Talk Catalogue

Food and Drink

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  • Semi live talk
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Mirthy cannot guarantee the accuracy of information presented in the talks and we invite attendees to report any inappropriate content and behaviour by emailing alex@mirthy.co.uk

Food and Drink

A Nice Cup of Tea

Talk Description and preview

The British answer to any problem or crisis is often a cup of tea! If you have had a shock or an upset someone will make you a nice cup of tea. But how did the British love affair with tea start? It is a fascinating tale of adventure, taxes, criminality, temperance, rationing and a morale booster in World War I and II. You'll also find out how a hungry Duchess with a taste for a 'cuppa' established the ritual of afternoon tea.

Talk length - 42 minutes.

Sandy Leong

Sandy Leong is an historian, passionate about bringing history to life and is a lively and entertaining speaker. She has a popular series of entertaining, light hearted talks on general historical subjects. However she specialises in the Tudors, an exciting time in the country as it was changing fast; and in the Viking period, who are much more than the stereotype of raiders in horned helmets. She is an international, professional speaker, and published author.

Blessed are the Cheesemakers

Talk Description and preview

John is an international cheese judge and is a contributor to the Oxford Companion of cheese. In 2011 he was appointed Cheese Personality of the Year by the British Cheese Board. His talk “Blessed are the Cheesemakers” will describe some of his encounters with suppliers and impossible customers.

Talk length - 35 minutes.

John Pearson

John Pearson has spent all his working life in the Food Industry, primarily with Marks & Spencer. Since retiring in 2008 he has consulted for number of suppliers and retailers. He is an international cheese judge having travelled throughout Europe visiting dairies selecting dairy products for M & S. He also judges for Which? Magazine and is a contributor to the Oxford Companion of cheese. In 2011 he was appointed Cheese Personality of the Year by the British Cheese Board.

Food of the Gods – A History of Our Love Affair with Chocolate

Talk Description and preview

The Aztecs believed cocoa seeds were a gift from the god of wisdom. The Spanish took the bean back to Spain in 1528. By the 1550's chocolate had arrived in England and the first Chocolate House opened in 1657. The Quakers were instrumental in making it popular, the Swiss refined it; and now we can’t seem to do without it! The god of wisdom gave us chocolate – I’m not sure if it was a wise move!

Talk length - 36 minutes.

Sandy Leong

Sandy Leong is an historian, passionate about bringing history to life and is a lively and entertaining speaker. She has a popular series of entertaining, light hearted talks on general historical subjects. However she specialises in the Tudors, an exciting time in the country as it was changing fast; and in the Viking period, who are much more than the stereotype of raiders in horned helmets. She is an international, professional speaker, and published author.

Tea With Mrs Cox

Talk Description and preview

“Tea With Mrs Cox” is a theatrical talk about the history of tea drinking and is presented in character by actress Jane Glennie. Set in the early 1950s you are invited to tea with housewife and etiquette expert Mrs Cox. Sit back with a cuppa and enjoy the fascinating stories of our favourite drink along with etiquette advice and the entertaining company of Mrs Cox.

Talk length - 26 minutes.

Jane Glennie

An actor and historian delivering school sessions in Southampton local museums,
Jane Glennie has been a public speaker since 2011 and has entertained many groups including WIs, TWGs, U3As, Probus as well as Care Homes. Her talks are engaging theatrical monologues based on stories, people or moments in history.

Mocha, Latte and the Wine of Araby - A History of Coffee

Talk Description and preview

Coffee was first exported from Ethiopia to Yemen, through the port of Mocha. In 1600 Pope Clement VIII gave his permission for Catholics to drink coffee. In the 17th century it was believed that coffee had medicinal properties and the first Coffee House opened in England. America was involved in further developing our love affair with the coffee bean. It has had an interesting history before becoming a popular drink in our homes and on the high street.


Talk length - 32 minutes.

Sandy Leong

Sandy Leong is an historian, passionate about bringing history to life and is a lively and entertaining speaker. She has a popular series of entertaining, light hearted talks on general historical subjects. However she specialises in the Tudors, an exciting time in the country as it was changing fast; and in the Viking period, who are much more than the stereotype of raiders in horned helmets. She is an international, professional speaker, and published author.

Sunday Tea at Grandma's

Talk Description and preview

Step back in time, Sunday was the day of rest...except for Grandma. The family would all troop around the granny's for their tea on Sunday. Best china, freshly laundered (starched) tablecloth and a good strong cup of tea. You could almost predict what would be served each week! Join us to reminisce on those traditional Sundays. Bring your own brew, best china please!

Talk length - 30 minutes.

Kath Reynolds

Kath Reynolds - My library role allowed me the opportunity to develop my passion for reminiscence work both in terms of delivering sessions and training others. Together with a colleague from Stoke-on-Trent Museums, I wrote an OCN accredited course, "Delivering Reminiscence". This course was very successful and was delivered by myself for more than six years. I am keenly interested in people; their lives and their communities - my talks and reminiscence sessions reflect a great many years of collecting stories, memories and musings from the people of Staffordshire and surrounding counties. I am always vigilant to research and verify "facts" which are presented to me - although I often share the "facts" which are clearly fiction... purely because they are entertaining!

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