Picnics at the Kymin

Victoria Sponge

The Kymin has always provided the perfect setting for a good old-fashioned picnic. However, the original visitors to the Kymin would probably have enjoyed a much more lavish spread than we might enjoy today.

For the very wealthy, the Georgian period offered hitherto unprecedented access to delicious new wonders.
Exotic fruits could be grown in spacious orangeries and were also imported from British colonies abroad. Sugar became increasingly available due to the abundance of slave labour in the West Indies.
A new industry arose in the production of cookery books. This only fuelled the Georgians' appetite for fine dining. Recipes ranged from the modest to the extraordinary and serving luxurious food at banquets and picnics became an important sign of social status. The more out-of-season delicacies you could provide, the greater your reputation as a host.

Diners at the Kymin

We can only imagine what diners at the Kymin would have eaten. Perhaps they would have enjoyed a more modest luncheon, as one contemporary source suggests: 'The dinner, which is provided by each member in his turn, consists of a cold collation; a dessert of fruits, with wine and other liquors to a certain limitation.' Maybe this would have been the type of food eaten in the summer months to cool and refresh the revellers.
If they were feeling slightly more indulgent then they might have tucked into a favourite Georgian dish, a leg of mutton with oysters. Guaranteed to satisfy even the most voracious of appetites, this popular dish must have been on the menu at one time.
Whatever our diners ate at the Kymin, they are sure to have enjoyed a real feast in this beautiful setting.
Why not take a leaf out of the Georgians' book and make the most of your day by bringing along your own feast? Why not bring a Georgian-inspired dish and re-live the Georgian culinary experience?