SS Great Britain launches ‘Dishes of Discovery’ this summer

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SS Great Britain launches 'Dishes of Discovery' this summer - Bristol Bites


Brunel’s SS Great Britain is inviting visitors to ‘Taste the World’ this summer, with the launch of its ‘Dishes of Discovery’ on July 23rd.

Running until September 4th, the event offers guests the chance to sample a selection of delicacies, each inspired by Victorian voyages to destinations the ship visited in the 18th Century. They include recipes from Mumbai, Cape Town and Crimea – demonstrating how the SS Great Britain connected places and people around the world.

Bristol-based social enterprise, Travelling Kitchen, worked with the ship’s archivists to explore historic recipes from around the world before creating their dishes. These include a zingy melon and ginger jam from Cape Town, traditional borsch from Crimea, and a tropical green coriander and coconut chutney from Mumbai. They’re typical of the dishes that passengers would have encountered as they disembarked at these destinations.

Joanna Mathers, Head of Collections at SS Great Britain, says: “We have made some fascinating discoveries as part of this project. One of the dishes – the green coriander and coconut chutney – was inspired by Samuel Archer, the ship’s surgeon on a voyage to Mumbai in 1857. We have access to his diary, which describes the food he experienced and this process gives visitors to the ship a chance to step back in time to the days before mass travel. These flavours would’ve been brand new and exotic, and for many, their first time encountering the likes of coconut, ginger and melon.”

Sarah Francis, Founder at Travelling Kitchen, adds: “Food is something that everyone can relate to and one of Travelling Kitchen’s aims is to use food and cooking to celebrate the diversity of the history and culture around us. It has therefore been fantastic to work with SS Great Britain on this project, exploring the food that travellers on the SS Great Britain may have experienced in the ports she docked in. Researching traveller accounts and cookery books of the time has been fascinating. We have tested and tried these, sometimes adapting to reflect availability of ingredients and modern tastes but hopefully still giving visitors to the ship this summer a taste of the past and SS Great Britain’s journey around the world.”

Dishes of Discovery is included in the regular ticket price, for tickets booked for between July 23rd and September 4th. Tickets can be purchased via the SS Great Britain website.


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