Time Activity
9.00-10am Hive café & Southlands Costa open for coffee
10am-1pm Food for thought workshops

Parallel workshops using food writings & texts as exploratory tools for history, performance and creative writing.

Whet your appetite for studying varieties of food writing, food history and food performance in one of our morning workshops. Whatever your food interest, you’ll be introduced to some new ways of exploring food and how to research, think and write about it. You’ll be able to attend two sessions in the course of the morning, so take your pick!

Confirmed workshops include:

  • So you want to be a food blogger 
    Professor Nicola Humble moves beyond the basics, to explore what makes an engaging food blog and how to make your blog stand out in the blogosphere. As a judge of food blog competitions and with a keen eye for good literary culinary style, she will help you draft a blog entry that you can then publish on our blog, if you wish!
  • Developing a taste for food history
    When every crumb has gone from the historic table, how can we write food history? By introducing some familiar and not so familiar sources for the historical study of British food and discussing how they can be explored, Dr Sara Pennell will move beyond cookery books and recipes, to show how food is an exciting and challenging route into some of the very biggest historical questions.
  • An Appetite for the Theatre
    From banquets in Ancient Greek plays to orange sellers at Elizabethan theatres to dinner theatre, Performance Art and Heston Blumenthal, food and the theatre have always shared an intimate connection. By looking at some of these performances, Dr Joshua Abrams will fuel discussion of what these intersections might tell us about the question of taste.
1-2pm Lunch: Hive café & Southlands Costa open for participants

Early afternoon

Time Activity


Public lecture by Professor Nicola Humble: ‘Reading the Victorian Dinner Party’.

Why are there so many dinner parties in Victorian novels? Lengthy, detailed descriptions of dinners appear in virtually every Victorian novel, from Thackeray, via Dickens and Gaskell, to James and Wharton; they also have many pages devoted to them in the cookbooks and household manuals of the period. This talk will look closely at these accounts and ask why the dinner party was so important to middle-class Victorians, and what its textual representations have to tell us about changing social relationships, the politics of food, and the nature of literary realism.

Nicola Humble is Professor of English Literature at the University of Roehampton. She is the author of Culinary Pleasures: Cookbooks and the Transformation of British Food (Faber, 2005) and Cake: A Global History (Reaktion, 2010). She edited Mrs Beeton’s Household Management for Oxford World’s Classics (2000; 2008) and is currently working on a study of the literature of food for Bloomsbury Press.


Time Activity
2-6pm Hand to Mouth

In your body lives the memory of being fed. Before you learnt to use hands, fork, spoon, chopstick or knife, someone fed you. In this intimate 1:1 performance, dance artist, Amaara Raheem returns to this very basic of human rituals. Set in a room within Roehampton’s sumptuous Grove House, you will enter a warm, luxurious space in which you will create your own ‘plate’ choosing foods from a buffet style menu, inspired by the theme: ‘high tea’.

Following a hand-washing ritual, Amaara will feed you – not only the food itself, but words too. Sustenance and narratives intermingle in the space between your mouth and ear, to create old and new remembrance – food as shelter, food as culture, food as threshold.

3.30-5pm Apple trail/performance

Wending its way between our Old and New Orchards, this promenade, in collaboration with The Urban Orchard Project and Growhampton, will weave together apple lore with recipes, tastings and memories of London’s lost orchard heritage.

Late Afternoon-early evening

Time Activity
5.30-8.00pm Memory Banquet

Symposium with communal meal, talks and performance.

Join us for a hospitable exploration of food, memory and culinary acts of remembrance. Our unusual tasting menu travels from our first tastes (and what they do to our brains and appetites) to funeral foods; from the myths and truths about brain food to the remembrances of the sacred and the customary through daily and ritual food practices.


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