Talk: London street food by Peter Ross

Date(s) - Monday 9 September 2024
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Duke Street Church

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Exploring the culinary landscape of Georgian London offers a tantalising glimpse into the diverse and vibrant food culture of the time. From the bustling streets to elegant dining establishments, there was no shortage of options to satisfy the Georgian appetite. They also ate all kinds of street food and had an almost insatiable appetite for buns and pastries, with confectioners like the famous Richmond Maids of Honour playing a crucial role in satisfying the sweet tooth of Georgian society.

On a journey through London we will discover food and beverages such as early morning drinks consumed on the street before the break of dawn, ‘nunchions’ served at coaching inns, syllabubs and ices, the proverbially thin ham dished up to diners at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, as well as the Jewish takeaway foods of the East End to the exotic spices and flavours from London’s first ‘Indian’ restaurant.  

Through prints, paintings, and broadsides of the period, we can vividly imagine the sights, smells, and tastes of Georgian London, a world where food was not just sustenance but a reflection of culture, status, and social life.

Dr Peter Ross is Principal Librarian at the Guildhall Library.

Dr Peter Ross

Peter has a History of Art degree, an MA in London history, a PhD in the cultural history of an English Criminal and qualifications in the teaching of adults. He has for 20 years lectured on a broad range of topics including the history of English books, portraiture, and London history.

Peter has appeared on TV and radio as a consultant on the 18th-century criminal Jack Sheppard and on the history of English food. His most recent publication The Curious Cookbook was published by the British Library.