Eating outside the home off the ration: Municipal ‘British Restaurants’ in World War 2 and beyond, Heritage Open Day, The D-Day Story

  • Sugg Ryan, D. (Speaker)
  • James Daly (Speaker)
  • Felicity Wood (Speaker)
  • Jackie Collins (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Description of Activity

Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan discussed the fascinating history of the wartime municipal British Restaurants. Often people’s first experience of eating out away from home, Portsmouth’s seventeen British Restaurants supplied 40,000 meals per week at their peak. She discussed how women from various backgrounds came together to feed the public – from those whose homes had been destroyed in Portsmouth’s blitz to people helping to clear the debris and workers in the docks and other industries that were so critical to Britain’s wartime effort.

With a focus on the Victoria Park restaurant, in the heart of Portsmouth, Deborah uncovered the local history of this immense enterprise that democratised eating out and sowed the seeds of the modern ‘take away’ in post war Britain.

Deborah was joined by James Daly of Portsmouth Museum Service, Felicity Wood from the D-Day Story Portsmouth and Jackie Collins from the exciting project to regenerate Portsmouth’s Victoria Park.
Period10 Sept 2021
Held atThe D-Day Story, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • restaurants
  • food history
  • social eating
  • communal eating
  • local history
  • world war 2