Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Robshaws return

Back In Time For Dinner was one of my favourite things on telly in recent years. In case you missed it, it featured a family, the Robshaws, who ate typical British food from 1950 onwards, advancing one year per day*. They started with the tail-end of wartime rationing, and the final "historical" decade they visited was the 1990s. (I put historical in quotes there as I was an adult in the 1990s and still can't quite believe how long ago it really was... in the 1980s I was always baffled by how my mum and her friends were still mad about the 1960s, but it was only as far ago then as the 90s is now.) Anyway, to return to the Robshaws, they're going back – and they're going even further.


The time frame covered this time will be from the 1900s to the 1940s, so sure to gladden many a vintage lover's heart. One of the things that stood out in the first series was the way the house and kitchen were decorated and equipped to be period-appropriate. I doubt there will be as many 'I remember those!' moments when watching the new series, but there may well be a few 'I wish I had one of those' occasions. I've got some soup bowls that don't look dissimilar from the red-and-white china they're using in the photo above (charity shopped, of course).

The family appear to be living a fairly wealthy lifestyle as they'll be joined by a maid-of-all-work, Debbie Raw, who's a part-time chef in the 21st century but will handle the Robshaws' cooking and cleaning in the programme. I predict she'll end up going off to the factories in the First World War, leaving Rochelle and her daughters to fend for themselves. (To be fair to the family, they're not quitters, and gave it a really good go in the first series, even when the kids got cold liver for tea in the early 1950s.) Footage on the trailer shows the family working on what looks like an Anderson shelter later on, so they'll probably be digging for victory by the time they reach the 1940s.

Will the Robshaws cope with huge Edwardian portions? Will they have to drink ridiculous amounts of cocktails in the 1920s? Will rationing prove their undoing? Can Rochelle use a tin-opener yet? It starts on Tuesday, 9pm, on BBC2, so we don't have to wait very long to find out.



*I did a couple of posts about the first series, one covering the 1950s episode, and a look back over the whole series.

20 comments :

  1. I really enjoyed the previous series, too and am looking forward to this one!

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    1. I was glad to see the same family coming back. They have such a fab attitude.

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  2. Good, they're back - I'll look forward to this! I watched a programme years ago where a family lived a working class turn of the century lifestyle, it was very hard for the women in particular, home-made sanitary items and no proper shampoo.

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    1. That was the 1900 House, wasn't it? I don't think the Robshaws have to go all out, but they do have to eat the food.

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  3. I love this show. Watched the Robshaws Christmas ones the other month here in Australia.
    And please let Rochelle master the use of a can-opener LOL

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    1. She didn't have to cook a thing in the first episode - though it was interesting seeing how the whole family felt really awkward about having a maid.

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  4. I wish this would be released on DVD here-I'd love to watch it. We've had similar shows that had people living immersed in the Colonial era, etc. but it wasn't exclusively focused on how they ate. It sounds fascinating.

    I grew up eating cold liver, and it wasn't in pate form. It was far from the worst thing we ate. The women in my family were still cooking like it was wartime into the 60's and 70's.

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    1. I saw one US colonial show on UK telly. They were really hardcore, and even had to build their own cabins. My main memory is that one man found it so much to his liking, he stayed on after the series ended.

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  5. I have a few pieces of that raspberry red transfer-ware china that has of Scottish castles on it!
    My knowledge of Edwardian food-
    Canned food = expensive luxury
    boiled or deviled everything
    Breakfast: Meat Meat Meat Eggs Fish Meat Offal Meat
    Lunch- More Meat Meat Fish or Shellfish Cream-or cheese-sauced carb dish Meat Meat Dessert
    Tea- Cake Cake Cake Scones Bread Cake Sugar Cake Cake
    Dinner- Meat Meat Meat Some Jellified Thing Cheese

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    1. Heheheh - the first day they were horrified by the amount of meat they were being given. There were even meat chops for breakfast.

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  6. Thanks for the tip, Mim. We do get BBC here, and I've no idea how I managed to miss Back in Time for Dinner ... There's a show on TV here right now, loosely based on Back in Time for the Weekend, with each episode seeing a celeb and his/her family going back to the year when they were 12. I massively enjoyed the ones set in the 1970s, but there was one set in 1993, and I was really surprised how long ago it all seemed ... xxx

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    1. Oh, that programme must be fascinating. I'm sure there's loads of small details they won't have remembered - I know I can't remember masses about 1986. It must be a real eye-opener.

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    2. As luck would have it, last week's episode of that show was set in 1986! xxx

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  7. Ooo, I have to watch this! I didn't know it was coming back on, so thanks for the heads up. xx

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    1. It's going to be a series for you - the 1920s and 1930s should be fascinating.

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    2. I absolutely loved last week's, it was so interesting. I'm really looking forward to tonight's now.

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  8. Well as usual I won't have seen this but I do have a fondness for vintage cookbooks. I had one from my paternal granny and some of the recipes were crazy, using vast amounts of eggs and butter, like 18 eggs in one pudding. She was a cook in service in a big house in the borders when she was young though so maybe they were meant for a lot of people. Xx

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    1. That's a LOT of eggs - I have a tarte au citron recipe that uses nearly as many, but it's a big ol' tart. She must have been cooking for a whole Big House.

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  9. I recorded this, but didn't even get to the actual programme, I just saw the highlights at the start, saw far too much meat and furless animal shapes and deleted it 😩

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    1. Yeah, the 1910s diet was packed full of meat. They had calf's head at one point, so deffo not your sort of thing.

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