The Tavern Cook: Eighteenth-Century Dining through the Recipes of Richard Briggs


ISBN-13: 978-1-909-248-78-6
Publication: 23 March 2023
256 pages; 216 x 135 mm;
large format paperback with flaps;
40 black and white images


Dining in an Eighteenth Century Tavern is the subject of Marc Meltonville’s copious work on the cookery of Richard Briggs. In 1788, Richard Briggs published the ‘English Art of Cookery’ which is, he tells us, ‘A complete guide for all Householders, on a plan entirely new.’ Briggs was for many years the cook at the Globe Tavern, in Fleet Street, London. And in the Eighteenth Century, taverns were not just public houses selling beer; one went to experience fine dining in their restaurants.


  • Introduction by Marc Meltonville
  • A London Tavern near Fleet Street
  • 18th century dining in the Taverns
  • London in the time of Richard Briggs
  • Richard Briggs, Cook.
  • Briggs’ Introduction to The English Art of Cookery.
  • Guide to recipes, instructions, measurements, and times.

Marc Meltonville was a student of ceramics. His early career was in advertising. In 2023/4, the Channel 5 series Secrets of Windsor Castle airs with Marc as presenter.  In 2023 he is also talking on whisky and the ‘Road to Briggs’ (Richard Briggs, the Tavern Cook) in the distillery of George Washington’s family home in Mount Vernon, south of Washington DC, USA.

From 2006 Marc has been an actor/presenter in costume, showing how the Royal Palaces kitchens were used over three centuries. Marc’s career has taken him into the kitchens of the Royal Palaces, Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, Banqueting House in the City of London, and Kew Palace. His aim in life is to bring history to life with pomp, ceremony and the telling of stories, and also to cook for people using methods from the past.


This is not your usual Tavern book.

I work as a historical interpreter in Virginia and have had many opportunities to learn about the cooking and the dishes served on the tables of the elite. Learning about the life of the tavern cook adds to my next level knowledge. Well researched, an excellent read with a bit of humor. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the history of cooking or history in general.

Amazon, by a historical interpreter in Virginia, USA.