The Tales from Lord Byron's Abode...
Fairfax House in York...
Christmas at 13 Piccadilly Terrace...
I profess that cooking is definitely not my forte, I am oblivious to the designs of any kitchen and I would rather spend money on chocolate and books than on any cooking gadget.
That said I have had to create a Regency kitchen which now nestles in the basement of my 13 Piccadilly Terrace!
Lord Byron himself would have had no interest in the design or practicalities of any kitchen for his attitude towards food was for the most part ambivalent.
The Regency fashion for delicious cuisine left no impression upon him for he would frequently go for days without eating a substantial meal preferring a diet of “hard biscuits and Soda water”.
Before his marriage in January 1816 it had been left to Annabella to engage the cook for the engaged couple prior to their move to 13 Piccadilly Terrace in London.
“So – thou hast engaged a Cook for us – I will trust your taste, – – -“
Although history would indicate that Byron clearly did NOT trust her taste; that is for another story!
However, I hope that he will now trust to mine as I have designed a kitchen that any respectable Regency cook would be happy to work in and although the kitchen in the Regency era was very different to the modern and convenient kitchens of today being a place of hard toil in uncomfortable conditions with limited light; they still retain a charm that is easy to recreate in miniature.
The designs for this kitchen have been inspired by the Georgian kitchen within the beautiful Fairfax House in the City of York and every visit still leaves me with the strangest sense of déjà vu as I look around at the familiar sight of the huge fire with spit roast and bread oven and feeling as if I have actually shrunk and wandered into the basement kitchen of this 12th scale abode!
However, when I see the elaborate dishes of sumptuous and mouth-watering cuisine on the kitchen table; reality usually intrudes with the realisation that the former inhabitants of Fairfax House were arguably more fortunate than the imaginary inhabitants of my abode who unfortunately still remain on the brink of starvation apart from a bunch of carrots and some cake!
I confess that I have also been (occasionally, I might add!) inspired to create the sumptuous dishes of ‘Game Pie, Plum Pudding and Roasted Hare’ that are on display in the kitchen at Fairfax House despite Byron’s factious letter to Lady Melbourne that “a woman should never be seen eating or drinking unless it be lobster sallad & champagne…”
Hopefully, the plans that I made for the celebration of a Regency Christmas at 13 Piccadilly Terrace offered a 'small' crumb of comfort for any of my past grievances.
Time for a cup of tea and a biscuit I think!
The Ghost of Piccadilly Terrace
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