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The Sugar Banquet at Ham House

In the 16th and 17th centuries the sugar banquet took place after the feast, and it was a course of sweetmeats for only the highest status guests.

The wealthiest houses had a dedicated banqueting house in the garden, or even on the rooftop with a view.

Very expensive sugar and spices were used by the lady of the house to make preserved and candied fruits, jellies and creams, gilded marchpanes, coloured tarts, iced macaroons, biscuits and comfits, perfumed with rosewater and aphrodisiac musk.

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