Talk:Potatoes, Plum Pudding & Peacock online at National Archives

Talk, from 4 Dec 2020, free entry

In light of COVID-19, please make sure you check with your travel and accommodation providers before travelling.


National Archives


Ruskin Avenue,
Richmond, Surrey,


The Victorians are well known for the reinvention of Christmas, moving it from an unfashionably drunken knees-up to a (sometimes) more sedate family celebration. But while we can give the era a grateful nod for the Christmas tree, carols and crackers, let’s be honest - it’s really all about the food.

Most of the foods we think of as Christmas were, for a long time, simply seasonal feast foods. But over the course of the Victorian period, plum pudding became Christmas pudding, Twelfth cake lost out to Christmas cake, and turkey started to triumph. In this illustrated talk, Annie Gray will take us on a tour through the Christmas tables of the rich, the poor and the doing just fines, to show how the Christmas dinner we love (or hate) today came about. You may even pick up some take-home tips.

Annie Gray is a food historian and author, and a panellist on BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet.

Disabled toiletsFacilities for groupsFacilities for educational visitsPublic toilets

Event details

Dates Times
Fri 4 Dec 2020 14:00 to 15:00
Wed 9 Dec 2020 17:00 to 18:00


Free entry


See location of National Archives on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: TQ 152728  Lat: 51.44326 Long: -0.34244

Car : The National Archives is half a mile south of Kew Bridge, on the South Circular Road, A 205. Junction 2 of the M4 motorway is about one and a half miles away. There are 116 spaces in our car park which are free (on a first-come, first-served basis) to researchers using The National Archives. The car park is open from 08:30 to 19:00.
Train : The nearest station to the Kew office is Kew Gardens (Underground - District line and Railway - Silverlink Metro / North London line). Kew Gardens is in both zone 3 and 4, and the journey from central London to Kew takes about 40 minutes. It is a short walk from the station via Ruskin Avenue to The National Archives.
Other convenient railway stations for The National Archives at Kew are Richmond (Travel one stop from there to Kew Gardens) and Kew Bridge (a 15-20 minute walk to us).
Bus: The R68 bus route ends by the entrance to The National Archives, and the 65 and 391 bus routes run along Kew Road.
For further information visit

Parking: free


  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Public toiletsPublic toilets