I was honoured to be asked to create an Elizabethan sugar banquet for The BBC. The banquet featured in one of a two-part series Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family.
Sugar was hugely expensive in Tudor times and considered an expensive luxury and was very much a statement of nobility, wealth, and power.
A high-status commodity being more expensive than honey was used to showcase elaborate dishes and combined with almonds made into a paste called Marchpane (marzipan is the modern version). This was coloured and moulded to emulate savoury dishes like our bacon & eggs shown in my photographs.
Tables were laid out with miniature parterre gardens an abundance of fruit, biscuits, milk jellies preserves and many other delicacies many gilded with gold leaf. The banquet would always have a huge carved sugar centrepiece from pastillage replicating a pillared manor house for our banquet producers used a swan.
I must note we did this in the height of summer so not only did the Dyers feast, but the wasps had huge treat, there were hundreds!!!