Explore the fascinating world of the Victorian judges at this award-winning historic house.

The great Victorian picnic

Why not have a go at some Victorian dishes?

Each recipe in this section has been tried by The Judge's Lodging and has been chosen either for ease to make, or their suitability for children. Most of the recipes have been quoted directly from Victorian cookbooks, although a few have been simplified to make them easier to understand and make. You could even have a Victorian picnic with suitable food and games.  Just follow the links on the right for the recipes.

The following list is what Mrs Beeton recommended to be taken along on a picnic in her Book of Household Management of 1861. We do not recommend you attempt a picnic such as hers, but we do hope that you find our suggested dishes interesting and tasty.

Bill of Fare for a Picnic for 40 People:

A joint of cold roast beef, a joint of cold boiled beef, 2 ribs of lamb, 2 shoulders of lamb, 4 roast fowls, 2 roast ducks, 1 ham, 1 tongue, 2 veal and ham pies, 2 pigeon pies, 6 medium lobsters, 1 piece of collard calf's head, 18 lettuces, 6 baskets of salad, 6 cucumbers.

Stewed fruit well sweetened, and put into glass bottles well corked; 3 or 4 dozen plain pastry biscuits to eat with the stewed fruit, 2 dozen fruit turnovers, 4 dozen cheesecakes, 2 cold cabinet puddings in moulds, 2 blancmanges in moulds, a few jam puffs, 1 large cold plum pudding (this must be good), a few baskets of fresh fruit, 3 dozen plain biscuits, a piece of cheese, 6lbs. of butter (This, of course, includes the butter for tea), 4 quarten loaves of household bread, 3 dozen rolls, 6 loaves of tin bread (for tea), 2 plain plum cakes, 2 pound cakes, 2 sponge cakes, a tin of mixed biscuits, 1/2 lb. of tea. Coffee is not suitable for a picnic, being difficult to make.

Things not to be forgotten at a picnic:

A stick of horseradish, a bottle of mint-sauce well corked, a bottle of salad dressing, a bottle of vinegar, make mustard, pepper, salt, good oil, and pounded sugar. If it can be managed, take a little ice. It is scarcely necessary to say that plates, tumblers, wine glasses, knives, forks, and spoons must not be forgotten; as also teacups and saucers, 3 or 4 teapots, some lump sugar, and milk, if this last named article cannot be obtained in the neighbourhood. Take three corkscrews.

Beverages - 3 dozen quart bottles of ale, packed in hampers; ginger beer, soda water, and lemonade, of each 2 dozen bottles; 6 bottles of sherry, of bottles of claret, champagne a discretion, and any other light wine that may be preferred, and 2 bottles of brandy. Water can usually be obtained; so it is useless to take it.
Mrs Beeton



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Strange But True

  • list arrowHow did Victorians try out a new invention?

    Test it on the servants of course! That's what happened in 1860 at The Judge's Lodging, when gas lighting was put into the basement and not the Judge's rooms. They wanted to see if they got sick from the fumes. The servants were fine - that's why we got the lights working again.

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