A Taste of History

144 TUTOR: Perry Staker

Enjoy a journey through the history of food and dining, focussing on five separate periods; Roman, Tudor, Stuart, Georgian and Victorian. This course will provide an opportunity to consider the food and drink eaten by rich and poor, sources of food available and the recipes and cooking methods used. Additionally, there will be opportunities to either sample dishes or create items of food or beverages relevant to the era being studied. You will be given a booklet containing recipes representative of the five periods covered together with a bibliography to aid further study.

1 PM
PM course

Course Notes


MONDAY - The Romans (and what have they ever done for us?)

Welcome, introduction to the course. What do you already know and what do you want out of this week?

·Background information- cooking methods, foodstuffs available, eating out

·Food for the poor

·Food for the rich

·Apicius and other sources

·Garum - the ubiquitous fish sauce


Practical session - an opportunity to make Roman cheese, dates Alexandrine and posca.


NB no dormice will be at risk during these sessions.


TUESDAY - The Tudors 1485 - 1603


·Food and dining from late Medieval to Elizabeth I

·Foods available and where they came from

·Methods of cooking- including a look at Hampton Court Palace kitchens and other examples

·Recipes books and other sources


Practical Session - an opportunity to make Tudor gingerbread and sodde eggs.


WEDNESDAY - The Stuarts 1603 - 1714

·Foods available and where they came from

·Sallets, fruit and vegetables

·Recipe books and other sources

·The Banqueting course and the Banqueting House

·The rise of the coffee house

·An opportunity to make fritters in the Italian fashion, gooseberry fool and apple move.


THURSDAY - The Georgians 1740 - 1830


·Food for the rich - including examples of menus

·Food for the poor - how the improvements in farming helped provide them with a better diet

·Foodstuffs available

·The Chocolate House and Mr Tosier - the popularity of the chocolate drink


Practical session - preparing drinking chocolate the Georgian way


FRIDAY - The Victorians 1837 - 1901


·The Victorian kitchen and its development

·Cooking methods

·The rise of the middle classes and the growing need for recipe and self-help books - Mrs Beeton and her contemporaries

·Food for the rich

·Food for the poor

·Food adulteration


Practical session - making Mrs Beeton's apple trifle and potted salmon.




Course Tutor

Perry Staker

About Perry

After studying costume making and cutting at Wimbledon School of Art Perry worked for some years in the film/ theatre costume industry before ending up in the Civil Service by accident. Following her retirement from the Civil Service she occasionally works for her first employer making costumes for TV and films.

Interested in history from an early age Perry developed an interest in seventeenth century food and recipes during the 29 years she has spent as a member of the English Civil War Society.

In recent years she has widened her interest and research to include the food and recipes of other periods of history.

In 2018 she was invited to take on the role of the Victorian Cook in the BBC2 series 'The Victorian House of Arts and Crafts' shown in January 2019 and this triggered her developing interest in the Arts and Crafts Movement.

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All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 8 Jul - 12 Jul

WK 2 15 Jul - 19 Jul

WK 3 22 Jul - 26 Jul

WK 4 29 Jul - 2 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM