Victorians at Play: Eat, Drink and be Temperate

Ref: C2346991

Alcohol featured largely in Victorian leisure activities - as well as being widely recommended to 'invigorate' or 'restore during illness, and safer to drink than untreated water. The public house was at the heart of many working class communities. Often converted from small houses, they offered a warm, well-lit and sociable refuge from overcrowded homes, albeit not a place for respectable unaccompanied women to be seen. New purpose-built pubs provided for an internal separation of different social classes, reflecting the divide that existed in other aspects of Victorian life - including the beverages they drank. However, many concerns were raised about the availability of drink, the social vices for which it was said to be responsible, and how to deal with them. This lecture will consider all these aspects in more detail, along with the growing popularity of cafes and eating houses as alternatives to the pub - and as a leisure activity in themselves.

Course aim

This lecture will focus on the role of alcohol in Victorian leisure, along with concerns raised by drunkenness, and efforts to persuade people to abstain. We will also consider the growing popularity of cafes and eating houses as a leisure activity.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explain why alcohol came to be regarded as a social evil during the Victorian period.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

Your lecture will be delivered in a ‘traditional’ talk-to-camera style, but there will be opportunities to ask questions and engage in discussion at the end. Slide-show images will be used to illustrate key points, and a short summary of the lecture will be posted to Canvas soon after the event.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Victorians at Play: Eat, Drink and be Temperate


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing