The Thames west of London has been the resort of royalty, aristocrats, artists, writers and wealthy property owners for centuries.
As well as building elegant villas, they developed gardens which provided a feast for the senses and supplied food for the table. In our own times, issues of the sustainability of food production and equity of its distribution are hot topics.
In this series of 14 talks, we explore how food was produced and consumed in the past by our Luminaries to help inform discussions on the future of food and drink. Much food was produced locally; great houses such as Chiswick House and Fulham Palace had their own kitchen gardens and Alexander Pope boasted of the sources of his meat supply: ‘To Hounslow Heath I point, and Banstead-Down, / Thence comes your Mutton, and these chicks my own.’ Yet modern luxuries such as tea and coffee stretched supply chains around the globe. Wining and dining also provided hosts with opportunities to display their hospitality and particular taste through the choice of menu and table setting.
This varied banquet of 14 talks, divided into two courses, will also explore cultural dimensions of food and drink. See all details below.