Contrary to popular belief, eating out and buying ready-made meals have been a fundamental part of London life for hundreds of years. In the past, many Londoners had limited or no cooking facilities in their homes and had to rely on taverns, cookshops, stalls and street sellers for their sustenance; others chose to eat out for convenience and pleasure. A chronological narrative forms the backbone of this study. For each 100-year period a series of questions are posed, such as: what did Londoners eat and drink?; what did this cost?; and where did they eat? Further questions appropriate to each period are addressed, drawing on the evidence. Food and the pleasure of eating are integral to the story.
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