History of fine dining to be revealed in online talk

11 February 2021

History of fine dining to be revealed in online talk

Art historian and authority on the history of dining, Philippa Glanville OBE will be guest speaker at a special online event hosted by The Harley Gallery.

The former head curator of silver and metalwork at the V&A Museum will reveal historic recipes and stories of 18th century dining at Welbeck Abbey during the online talk on 30 April. 

She will draw on the recipes and bills from the Portland archives held at Welbeck Abbey and Nottingham University and will talk of the entertaining that took place on the estate; the former country seat of the Dukes of Portland.

As The Harley Foundation’s Curatorial Advisor for many years and a well-respected author, Philippa is a specialist in all aspects of historic silver plate and the history of dining. During her talk she will discuss desserts and food history and reveal more about the Duchess of Portland, who like her mother-in-law, the Countess of Oxford, was a renowned hostess.

Silver gilt service

Recipes show how they used their gardeners' skills in cultivating soft fruits, grapes and pineapples to preserve and create exotic desserts. Records reveal how Duchess Margaret's table included a 178-piece silver gilt service made by London goldsmiths, John and William Café.

Desserts for a Duchess forms part of a series of online talks designed by The Harley Gallery to bring the historic Portland Collection to people online while its art gallery and museum are closed during lockdown.