Have you ever enjoyed a meal that returns you to a fond childhood memory? Studies suggest there is strong connection between your senses, emotion and memory – conjure the image of Anton Ego, the villainous food critic in the film Ratatouille, who is converted to Remi’s cooking by a memory of his mum’s ratatouille.


We have gathered retro starters, mains, desserts and drinks that will send you down memory lane. From the runny yolk when you cut into a perfectly cooked scotch egg, to a chocolate sponge cake drowning in thick, chocolatey custard – you are about to be transported to the past.

Instagram’s food trends have brought back many dishes from the past. Discover our round-up of the best school dinner puddings and best retro recipes. And are you considering throwing a party this year to celebrate the coronation? Why not try some of our retro entertaining ideas, like our coronation recipes, retro party recipes or retro dessert recipes.


1. Devilled eggs

Devilled eggs on a plate topped with chives

Finger foods came into vogue in the 1970s, and devilled eggs are a great example. Our classic devilled eggs contain mustard, spring onions, mayonnaise, yogurt and a pinch of cayenne. Top with chives, and they’re ready to serve in under 30 minutes.

Discover more finger food recipes.

2. Easy coronation chicken

Coronation chicken on a bed of salad

Coronation chicken was invented in 1953 by Le Cordon Bleu cookery school for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. It's made by mixing mayonnaise, curry powder, cinnamon, sultanas, black pepper and shredded chicken. It goes perfectly with jacket potatoes or in sandwiches and salads.

Discover more coronation chicken recipes.

3. Prawn cocktail

Two martini glasses filled with prawns in sauce and lettuce

The mighty prawn cocktail might have gained popularity between the 1960s and 80s, but it’s a dish that's remained a favourite. A no-cook starter that can be prepared in under 30 minutes, it’s perfect for entertaining any number of guests – our recipe serves four but can be easily doubled or halved.

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Discover more prawn cocktail recipes.

4. Next level scotch eggs

Three plates of scotch eggs, one egg cut open with runny yolk

Scotch eggs are one of the most versatile starters imaginable. A food that is no stranger to a children’s picnic can also be a chic starter for a glitzy dinner party with just a few minor tweaks. Our next level scotch eggs have been elevated using tasty Cumberland sausages and the indulgent addition of bacon for an extra smoky flavour.

Discover more scotch egg recipes.

5. Smoked salmon & avocado terrine

Smoked salmon & avocado terrine on a plate with salad, cut open

These light and elegant smoked salmon & avocado terrines are a fabulous way to kick off any dinner party menu. They are made ahead so you can prepare them the day before to avoid any extra stress while hosting.

Discover more terrine recipes.


6. Toad in the hole

Baking dish of chipolatas and yorkshire pudding

This comforting classic made with chipolatas and a simple batter is excellent for warming after a long, cold day. Enjoy doused in rich gravy and with a side of creamy mashed potatoes for a true feel-good feast. It’s also an excellent recipe for cooking with children, as it can be made in four simple steps and has a helpful walk-along tutorial.

Discover more toad-in-the-hole recipes.

7. Beef wellington

Beef wellington with slice cut off the front

Beef wellington is another classic that refuses to be forgotten. There’s something timeless about cutting into a gorgeously flaky pastry and finding a perfectly juicy piece of beef. Our recipe is more of a challenge, but it only makes it more of a special treat when it’s whipped out as a showstopping centrepiece.

Discover more wellington recipes.

8. Kedgeree

Pan of rice, boiled eggs, smoked haddock and spices

Kedgeree is a wonderfully filling brunchtime meal consisting of smoked haddock, boiled egg and rice. It’s spiced up using ground coriander, turmeric, curry powder, fresh coriander and parsley. A hearty breakfast full of protein is a great way to start the day; read up on the health benefits of turmeric.

Discover more kedgeree recipes.

