Festive Fare beyond Compare!

There are many delicious foods that we associate with Christmas day dinner! It’s lovely to sit around the table with your family and good friends, to tuck into Christmas favourites like roast turkey, crispy roast potatoes and crunchy green sprouts.  Or maybe not the sprouts for everyone?! Then there’s pudding, with a choice of mince pies dolloped with thick cream, or a slice of Christmas cake or perhaps a lovely, huge portion of Christmas pudding! Whatever we like to eat on Christmas Day, one thing is for certain, food plays a central role in our celebrations. Inside the collection at The National Archives there are hundreds of documents that can tell us about the food eaten at Christmas, from Tudor times through to the twentieth century. These documents include adverts for Christmas food, recipes and even photographs of some of this festive fare! Below are a selection of a few of our favourite documents relating to food at Christmas in the past.

See what you can find out about Christmas food from looking at these documents and answering the questions. Then, if you’d like to get crafty and creative, take a look at some of our ideas for making food inspired Christmas decorations or even have a go at baking our medieval recipe for mince pies!

Empire Marketing Board 1927-1933 poster, by Artist F C Harrison

‘Christmas In London 1705’, 1905

‘Christmas In London 1505’, 1905

Marsh’s Christmas Cakes,1904