The History of English Food

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The History of English Food and what it tell us about society

Join Lawrence Norfolk and Kate Colquhoun for an evening of gastronomic time travel as they discuss food’s relationship with history and how it reflects society.

Award-winning writer Lawrence Norfolk spent past three years researching his new novel about an orphan who becomes the greatest cook of his age. John Saturnall's Feast is set in the time of Charles I and takes place in the vast subterranean kitchens of Buckland Manor where John learns his craft.

‘I had thought the cookery of the time would prove crude, heroic rather than sophisticated. But as I read deeper, I realised the early 17th century had been a golden age for English cooking which gloried in such dishes as "Quaking Pudding" and "A Smoothening Quiddany of Quinces", in sauces called "Egerdouce" and "Bukkenade", in mad concoctions of marchpane and gum tragacanth,’ writes Norfolk in the Guardian.

Kate Colquhoun is the author of Taste: The Story of Britain Through its Cooking. Few things have mirrored society or been affected by its upheavals as much as the food we eat and the way we prepare it. From Anglo-Saxon feasts to Dickensian dinner-party excess, Taste tells a story as rich and diverse as a five-course dinner.

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