Eating outside the home off the ration: Municipal ‘British Restaurants’ in World War 2 and beyond

Friday 10 September 2021

11am to 12pm

Heritage Open Day online event with British Sign Language live interpretation.

Take part in a unique opportunity to hear Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan discuss the fascinating history of the wartime municipal British Restaurants. Often people’s first experience of eating out away from home, hear how Portsmouth’s seventeen British Restaurants supplied 40,000 meals per week at their peak. Discover how women from various backgrounds came together to feed the public – from those whose homes had been destroyed in Portsmouth’s blitz to people helping to clear the debris and workers in the docks and other industries that were so critical to Britain’s wartime effort.

With a focus on the Victoria Park restaurant, in the heart of Portsmouth, we will uncover the local history of this immense enterprise that democratised eating out and sowed the seeds of the modern ‘take away’ in post war Britain.

Deborah is Professor of Design History at the University of Portsmouth and author of Ideal Homes: Uncovering the Design and History of the Interwar Home (Manchester University Press) Deborah is a presenter and series consultant for BBC Two’s A House Through Time. She is joined by James Daly of Portsmouth Museum Service, Felicity Wood from the D-Day Story Portsmouth and Jackie Collins from the exciting project to regenerate Portsmouth’s Victoria Park.

Book your free ticket here: British Restaurants tickets

For more information on Heritage Open Days click here: Heritage Open Days website.

Photograph of British Restaurant: Copyright The News, Portsmouth.

A photograph of Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan in a 1940s kitchen.
Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan