I am just back after a short stop in London. As I wrote some posts ago, I was going to the Food in History Conference organized at the University of London by the Anglo-American Conference of Historians. It was three really interesting days during which I attended sessions on diverse topics such as food and archeology, food in the Bible, food trends in modern history, the history of the ginger bread, the poor man’s food, and the invention of the fridge and of the modern cold chain. As last time I was in London, I stayed with lovely E and J, and although the conference absorbed most of the days, I did have time for lunch and a tour of the Kensington Palace my first day, and then a quick stop by Fortnum & Mason on Friday. I had never been to the latter but wanted to see it after I had heard their archivist talking about the history of the store in a conference session. Although touristy today, some of these department stores (and indeed convenience stores) really changed the supply chains, global trade, and the way we consume. And it was of course lovely to spend four days with E and J and their kids, so in short, I had four terrific days in the UK capital!
From the top: Kensington Palace and the chairs for each of Queen Anne’s 18 children who died before birth or within the first years. The exception was Prince William who lived until he was 11. The Hammersmith bridge and Fortnum & Mason’s wonderful tea and coffee department. And finally, the Food in History Conference at University of London.