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Dining through the decades – Kingston Vale care home takes a trip down memory lane

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Residents at a care home in Kingston Vale have taken a trip down memory lane as part of a nationwide initiative to rediscover their favourite foods from the past.

The team at Care UK’s Sherwood Grange, on Robin Hood Lane, hosted their own dinner parties through the decades which aimed to rediscover residents’ favourite foods from their younger years. Each floor of residents got to opt for their preferred decade, and the chef prepared popular dishes from that era.

Dining through the decades – Kingston Vale care home takes a trip down memory laneThe ground floor selected the 1960s and were served prawn cocktail, vol-au-vents, devilled eggs and pineapple upside down cake, as well as enjoying 60s playlist that got everyone’s feet tapping. The second floor chose the 1980s, and residents were treated to foods like quiche, scotch eggs, sausage rolls and Viennetta and enjoyed dressing up in 80s style clothing while listening to an 80s playlist.  

Both groups also took part in reminiscence activities where they discussed their favourite foods from their childhoods. The home team also created reminiscence boards with a collage of famous faces and events from the chosen decade which prompted lively discussions.

The ‘Food for Thought’ initiative sees Care UK homes across the country take part in activities which encourage memory sharing and the use of food as a tool for reminiscence.

Rick Mayne, Home Manager at Sherwood Grange, said: “We had a wonderful time dining through the decades and reminiscing about our favourite foods from the past.

“Reminiscence activities have many positive effects for older people, particularly those living with dementia. Re-connecting with the past can improve mood, encourage communication and provide a topic and stimulus for residents to engage with.

“Everyone had a fantastic time chatting about their favourite foods, and it was wonderful to hear about everyone’s fond memories of the 1960s and 1980s.

As part of the project, Care UK has also teamed up with BBC’s Back in Time for… presenter and historian, Dr Polly Russell, to create a special tasting menu for residents to enjoy. Designed to be used as a sensory tool to encourage reminiscence in older people, the menu features iconic foods from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, and has been used as part of an interactive storytelling session, hosted by Dr Polly, to encourage reminiscence.

Dr Polly commented: “I am delighted to have partnered with Care UK for this project. There really is something incredibly special about the way food can evoke memories and emotions. Just one flavour or smell can prompt a different memory and emotion for each individual, which is why food can be such a powerful tool for memory recall.”

Sherwood Grange is a state-of-the-art care home which provides full-time residential and dementia care, as well as short-term respite care. Designed to enable residents to live enjoyable and fulfilling lives, the care home has its very own cinema and hair salon, and there is plenty of space, both indoors and out, for relaxation and recreation.

To find out more about Sherwood Grange please contact Customer Relations Manager, Tracey Fountain, at or call 020 4502 8956.

To find out more about Care UK’s partnership with Dr Polly Russell, and for more top tips on how you and your loved ones can get involved at home, visit

If you’re looking for more information about nutrition for older people, download our guide to ‘Eating as we age’ here:

Open to new residents

1a Robin Hood Lane, Kingston Vale, Greater London, SW15 3PU

Sherwood Grange

CQC Rating: Outstanding
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Day club

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