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Exhibition gives a fascinating taste of history for all ages

Eating In, the new exhibition which opens at Guildford House Gallery this Saturday, is sure to give plenty of food for thought in telling the fascinating story of home cooking - including a time when children drank more beer than milk!

The exhibition, which is free to visit and was created by Leicestershire County Museums Service, runs from Saturday 18 January to Saturday 28 March, and explores the changing tastes and habits of British dining in the home - what we eat, where our food comes from, the influence of other cultures on our cuisine, the way diet affects our health, and the lives of the people who produce our food.

From Mrs Beeton to the latest celebrity chef, Eating In looks at how fame, fashion and the media have affected our eating habits. 

Eating in exhibition press release
Lead Councillor for Tourism, Leisure, and Sport, Cllr James Steel, says: "This is another fascinating exhibition at Guildford House Gallery, and a brilliant insight into the diverse cultures and trends which have influenced British food over many centuries.

"Our town is enriched by its history, and venues such as the Guildford House Gallery - which celebrated its 60th anniversary last year - play a huge part in making our borough so vibrant and one of the most sought-after places to live and work in the South East. For example, this year we hosted the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition exhibition for the seventh year."

Alongside the exhibition, which is open from 10am to 4.45pm Monday to Saturday, Guildford House Gallery is also hosting three related Coffee Time Talks on the first Thursday of the month, plus two Family Fun Sessions.

The three free talks start at 10.30am with tea and coffee, before the 45-minute talk begins at 11am. In 'The Temperance Movement in Guildford', on 6 February, Val Bale explores the campaign against the 'evils of drink'; 'Alexis Soyer, Victorian Chef', with Margaret Jackson on 5 March, remembers one of Victorian Britain's most famous culinary experts; and 'The Spice Wars', on 2 April, sees Michael A'Bear tell the history of exotic spices and their perilous journey into British cooking during the Tudor and Stuart periods. Places can be booked by calling 01483 444751 or emailing heritageservices@guildford.gov.uk.

Eating in news press release
Two free two-hour drop-in Family Fun Sessions also provide entertainment for children aged four and above. On Saturday 15 February, from 11am to 1pm at Guildford House Gallery, families are invited to make their own personalised table placemat, using different art and craft materials, and identify mystery cooking utensils from a bygone age. Then, on Saturday 2 April, a cake making session at 39 ½ Castle Street creates a delicious cake in a mug! All materials are provided, and participants are advised to dress for mess!

The Eating In exhibition also marks the starting point for two free Guildford Market Walks, on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 February at 2pm. The walks will follow the trail of town markets, from High Street in medieval times to Market Street in the 18th century, and end in North Street where the weekend market still thrives today. Booking is recommended, by calling 01483 444334 or visiting www.visitguildford.com

Images Â©Leicestershire County Council Museums Service.

Published on Wednesday 15 January.