To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s first folio, we hosted our first ever event to feature a dazzling and delicious evening of mixing up cocktails.

We were delighted to invite Gerit Quealy to talk about her latest publication, Botanical Shakespeare, which gave an insight into the Bard’s relationship to the plants mentioned in his works. Intertwining this knowledge of botany and philosophy in the unparalleled magic of his plays, Shakespeare often made connections between his characters emotions and natural phenomena surrounding the scene. ‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,’ a famous line from the tragedy of the star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, and which inspired one of the cocktails on offer – which was just as sweet as the sentiment, including dried rose petals and rosemary-infused rum.

The second cocktail was an innovative take on Troilus and Cressida and its ingredients were inspired by references in the play to almonds, dates and blackberries. This was a truly enjoyable take on the rich heritage of feasting and agriculture in the UK, and which reflected on the symbolisms of the various fruits, herbs, and spices that Shakespeare and his audience would have been party to eating and sharing.

There are lots of incredible talks and workshops coming up in the autumn/winter Adult Learning programme.

Learn more about what's coming up