The South Farthing Coffeehouse

The South Farthing Coffeehouse is located on Cornhill, London. The year is 1779. It was created for role-playing purposes for Panhistoria

Coffee is, of course, the reason for our existence. As Johann Sebastian Bach (1735 - 1782) has said in his Coffee Cantata, "Ah! How sweet coffee tastes! Lovelier than a thousand kisses, sweeter far than muscatel wine!". The first British coffeehouse opened in Oxford in 1650. The first coffeehouse opened in London in 1652. As you know, coffee is not sold outside of coffeehouses.

Our coffeehouse, like many others in London, offers more than just coffee and newspapers. The South Farthing Coffeehouse is well-equipped to meet all your social dining needs. As such it is a popular alternative to taverns and other social dining locations. We offer private booths, tables, and well-dressed waiters. We also offer a fine variety of newspapers and books for your reading pleasure. Books from Ibid's Books are available for purchase. We also have special events, such as auctions of paintings, drawings, books, and rarities.


Coffee drinks

We have coffee made from the Turkish berry from the Levant and Mocha coffee from the East India Company [from Al Mukha in southern Arabia/Yemen]. Or choose Milk coffee with milk. Coffee can also be served with sugar. Our coffee is made with the finest river water from the Thames.


Black Teas

Black Pekoe (a strong tea)
Bohea Tea (a strong black tea, this is by far the most popular. It is a mix of orange pekoe, pekoe, and souchong.)
Congou Tea (another strong black tea, this is the highest quality black tea)
Congou Kind (mixed Bohea and Congou tea)
Souchong (the largest leaf tea, it is a lighter tea with less caffeine, it is smoked like other black teas and has a strong, smoky flavor)

Green Teas

Hyson Tea (a lighter, green tea, our Young Hyson Tea comes from the first picking before the monsoon rains)
Hyson and Souchong Tea (a mixed tea with a pleasant taste that mixes green tea with a black tea)
Gunpowder Tea (a strong, green tea made from Singlo tea rolled into pellets and cured)
Singlo Tea (made from large leaves from a later picking and cured


Churchman’s hot chocolate (a rich, thick drink mixed with milk and sugar)
Wine Chocolate (sugar chocolate, sherry or red port, flour, etc in a thick, rich, drink, from a 1711 recipe)


Perry (pear cider)

Syllabubs (alcoholic creams made with wine and warm milk, popular since the 16th century)

Raspberry Cream Syllabub (a drink with wine, cream, and eggs)
Whipt Cream Syllabub (made with wine, Seville oranges, orange-flower water, and warm milk or cream)

Other Drinks

Dr. Schweppe’s mineral water
Metheglin (an alcoholic honey drink)
Punch (Brandy and citrus fruit juice)

Accompaniments for your drinks:


Butter Biscuits
French Bread (our French Bread is an English attempt to replicate the enriched white breads of France, like brioche. Our recipe comes from an 18th century cookbook)
Scones - Cheese, Chive, Herb (tarragon, parsley, and oregano), Treacle (molasses) or Plain
Toast with Nettles and Dandelions and Melted Butter

Porridges and Soups

Frumenty (course cream of wheat)
Lamb Soup (with potatoes, carrots, onions, parsley, summer savory, sweet marjoram, and eggs)
Marigolds in Porridge
Pea Soup (with spinach, sorrel, cabbage, lettuce, chervil, endive, and mint, a thick, vivid green soup from a 1600s recipe)

Vegetable Dishes

Farced Mushrooms (Mushrooms farced or stuffed with veal, bacon, beef marrow, french rolls, and seasonings) Mashed Parsnips with butter and cream
Potatoes fried in white wine

Meat Pies and Meat Dishes

Beef Olives (seasoned beef and bacon rolled up)
Lamb Pie (with damsons, gooseberries, citron, lemon chips, and butter, a Mrs. Eliza Smith recipe)
Mermaid Pie (we make ours the old fashioned way, with layers of suckling pig [ie land] and eel [sea] in a pie. You may be more familiar with a pie that replaces the eel with neat's [calf's] tongue)
Minced Pie of Beef (chopped beef with apples, beef suet, cider, mace, cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, and raisins)
Mumbled Rabbit (stuffed with parsley, onion, and liver, boiled, flaked, and then cooked in white wine, butter, and nutmeg and served on snippets, a Mrs. Eliza Smith recipe)
Petit Patties (small birds stewed in chestnut soup)
Pigeons Transmorgified (boiled pigeons in puff pastry)
Scalloped Oysters (oysters and bread basted in butter, a 1760 recipe)
Venison Pasty (a Charles Carter recipe)


Bean or Bane Bread (These are rosewater-flavored almond cookies with caraway and coriander comfits, oranges, and citron peel. They may once have been associated with the banns or announcing a marrige)
Candied Flowers - Marigolds, Roses, Borrage, and Rosemary
Cheese - Sage
Creams - Pistachio or Quince (Quinces eaten at the end of the meal are said to aid digestion)
Custards - Apricot (1758 recipe) or Gooseberry (1600s recipe)
Flummery - Blueberry or Cherry (layers of fruit and buttered bread slices baked together and served with cream)
Fools - Raspberry (a chilled fruit, bread pudding, and heavy cream dessert)
Ices - Parmesan Cheese Ice Cream (this comes from the French fromage glace or frozen cheese. It is so good that I suspect that in 1789 someone else will come up with the idea and publish it in an English cookbook. We make ours the old French way, molded like a wedge of cheese and given a rind made out of caramelized sugar).
Pasties - Almond, Chestnut, or Filberts mixed with rosewater and fried in a pasty
Pastries - Pig-shaped pastries with bellies and eyes made out of currants
Puddings - Batter Custard, Cream Almond, or Quince
Satin Biscuits or White Biscuit Bread (meringue, from a 1677 cookbook)
Stewed Fruit - Figs, Grapes, and Peaches
Tansies - Apple (apple pudding flavored with tansy)
Tarts - Apricot or Gooseberry
Torts - Prunella (an old name for prunes) or imported Tamarind (a Charles Carter recipe)
Trifle (a layered dessert made from Naples biscuits [dried sponge biscuit], macaroons, and ratafia cakes [bitter almond cookies] soaked in custard and covered with a syllabub, a Hannah Glasse recipe from 1751) [In Shakespeare's time trifles were thickened cream flavored with rosewater or spices. They later became layered desserts.]
White Pot - (made from cream, seasonings, and fine bread) [it is the ancestor of bread and butter puddings]


British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History, by Colin Spencer, New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.

Daily Life in 18th Century England

Cooking in America 1590 - 1840, Trudy Eden, Greenwood Press, 2006.

Cooking in Europe 1650 - 1850, Ivan Day, Greenwood Press, 2009.

Food in Colonial and Federal America

History from the Hearth: A Colonial Michilimackinac Cookbook, Sally Eustice, Mackinac State Historic Parks, 1997, 2010.

Some Thoughts on the China, Tea, and Coffee Trade in the American Colonies During the Colonial Period, Lee Hardluck Humphrey.

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Created August 13, 2011
Updated October 20, 2012