Maidstone care home dines through the decades with special guest

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Residents at a care home in Maidstone welcomed a special guest for a trip down memory lane.

Care UK’s Invicta Court, on Gidd’s Pond Way, were joined virtually by BBC food historian, Dr Polly Russell, from Back in Time for… for a live interactive food tasting session designed to transport residents back to their younger years.

Maidstone care home dines through the decades with special guestPartnering with Care UK for the Food for Thought initiative, which sees care homes across the country celebrate their favourite foods throughout the decades, Dr Polly has worked alongside Care UK chefs to create a unique reminiscence tasting menu. The menu features iconic foods from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s and is designed to be used a sensory tool to encourage reminiscence in older people.

As part of the event, the home’s talented chef, William Carpenter, prepared an array of bitesize delights from the menu, including kedgeree, prawn cocktail and black forest gateau. Dr Polly talked through each dish’s history and encouraged residents to share their associated memories with her and each other, while they enjoyed the food.

Maidstone care home dines through the decades with special guestGetting into the spirit of the initiative, Invicta Court also organised a 1970s themed dinner party, with residents designing a menu inspired by the meals they had cooked for dinner parties in their past. The special meal was then recreated by the home’s chef, and included prawns wrapped in smoked salmon, quiche Lorraine and lemon meringue pie. The team, who dressed up in outfits from the era, also compiled a 70s playlist, and displayed records donated from friends of the home, and newspapers from the decade, which encouraged residents to share memories.

Dr Polly said: “I was delighted to partner with Care UK to create a reminiscence tasting menu, and I had a fantastic time chatting to residents about some of their favourite foods throughout the ages.

“There really is something incredibly special about the way food can evoke memories and emotions, and it was wonderful to see how everyone’s faces light up when they tried each dish. Just one flavour or smell can prompt a different memory and emotion for each individual, which is why a session like this can be so powerful.

Jacqui Pompeus, Home Manager at Invicta Court, added: “We loved meeting Dr Polly virtually, and taking part in the sensory reminiscence activity.

“Here at Invicta Court, we believe in the power of activity-based care, and we’re always looking for new and exciting experiences to promote wellbeing. Reminiscence activities can be extremely beneficial for older people, particularly those living with dementia, as long-term memory typically remains stronger than the short-term. Drawing on strong memories helps to boost confidence and provides an opportunity to re-live happy times, which can prompt conversation and evoke the associated emotions.

“Everyone had a great time dining through the decades and it was wonderful to hear residents share their memories during the session.”

The new care home offers a full range of older people’s care services in hotel-style surroundings, including a café, hair and beauty salon, bar and cinema. The highly trained, professional team delivers permanent and short-term nursing and residential care, as well as specialist dementia care.

For more information on Invicta Court please call Customer Relations Manager, Jaime Jukes on 01622 807994, or email

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

Open to new residents

Gidd's Pond Way, Weavering - Maidstone, Kent, ME14 5FY

Invicta Court

Invicta Court

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

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