From Georgian recipes to some right royal scandals, Stowe House offers unique insights into the society of yesteryear.
If you’ve ever wanted to know about Georgian dinner party etiquette or the royal scandals of the period, now’s your chance. Stowe House in Buckinghamshire is hosting a series of talks exposing the secrets of the Georgian court. Appearing to Advantage – Dining with Georgians is hosted by food historian Dr Annie Grey who investigates the culinary customs of 18th-century high society.
Audiences will be taken back in time as they taste real Georgian recipes in Stowe House’s State Music Room, where plenty of extravagant banquets have been held. Dr Grey, who worked on the The Great British Bake Off, discusses concepts of edibility from the 1700s compared with today’s modern foods conventions. She also sheds light on what heroine of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennett, might have eaten at the Netherfield Ball. Dinner was not only a carefully planned meal, but social rank was also revealed at the table: etiquette and class markers relating to socialising will also be discussed.
The dinner table, however, was only a snippet of the aristocratic Georgian lifestyle. Royal Scandals Through the Ages is hosted by historical biographer Dr Kate Williams, who digs beneath the glamourous, extravagant and respectable façade of the aristocracy to reveal rather more racy realities. Dr Williams pays special attention to the 18th century, as she discusses outrageous spending, scorned mistresses and downtrodden wives. The sad story of Princess Charlotte, daughter of King George IV and a queen who never was, is told in detail – demonstrating that scandal in royal circles is nothing new.
Stowe House is considered one of the most famous estates in Britain. It is not only an architectural masterpiece – admired as a visitor attraction since the 18th century, welcoming royalty and influential literary figures alike – it is also a school.
Appearing to Advantage: Dining with the Georgians is on 16 August at 7pm. Tickets cost £18
Royal Scandals Through the Ages is on 23 August at 7pm. Tickets cost £22
Both events include wine and canapés on the South Front Portico on arrival. Call 01280 818002 to book tickets or for more information follow the link.
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