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Tudor Cookery at Hampton Court Palace

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

Have you ever wondered what Henry VIII had for dinner? And how about those “four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie”? I expect, like me, you’ve dismissed the latter as the stuff of nursery rhymes.

Now you can discover the secrets of Tudor Cookery at Hampton Court Palace.

Over Easter and on selected weekends and bank holidays throughout the year, you can experience the sights and smells of a real Tudor kitchen as chefs prepare a banquet fit for a king.

So what would the great Henry Tudor have eaten? His meals would have consisted of three courses; each course a meal in itself. Soup would be followed by fish, meat and fowl served with sauces and vegetables, and the whole would be rounded off with pudding.

Which brings me to those “four and twenty blackbirds”. Sometimes, on special occasions, tiny live birds would be put into a ready-baked pie crust so when it was sliced open, they would fly out – much to the delight of the diners.

Quite an accomplishment but so too, was preparing all that food – for around 600 people twice a day, every day….

Tudor Cookery dates: April 8 – 17, June 3 – 4, July 1 – 2, August 5 – 6, September 2 – 3, October 7 – 8, November 4 – 5, December 27, 2006 – January 1, 2007.

For further information telephone 0870 752 7777 or visit the website.