Books

I have books. I'm immensely proud of them, and I hope you enjoy them. Please buy responsibly, and choose an independent bookseller.

If you can't get to a physical shop, plenty deliver. Some of my favourites are Toppings, Imagined Things, and Fox Lane, but don't forget Waterstones as well. Or use a library - libraries are fantastic.

For all literary enquiries, please contact Tim Bates at Peters Fraser + Dunlop (tbates@pfd.co.uk)

'Victory in the Kitchen: The Life of Churchill's Cook'

With over 1000 books about Winston Churchill, it seems a tad criminal than very few consider his servants. This biography of his longest-serving cook is the first to look in depth at the life of one of the most crucial members of the Churchillian support team. Ranging from rural Hertfordshire in the 1880s through the high life of the 1930s fast set and into blitz-turn London, it's about 20th century food, Churchill's domestic set up, and the life of an ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances.

Available in hardback, paperback, ebook and audiobook.

Click here to listen to me talk about the book on the Travels Through TIme Podcast

Quotes

“Her life is interesting in its own right. But Gray also uses her as a lens through which to view the changing faces of both dining and domestic service over the course of almost a century...a sumptuous and well-studied biography.”

Alastair Mabbott in The Glasgow Herald

“Deliciously entertaining...”

Constance Craig Smith in The Daily Mail

“That’s just one of the tasty morsels in historian Annie Gray’s enjoyable Victory in the Kitchen: The Life of Churchill’s Cook”

Martin Chiltern in The Independent, naming it as one of six of the biggest books released this month

'The Greedy Queen: Eating with Victoria'

A culinary biography of one of Britain's best-known monarchs, The Greedy Queen looks at what Queen Victoria ate, how it was cooked, and her relationship with food. It delves below stairs, to explore the kitchens and meet her cooks, and it sheds a whole new light on a Queen who loved to eat.

Available in hardback and paperback plus ebook.

Quotes

“Gray writes with great authority, verve and confidence. It's surprising this is her first book”

Paula Byrne, The Times

“Wonderfully researched and entertaining”

Jane Ridley, The Spectator

“Fascinating material, extracted from the archives by some fine forensic reading”

Kathryn Hughes, TLS

“Gray's oeuvre is deeply satisfying...rich in detail...her tone is lively, her pace jaunty”.

Cate Devine, Glasgow Herald

“Had me at the first sentence”

Nigel Slater

“Zingy, fresh, and unexpected: Annie Gray, the queen of food historians, finds her perfect subject. A book to devour.”

Lucy Worsley

“Annie Gray is a brilliant writer and scholar who brings a glorious combination of enthusiasm and greed to every subject she tackles. In the field of food history she leads the pack.”

Jay Rayner

At Christmas We Feast: Festive Food Through The Ages

For many people Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a turkey and trimmings, pudding and brandy butter. But where do our traditions come from - and when modern writers 'reinvent' the Christmas meal, are they really doing anything so very different?

This book is a delectable trip through time, from the earliest mentions of gluttonous meals at Christmas to the trappings and traditions of the present day. Tracing the birth of the twelve-day celebration under Edward I to the restoration of holiday splendour under Victoria, At Christmas We Feast is organised by festive dish, as well as by time period, and features some of my favourite festive recipes alongside vibrant cultural and historical context. (Expect a lot of booze, cake, and yes, a massive slab of pig).

From the familiarity of plum pudding and mince pies to the extravagance of boar's head and brawn, At Christmas We Feast is stuffed full of recipes, doused with history and tradition, and sprinkled with the joy of the feasts of Christmas past.

Available in hardback from November 4th 2021

Look out for bookshop events near you - see the speaking tab for more details.

The Kitchen Cabinet: A Year of Recipes, Flavours, Facts & Stories for Food Lovers

The first OFFICIAL book of the show! (I don't think there are any unofficial ones, but it still feels momentous).

The official The Kitchen Cabinet compendium is here at last, with over 100 hours of dinner table talk distilled into this handy almanac, a year in the life of our kitchens to aid you in yours.

