John Fothergill’s Cookery Book, in the ‘Places to go, people to see’ cabinet at Harborough Museum, was published in 1943 featuring a caricature of Fothergill drawn by political cartoonist, Bert Thomas. This extraordinary Market Harborough innkeeper, who has been likened to the TV sitcom character Basil Fawlty, cooked and served some 200,000 meals using his recipes of ‘strong flavour and colour, practicality and economy’.
Fothergill was host of the Three Swans from 1934-1952, but this iconic coaching inn has actually been a haven for travellers for over 500 years. Exceptionally vibrant during the late 1700s and early 1800s it’s been graced by several famous names: King Charles I visited the day before the Battle of Naseby in 1645, while the young King of Denmark, Christian VII, dined here in 1768 after his carriage broke down.
The Three Swans still has Fothergill’s self-portrait hanging in the back bar keeping an eye on proceedings.