Eating Out In The Jacobean Period  Scene from a 17th Century Pub: 6K

Scene from a 17th Century London Inn

  Midi Music A Jacobean carol-"The Boar's Head"(annon.), 3K

Since you were inquiring about events in London, we thought we would pass on some advice of travelers recently returned from those parts:
  1. There is much good fare in the Ordinaries (restaurants) but beware of the Necessaries (Privys-toilets) as it is said that many convey the plague. 
  2. In London you can get the best beer but the wine there is of the best quality and comes from Greece, Spain, Italy, France and Germany right off the ships. 
  3. Never offer to feed a Londoner. They eat far too much and will keep you feeding them all day. at least four square meals. Best bring a large cow to slaughter as they will insist upon beef (Editor's Note: No matter how mad!) 
  4. Be sure that you bread loaves are stamped with the Bake house badge because if it is too small or, as is often the case contains an unwanted surprise, you can obtain compensation. The brown bread is far better than the white. 
  5. Do not insist on country figs, cherries, mulberries and strawberries. The local city ones are far fresher and have a great reputation. England was filled with wonderful foods. 
  6. When searching out milk, cheese or butter, make your way to Hackney, but take care if you stay there as the local dairy farmers tend to put the unsanitary hay for the cows in the bedroom. The many cows of the farmer though make for a warm house in the cold months. 
  7. If you go during the fast be sure to seek out a hand raised London Pike. If you doubt the fatness of the fish have the fishmonger slice it open. If there is no fat there to be seen have him sew it up and put it back for later. Those fishermen have really got us over their back with the protestants instituting fasts just to keep them in business! 
  8. If you cant afford the costly beef go for less expensive game. The meat pies if purchased fresh are wonderful. 
  9. Be warned that should you eat with the nobles you may have to get one of those new fangled fork things. Fingers and knives just won't do for them! 
  10. Take care while in London to avoid the sweets and desserts, unless you wish to return home with the mark of an Englishman- blackened and rotten teeth. 
  11. As for after dinner well after you have paid your 1 pence for it ( Never pay more) you have 1,000 alehouses to choose from and best hold onto your purses there. Best begin in Southwark as there is greater variety there. 
  12. Pick up a snack of a pie or an orange from the orange girl in the street and find a place where there are smokers because where the new tobacco is there is also music, some of the best in Europe. And, by the way, don't bring your expensive lute to the city. You can find one for loan in most every tavern. As I said though the wine in is the best ( go for the sugared wine) we never get that out here. 

Take care on your trip. Its a safe place but don't call on the watch for help. That is, unless you are careless and fall in the slops and rubbish in the streets. If you think of it, pick up a bottle of fine Italian wine for me! 

Discovering London 5, Stuart London, London, Weekend Television, McDonald, London, 1969, pp.10-16.

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