Here at Sydney Living Museums we love our food!

Sydney Living Museums' Food is a flavourful feast of stories about food and cooking. We invite you to step inside our kitchens, peek into our pantries, sit at our tables, leaf through our cookbooks, cook from our recipes and forage in our gardens to discover some fascinating food facts, revive some lost arts with ‘how to’ videos and taste forgotten flavours with recipes you can make at home. 

Eat with us! Come along to our seasonal artisan and harvest markets and Colonial Gastronomy programs or dine in our cafes, restaurants or tearooms in our heritage properties. Try some of our heirloom recipes from The Cook and the Curator blog and relish our new book, Eat your history, stories and recipes from Australian tables.  



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The Cook and the Curator

Man holding basket with woman in front of sandstone structure.
Scott Hill and Jacqui Newling at the well, Vaucluse House. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

The Cook and the Curator, brought to you by Sydney Living Museums (SLM), invites you to explore our food heritage. Each month we visit one of our extraordinary properties, introduce you to its past residents and look at what, where and how they ate. Comb through old cookery books, decipher handwritten recipes, experiment with heirloom produce, rediscover lost culinary arts, and enjoy family stories. We also show you how to blend exotic spices, whip up apple snow, make gelatine from calves’ feet (if you dare!) and lay the perfect Regency table – and this is just a portion of what’s on our menu.

Go to the blog.



All a-buzz with honey from the kitchen garden

The Cook and the Curator

All a-buzz with honey from the kitchen gardenThursday 20 October 2016

The lotus position

The Cook and the Curator

The lotus positionThursday 13 October 2016

Cloaked in mystery: nutmeg and mace

The Cook and the Curator

Cloaked in mystery: nutmeg and maceThursday 6 October 2016

‘Let them see how like England we can be’

The Cook and the Curator

‘Let them see how like England we can be’Thursday 29 September 2016

‘Gather in to grace our feast’

The Cook and the Curator

‘Gather in to grace our feast’Saturday 24 September 2016

Colonial Gastronomy

Woman in kitchen with produce and cooking implements.
Jacqui Newling, colonial gastronomer and author. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Colonial Gastronomy is a series of food-based programs presented by our resident gastronomer Jacqui Newling held every few months at our historic house museums. Inspired by letters, manuscript recipes, cookbooks and menus from our collections, the properties themselves or their locale, these fascinating programs are designed to revive lost arts or rediscover forgotten flavours, ingredients and culinary concepts by exploring our places. They range from ‘talk, tour and taste’ experiences or hands-on workshops to masterclasses with artisan producers and more elaborate catered dining events. They have included butchery and cheese-making classes, pickling, preserving and cordial making, Christmas plum pudding workshops and recreating colonial breakfasts and dinner menus.    

Featured Videos


Related stories

Girl and boy chopping vegetables in the kitchen, Vaucluse House. Photograph © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Foraged from the history books of our houses these recipes are sure to delight the young mind.

Related news

Hands tearing up a loaf of bread

Colonial Gastronomy

Colonial Gastronomy: BreadTuesday 3 May 2016

Join colonial gastronomer Jacqui Newling and special guest presenter, artisan bread-maker Nonie Dwyer on 12 June to learn the principles of traditional bread making.

Image of a plate of golden coloured anzac biscuits

The Cook and the Curator

Anzacs in civviesThursday 21 April 2016

The classic 'Meroogal sponge' cake

New online

The classic Meroogal sponge cakeThursday 10 March 2016

Small table, covered with white tablecloth, on verandah, with tea tray holding two tea cups, teapot, sugar bowl, milk jug and biscuits,


Roll up, roll up to Meroogal and the Nowra ShowFriday 29 January 2016

The annual Nowra Show is on next week, and we’re celebrating at Meroogal, which is just across the road!

Cover of Eat your history cook book. Picture of food on a table with fire in the background.


Eating our history [Late Night Live]Friday 4 December 2015

Listen to Radio National presenter, Phillip Adams talking to Jacqui Newling about her new book, 'Eat Your History'.