Victorian Picnic – Heritage Open Day event
Watercress or fruit sandwiches anyone? Picnic like a Victorian in Rectory Lane Cemetery
Sunday 12th September 2021 11.00–16.00
A unique celebration of Victorian al fresco dining. Picnic with your family in the beautiful gardenesque Rectory Lane Cemetery, now restored and enhanced for your delectation, to the accompaniment of appropriate enlightenment and entertainment.
Channel your inner Mrs Beeton and prepare your own wicker basket of watercress or fruit sandwiches, pigeon pie and steamed pudding and ale. Victorian picnics ranged from simple provisions eaten from a paper plate through to wholesale feasts displayed on tables sparkling with silver – the choice is yours. On booking a ticket we will share with you examples of Victorian fare that you can prepare. We will have a few delicacies of that era for you to purchase made with local ingredients, to supplement your own victuals if you wish.
This is also an opportunity for those who wish to, to dress up for the day and we look forward to seeing Victorian families once again spreading out their blankets and gathering around their picnic, which was a common activity in graveyards at the time.
While you eat you can discover the victuallers, food producers and purveyors of Victorian Berkhamsted who are buried in the Cemetery, brought to life through storytelling and vignettes – the butchers, bakers, brewers and ginger beer producers, the watercress, grape and apple growers and exporters, the fishmongers and grocers.
You can follow your repast by perambulating, particularly graciously if dressed in costume, along Yew Tree Avenue, admiring the fine monument to Mrs Hewson, the collection of Lane memorials or the Foundation Stone attesting to the generosity of the Countess of Bridgewater who donated the land for the ‘new cemetery’. Or undertake your own tour of people in the Berkhamsted food trade using our much more contemporary online database!
Please be sure to book in advance so that we can manage numbers in line with current public health guidelines