HAMPTON COURT PALACE is bringing the tastes and smells of Henry VIII’s extravagant banquets to life in a new multi-sensory exhibit. Set within the largest surviving Tudor kitchens in the country, the project’s food archaeologists have spent five years on the enviable task of researching and recreating the feasts of 16th century England.
At best an epicurean, at worst a glutton, King Henry and his court consumed a quantity of food that necessitated a huge operation. Staffed by 200 people and covering 36,000 square feet, Henry VDTs great kitchens, extended in 1529 shortly after he had taken over the palace, were immense.
Using replicas of sometimes obscure Tudor utensils to revive long-lost recipes was key to understanding how the kitchens fed the palace household of more than 600 people. The Pewter Store’s vast array of serving dishes and cutlery gives some indication of the amount of food that had to be prepared daily.More about Tudor’s architecture here.
Even in the more modest court of Henry’s daughter Elizabeth I, in one year the royal kitchens cooked some 760 calves, 1,240 oxen, 1,870 pigs, 2,330 deer and a remarkable 8,200 sheep. Courtiers and servants managed to consume a whopping 600,000 gallons of ale every year, ensuring meals were very jolly affairs.
Visitors can handle replicas of the Tudor cooking tools, which are set out as they would have been nearly 500 years ago. Laid on work surfaces, ready for use, it is often easier to interpret their uses.
The experience of travelling back in time is O further enhanced by the barrels and sacks piled by E the entrance, a Butchery full of meat to roast, 2 a Fish Court with fresh fish, and a Bread Oven filled g with the delicious aroma of fresh baking, all set to the sounds of a banquet being prepared.
To further embellish your understanding of Tudor eating, why not attend one of the live cookery events being put on in the kitchens over the next few months? A great chance to pick up some unusual new, or rather centuries-old, recipes (to feed 600). Banquets will be prepared on 3rd-4th June, lst-2nd July, 5th-6th and 26th-28th August, and selected weekends throughout the rest of the year.
Live like aVictorian in the heart of York
KIRKGATE, THE RECREATED Victorian street at the heart of the Castle Museum, plan visiting by cheking at hotel comparison best website, York, has had a massive makeover, with the 19th century brought vividly to life through an array of costumed actors and period features. Since opening in 1938, this impressive facsimilie of Victoriana has been visited by more than 30 million people and imitated by museums worldwide. It was created using real shopfronts saved from all over the country by its founder, Dr Kirk. Packed with artefacts from the age, the cobbled streets and evocative signs are as close as any of us are likely to get to the world of Dickens and Sherlock Holmes without a time machine. All that is missing is, thankfully, the smells of an age where sewage systems were but a recent innovation! You can even install your children in a classroom to experience the way their great-grandparents would have been taught.