Food in Ella and the Panther’s Quest

I’ve found another topic for Ella that doesn’t contain spoilers – food!  Be forwarned, lots of pictures of food in this post, so if you’re hungry, now’s the time to get the Thanksgiving leftovers if you have them.

plat eof salmon

I didn't have a picture of the bastilla, but here's some salmon similar to what she eats at another meal.

I got the idea for the post from Ella’s description of something she eats at her first meal in the manor house, a pastry layered with chicken and cinnamon.  I didn’t mention the name in the book since Ella didn’t know it, but it’s a Moroccan dish called a chicken bastilla, which I ate in Epcot a few years ago.  I couldn’t find a picture,  but I did find a recipe at (a great, unofficial Disney site, link opens in a new window)

chocolate cake with ice cream

As you can see, I do have lots of other food pictures.  That is the chocolate cake I was thinking of whenever Ella has it for dessert, also eaten at Disney World. 

cheese and bread

Food similar to what Charles eats at the castle

Charles doesn’t have nearly as much food mentioned as Ella does, but there is some.  While they’re performing, Phichorian sends him off to buy pasties, which are sort of like a pot pie that’s been stuffed inside it’s crust.  I don’t care for them myself (I still have the little kid dislike of having my food touching each other) but I picked it since it’s a very traditional sort of food preparation.  I learned from watching Rick Steves that Cornish pasties were popular with families of miners since they were easy to bring along and they could hold them by the thick crimping around the edge without washing their hands, eat the part with the filling, and through the crust edge away.

The closest I could find to a pasty, a corn and cheese empanada. It's similar shape, but smaller with a thinner crimped edge

There’s certainly other food mentioned, but those are the things I have pictures for, in other words, the things I’ve eaten on vacation since that’s the only time I take pictures of food.

Villandry and Ella’s garden

I’ve been posting a lot about Fantasy Kingdom XXI, but not very much about what went into writing Ella and the Panther’s Quest.  That’s because a lot of the topics I wrote about Fantasy Kingdom XXI would contain spoilers for Ella.   I was going through some old pictures and I finally found something spoiler free.

another view of Villandry gardens

These are pictures from the gardens at the Chateau de Villandry near Tours, France.  These were the gardens I used as the basis for the gardens in the book.  You have to imagine the hedges as being taller in the book, but the layout is similar.

gardens at Villandry

The picture below would be similar to what Ella sees from the window, only with a forest in the background instead of the town. 

view of Villandry gardens

If I remember correctly, the closer part of the garden in these pictures, with the small topiary trees, is called the Love Garden.  Each little hedge area represents a different kind of love, a very French Renaissance kind of garden.  The part you can see in the distance that’s set out in a series of squares is the vegetable garden.  It was October when I visited, and very rainy, which is why the pictures all seem to have a mist over them.

tree at Villandry


Here is the link to the official web page for the gardens.  There are a lot more pictures there of the gardens in different seasons.

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