Open up to find food tips and tricks, stories, recipes, anecdotes and seasonal fun, all held together with our trademark titbits of history, science and often rather lively debate. Join us as we travel across the country, ready to respond to all your culinary conundrums - as well as sharing lots of things you never even thought to ask.

Foreword by Jay Rayner, brilliance by the panel, wordsmithing by me.

Available in hardback from September 30th

'The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook'

Published to coincide with the Downton Abbey film, this cookbook combines history with recipes as well as Downton-specific content. All the recipes are taken from books published between 1875 and 1930, and there are essays on various topics to boot.

Available in hardback now.

Quotes

“Gray’s thoughtful and informed prose elevates it from mere tie-in to a truly useful work of culinary history.”

From Publishers' Weekly

“Gray’s humor and historical notes about customs make the book.”

From The Mercury News

“A must-have for fans of the show as well as Anglophiles, history buffs, and foodies everywhere.”

From marthastewart.com

“The sumptuous photography in this book will hopefully allay any concerns about tackling the food from our past. I have to agree with Gray and say that anything that gets people into history, and more particularly food history, is fantastic and I think this book does this very well.”

From Sam Bilton (Comfortably Hungry blog).

How to Cook the Victorian Way with Mrs Crocombe

Learn to cook the Victorian Way with Mrs Avis Crocombe, head cook at Audley End in the 1880s and now – as played by Kathy Hipperson – an international YouTube star (and all-round brilliant person). From cucumber ice cream to curried eggs and from brain cakes to brown bread biscuits, discover the history behind the dishes and treat yourself to a delicious taste of the past.

This book brings together Avis’s very own recipes and other favourites from the time – all specially adapted for modern cooks and modern kitchens.

Along with practical recipes and insights into the culinary world of the Victorians, you’ll find a vivid history of Avis’s life and times, and – for the first time – the full manuscript of Avis’s own handwritten recipe book.

Co-written with Andrew Hann. Available in hardback.

This is a tie-in with the stupidly successful YouTube channel - videos of Kathy in role and behind the scenes content is all here.

Available in hardback now.

Food for Thought

A delicious anthology of classic food writing to satisfy every palate, this gorgeous book will delight food lovers everywhere.

Part of the Macmillan Collector’s Library; a series of stunning pocket size classics. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition is edited and introduced by me - so there are a lot of the extracts from things I most love - including the orange, which is one of my all-time favourite Edwardian rants.

From ancient times to today’s celebrity chefs, people have always been inspired to write about food. In this delectable collection you'll find an array of material to entertain and inspire. The variety is impressive – from lavish feasts in classical times to street food of pea soup and eels in 19th century London, and from how to find food on a desert island to meat free meals by Agnes Jekyll. Brimming with satire on Victorian etiquette, intriguing recipes through the centuries and culinary advice from cooks and hosts, there is so much here to enjoy.

Available in pocket-sized hardback.

'From the Alps to the Dales' – 100 years of Bettys

The story of a British icon, this book charts the people who made Bettys into the lovely place it is today. It also tells how Bettys became Bettys and Taylors, the company behind Yorkshire Tea, and along the way sheds light on the changing British high street, and the food trends of the 20th century.

Click here to see me talking about what it was like writing the book (spoiler: I loved it).

Only available in hardback through Bettys by Post.

Buy Here

Quotes

“This is a superb 328-page, bound hardcover, with both black and white, and colour illustrations, excellently written by Annie Gray. What perhaps impresses me the most about this book is the sheer amount of documented facts which have been collected and archived by Betty's over the years. Very few businesses are so careful to preserve their history in such detail. This makes for compelling reading, and it wouldn't surprise me if this information is a requirement for all trainee staff to read and learn, judging by the impeccable standards they maintain in a world which otherwise seems to have forgotten about attention to detail.”

From Facebook

“We loved every minute of working with Annie. She produced a delightful and delicious story of our 100-year history, that’s much-loved by staff and customers alike.”

Katy Squire at Bettys