Calling the Tune: Four and Twenty Blackbirds

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Tulip Radio went medieval this week, as we talked to Julia Grant, of ‘Four and Twenty Blackbirds’, who specialise in historical food preparation and cooking methods.

Whether it is food from Medieval, Tudor, Elizabethan, Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian times that you’re after, the Grants have done the lot, as they told us all about how they combine authentic methods of food preparation with historically accurate equipment.

4 & 20 Blackbirds have brought their historic food displays and demonstrations to various heritage sites, history events and museums, including Ayscoughfee Hall and Gardens.

Their presentations often come with fully-costumed interpreters and interactive displays, and they have even brought a display of owls and falcons on occasion.

In July 2011 Julia, along with fellow director Jenny Rogers, presented a paper and demonstration on ‘Medieval Food for Modern People’, for the International Medieval Congress at Leeds University.

Julia told us that they have spent over 15 years researching and recreating the past, resulting in the authentic historical dishes they display in their shows.

If you fancy learning more about medieval food and its preparation, or simply enjoy your history, check out the full interview with these medieval maestros on the podcast section of our website, at, and you can also find the latest community news and events there.