Explore the works of Charles Dickens through delving into his wine cellar at a special event at the Charles Dickens Museum on the 16th February.
The event marks the arrival at the Museum of Dickens’s handwritten 1865 inventory of the contents of his cellar at Gad’s Hill Place in Kent, which Dickens bought in 1856 and where he lived until his death in 1870. The list, on loan from a private collector, is now on display in the Drawing Room at the Museum.
Among the items to be found in Dickens’s cellar in 1865 were ‘one 50 gallon cask ale’, ‘one 18 gallon cask gin’, ‘one 9 gallon cask brandy’ and ‘one 9 gallon cask rum’. The cellar also included dozens of bottles of champagne, Chablis, Sauterne, Metternich hock, claret, L’eau d’or and Kirsch.
Charles Dickens Museum has teamed up with the London Gin Club to create some of the ‘wonderful inventions’ found in Dickens’s stories and in the recipes of his family, including the likes of Champagne Cup, Dog’s Nose, gin punch and Sherry Cobbler.
Dickens’s novels are full of references and descriptions of drink and its effects, including hot mulled drinks, Smoking Bishop (port, red wine, fruit, sugar and spices) and negus (port, hot water, sugar and spices) in A Christmas Carol, Dog’s Nose (porter, gin, sugar and spice) makes an appearance in The Pickwick Papers and Martin Chuzzlewit enjoys a Sherry Cobbler cocktail.
Whilst Dickens enjoyed the contents of his cellar, he was fully aware of the way that over indulgence added to terrible living conditions and health of the poor of London.
The event will include tasting sessions and talks by the London Gin Club, a bar with a special menu of forgotten cocktails and an opportunity to take a tour of Dickens’s home. And historical British street food masters, What the Dickens, will serve up a variety of snacks inspired by Catherine Dickens’s published cookbook What Shall We Have For Dinner? An extremely rare 1852 edition of the book, written by Catherine under the pen name ‘Lady Maria Clutterbuck, is on display in the Museum.
The Charles Dickens Museum holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dickens-related material and the house has changed little since Dickens moved into 48 Doughty Street. The rooms are still filled with the furniture he bought and most of the fireplaces, doors, locks, window shutters and fittings are still in place as they were when the family resided there.
Dog’s Nose & Shandygaff Event : Thursday 16 February.
Timed entry from 6-8pm. Bar closes at 9pm.
Admission price: £20 per person.
All ticket holders must be minimum 18 years of age and able to produce ID if required.
Charles Dickens Museum Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-5pm (last admission 4pm).
Admission prices: Adults £9; Concessions £6; Children (6-16) £4; Under 6 free.
Address: Charles Dickens Museum, 48 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LX.
For more information or to book tickets, visit the Charles Dickens Museum website here
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