Let’s Grab A Coffee – The History Of The London Coffee Houses


Today we grab a coffee on the way to work or with friends at the weekend without thinking about its route into these Isles. It has become an ever-present, an almost throw-away part of our daily lives.

The coffee houses of late 17th century London are famous in themselves as the foundation of many of our business institutions. What drove this new import to become fundamental to our working lives? What made the Coffee houses a hotbed of sedition? Does it matter that these houses had their start in England’s short Republic?

Food and Drink historian Marc Meltonville unpicks the stories to bring us some interesting questions on the nature of business and the foundation of our industrial nation.


Marc Meltonville FSA works as a consultant Food and drink Historian researching and lecturing on many diverse subjects across the UK and the world. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Cultural Heritage Department of the Royal Agricultural University, Gloucestershire and lectures for the Royal Collection Trust, London. Marc is working with the FoodCult Project, based at Trinity College Dublin, continuing to research, and use a recreated Tudor brewery. Twice a year Marc works as a Heritage Distiller for the George Washington Distillery in Virginia. Practical cookery experimentation is being done in conjunction with the Weald & Downland Living Museum.

Marc has worked in numerous museums over the years looking at many aspects of general social history. He prefers, what is known as ‘long view history’ where you step back from the object you are studying and try to put it back into the world it came from. For 25 years he worked as Food Historian for the Historic Royal Palaces working on world famous projects to bring to life the Tudor Kitchens of Hampton Court, the Royal Kitchens at Kew Palace, and the Chocolate kitchen of King George II. Marc has also presented dining events at Kensington and Buckingham Palaces and Hillsborough Castle, the King’s residence in Northern Ireland.

His latest book; The Tavern Cook, is published by Prospect Books available on Amazon and at book stores.

Thursday, 22 August 2024

11:00 - 11:45 BST


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  • Marc-Meltonville
    Marc Meltonville FSA
    Research Fellow
    Cultural Heritage Department of the Royal Agricultural University, Gloucestershire
  • timconnell.png
    Professor Tim Connell
    Emeritus Professor
    City, University of London

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