At the beginning of 2016, four professional bakers went back in time to recreate the taste of Victorian foods. Now the Victorian Bakers are back for a BBC Two Christmas special!
Victorian Bakers at Christmas follows on from the successful 3-part Victorian Bakers show, and now the same four bakers are back to find out how the festive season changed when Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837 and how, over her long reign, customs and celebrations emerged that we now regard as a traditional British Christmas.
Historians Dr Alex Langlands of Swansea University’s College of Arts and Humanities and Annie Gray are on hand to tell the fascinating story of how a riotous mid-winter break stretching into January became a more respectable family-based occasion on 25th December.
Reflecting an era when the gap between rich and poor was extreme, John Swift and Duncan Glendinning try their hand at baking for the upper crust, going to a country house kitchen to make the giant Yorkshire Christmas Pie which Queen Victoria would eat each Christmas, while their colleagues Harpreet Baura and John Foster MBE DL experience the harsher side of a Victorian Christmas, scraping by on the street. The team also make gingerbread decorations for the then-new custom of the Christmas tree, toast the season with a punch which includes bread in the recipe, and discover why the whole community would rely on the bakers' oven to roast their Christmas lunch.
Dr Langlands, said: “Christmas is all about sitting down with family and friends and tucking in to delicious, mouth-watering food and drink. This programme tells the fascinating story of where many of our favourite festive dishes come from.”
Victorian Bakers at Christmas - BBC Two - Christmas Day - 9.30pm.
- Tuesday 13 December 2016 15.05 GMT
- Tuesday 13 December 2016 15.36 GMT
- Catrin Newman