By Liza Picard
Last updated 2011-02-17
4th April 1663 'We had a fricassee of rabbits and chicken, a leg of mutton boiled, three carps in a dish, a great dish of a side of lamb, a dish of roasted pigeons, a dish of four lobsters, three tarts, a most rare lamprey pie, - a dish of anchovies - good wine of several sorts; and all things mighty noble and to my great content.'
This was one of the feasts Samuel Pepys threw to celebrate his survival from being cut for the stone. But it was typical in the amount of protein and the absence of vegetables (this may have caused some of the century's bladder stones). Dinner was at midday. It was usual to cover the table with fish and meat and sweet pies, and then 'remove' them and start again with the same mixture. Afterwards, sweetmeats and fruit were served elsewhere, perhaps in the garden or a separate 'banqueting house'. After that lot, you could survive on a simple supper. Breakfast hardly existed for most people. Weak beer was the usual drink. Samuel Pepys may have been networking over his breakfast of wine, oysters and anchovies. He did complain of indigestion.
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