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Christmas feasts, episode 3: Victorian merrymaking

From creepy greetings cards to booze-soaked tipsy cakes, Annie Gray guides us through festive feasting in the Victorian era

Published: December 17, 2021 at 11:42 am
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From Twelfth cakes to creepy greetings cards and booze-soaked desserts, Annie Gray guides us through festive feasting in the Victorian era. Speaking to Ellie Cawthorne, for the third episode in our mini-series on Christmas food through history, she also touches on turkey, trifle and whether the Victorians really did “invent Christmas”.


Previous episode: Georgian elegance | Next episode: WW2 rationing & postwar absurdity

Inspired to cook up some treats from the past? Browse our historical recipes:

  • Nesselrode pudding – a delicious Victorian alternative to traditional Christmas pudding
  • Buttered beere – a sweet, slightly alcoholic drink that warmed the cockles in Tudor times

Annie Gray is the author of At Christmas We Feast: Festive Food through the Ages (Profile Books, 2021)

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Ellie CawthornePodcast editor, HistoryExtra

Ellie Cawthorne is HistoryExtra’s podcast editor. She also contributes to BBC History Magazine, runs the podcast newsletter and hosts several live and virtual BBC History Magazine events.


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