We enjoyed our visit to St. James Primary School this week, when the children sampled ‘pottage’ and we prepared sweetmeats for a ‘banquet’ – not the feast that everyone assumed, but the dessert course, enjoyed by the most important guests as they sat in the Banqueting House, listening to music and taking in the view of the gardens. We discovered, in our research, that pottage was eaten by the rich as well as poorer people, but the well-off could afford to add meat and make it a more luxurious dish. Our vegetable pottage was not appreciated by all the children! They also sampled spices and placed their country of origin on a map, to understand why they were so expensive at this time.
Next week we are re-enacting a banquet with the class in the East Banqueting House, courtesy of Landmark Trust, more news to follow.