of February 2017, we received the first deer into our new deer park a combination of White Harts and Black melanistic which were historically the herd in the park.  

It has been a wonderful project and we are so pleased to have started restoring Brown's vision and a working estate once more.


We celebrated with a white tie dinner party to thank all those who had put such effort into the project – from those who built the fencing to the new deer keeper.  

On the night, Brett devised a beautiful menu that included slow cooked deer and wild boar and roasted beetroot for me!

I set the table with my herd of hand painted white deer and log table place settings – beautifully cut by our new deer keeper Trevor!

I really wanted to keep everything very simple with clean lines just as you would at the Ledbury but give a nod to nature.

We drank GlenFiddich 21 whisky in scrumptious cocktails created by Pearson our head creative mixologist.

- and then we danced into the night!

We are planning on hosting more suppers with Brett Graham and Glenfiddich, MORE INFORMATION TO FOLLOW. 

Please email thebutler@aynhoepark.co.uk if you are interested in attending the next supper event.

A massive thank you to Susie and Harley (BarkerEvans) for capturing the whole experience. www.barkerevans.com

Sophie x