Dining Through the Decades – Southmead care home teams up with award-winning restaurant

Residents at a care home in Southmead have taken a trip down memory lane as part of a nationwide initiative to rediscover their favourite foods from the past – with a little help from Bristol’s best restaurant.

Care UK’s Trymview Hall, on Southmead Road, teamed up with The Malago for three special projects aiming to rediscover residents’ favourite foods throughout the decades.

As part of the partnership, Helly, the Malago’s Chef, created a cook-along video for residents, who then recreated her traditional Clanger recipe at the home. The dish brought back many childhood memories, especially for 88 year old Emma Nield, who remembered having to create tasty dishes on a budget, making the most out of basic ingredients.

Born in 1932 in Leeds, Emma has always been a keen cook and baker, a passion she inherited from her father, who used to sieve flour by hand to make white bread for the family. She married her husband Peter in 1950 and catered her own wedding, serving a cold buffet, featuring sandwiches and homemade biscuits and cakes, to their guests. She regularly shares her top tips with her fellow residents and the home’s chefs too, including her secret for a delicious crumble.

The Malago team also created bespoke kits for residents to make classic desserts at home, including black forest gateau, home-made custard as well as cherry compote and marbled meringues, and catered for a virtual afternoon tea session hosted by BBC food historian, Dr Polly Russell, from Back in Time for…

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.

Pamela Arnsmeyer, Home Manager at Trymview Hall, said: “It was great to be able to partner up with The Malago for our food-related reminiscence activities. The cook-along was a hit and has brought back many memories for residents – it’s been great to hear their childhood stories and talk about their favourite recipes from that time.

“Residents also had a fantastic time learning about this history of the afternoon tea, and trying each sweet treat as they learnt more about where it came from and shared their memories. 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.

“Residents certainly enjoyed re-discovering some of their favourite foods from the past, and the activity has even inspired some new menu suggestions and requests. Our chefs are looking forward to recreating these on our menus and in the coming weeks for everyone to enjoy.”

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.”

The new care home provides full-time residential and dementia care, with 66 ensuite bedrooms, and has been designed to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence. The care home will incorporate space for hobby and leisure activities and will include its own cinema, hairdressing salon and café.

For more information, email Customer Relations Manager, Evonne Burch, on evonne.burch@careuk.com or call 0333 321 8351.

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 careuk.com/food-for-thought