Thursday, 23 June 2011
Wenlock had the good fortune to be invited to dine last night at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton. Before setting out I took care to re-read the description of Judith Taverner's visit as described in Georgette Heyer's Regency Buck. The Chinese Gallery is today very much as Miss Taverner saw it, and indeed as depicted in Henry Winkles' print, now held in the Royal Collection.
The Old Foodie. The kitchen, like the Chinese Gallery, looks much as it does in this print, complete with an unfeasibly large number of small copper saucepans, although the tables have been cleared of all those silver covers. The leaves on top of the iron palm trees were added a few years after Carême's great feast.
On our way to the dinner we were given a chance to see the Music Room, in which Miss Taverner listened to a concert.
James Agar's print.
Faced with such opulence, Miss Taverner was quite overpowered. We, however, were taken through to the Banqueting Hall.
Needless to say, we were not offered les faisans truffés à la Perigueux, le turbot sauce aux crevettes, le buisson des homards or les gateaux renversés glacés au gros sucré, let alone un gros nougat à la française or a croque-en-bouche aux anis, but the food was good, the company delightful, and the setting something the like of which I am unlikely to experience again.