9. Classic cheese fondue

Large pot of cheese fondue next to a bowl of potatoes, bowl of gherkins, bowl of pickled onions, lettuce and chicory

Get together with friends and unwind after a stressful week over a large glass of wine (or one of our non-alcoholic cocktails) and a large pot of cheese fondue. Enjoy an assortment of vegetables or impress your guests with homemade crusty bread, pickled cucumbers or boiled potatoes.

Discover more fondue recipes.

10. Quiche Lorraine

Quiche lorraine with a slice cut out

Nothing beats a creamy quiche packed with decadent gruyère cheese and salty lardons. Make your pastry from scratch, or save time using shop-bought shortcrust pastry. It’s excellent served straight from the oven with a fresh side salad or enjoyed cold at a picnic in the sun.

Discover more quiche recipes.


11. Retro trifle

Trifle with custard creams, topped with whipped cream and maraschino cherries

Trifles originated in the 18th century as a way of using up leftovers and stale cake. Now it has become a staple British dessert. Our retro trifle elevates this once basic dessert into an indulgent showstopper using jelly with raspberries, custard enriched with clotted cream and a combination of madeira cake and custard cream biscuits.

Discover more trifle recipes.

12. School day sprinkle sponge

Sponge cake cut into squares topped with icing and sprinkles

If this sweet traybake doesn’t transport you back to your school days, we're not sure what will. This simple vanilla sponge cake topped with icing and sprinkles makes a great afternoon treat with a cup of tea, or serve it with warm homemade custard to recreate an authentic school dinner pud.

Discover more old school traybake recipes.

13. Chocolate sponge with hot chocolate custard

Square slice of chocolate sponge cake on a plate with chocolate custard

This chocolate sponge with hot chocolate custard is another recreation of the school dinner classics, though we have given it a low-fat ‘bakeover’. We have lowered the sugar content using dates, but keeping some muscovado sugar for texture and taste is essential. Serve warm with the hot chocolate custard, and if you want a little extra indulgence, add some homemade ice cream.

Discover more chocolate traybake recipes.

14. Burnt butterscotch rice pudding

Large serving dish of rice pudding with a serving missing

Rice pudding is a classic childhood favourite. But we have transformed this humble dessert into a dinner party-ready dessert using a crunchy brûlée topping. Also try our indulgent British classic, Queen of pudding recipe for the nostalgia.

Discover more rice pudding recipes.

15. The best apple crumble

Round serving dish of apple crumble with a serving missing

You can’t beat a traditional apple crumble, perfect straight out the oven with ice cream or as an afternoon treat cold with warm custard.

Discover more crumble recipes.


16. Aviation

Martini glass with pink cocktail inside, garnished with blueberries and lemon zest on a toothpick

Try our pretty-in-pink aviation cocktail for a fun, retro party drink. This easy gin-based drink is one to get the party started and is ready in just five minutes.

Discover more gin cocktail recipes.

17. Virgin piña colada

Large hurricane glass filled with pina colada mocktail

If you like piña coladas, but alcohol isn’t for you, fear not. We have designed this delicious mocktail with mock rum syrup made using dark brown sugar, pineapple, black peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon to replace the rum.

Discover more pineapple cocktail recipes.

18. Blue lagoon

Hurricane glass filled with blue liquid and ice, topped with cherry

A refreshing citrus drink isn’t what you’d expect when you see the vibrant blue of this cocktail, but it’s what you get. Perfect for serving at cocktail parties, as one recipe serves up to four guests. Be careful to pace yourself as they’re so tasty you might forget there’s alcohol in them!

Discover more vodka cocktail recipes.

19. Sidecar mocktail

Cocktail glass filled with orange liquid and an orange wheel

Serve this sophisticated mocktail to guests that don’t enjoy alcohol or need to stay safe after the festivities on the drive home. Made with lapsang souchong tea, lemon juice, marmalade and honey, it’s loaded with antioxidants, which reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Discover more mocktail recipes.

20. Rob roy

Whisky glass filled with ice, rob roy and topped with a maraschino cherry

Showcase scotch whisky in this vibrant cocktail, with red vermouth, angostura bitters, orange zest and a cocktail cherry to serve.

Discover more whisky cocktail recipes.


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