Tuesday 18 October 2016

I want to give a breakfast party and fulfil a childhood ambition

Somerset Maugham said
It is not true that you can't eat well in England. You can eat better in England than in any other country in the world, so long as you eat breakfast three times a day.
I suddenly crave a full English breakfast with fried bread and black pudding.

Also an early Victorian breakfast party. With much kedgeree. And kidneys.

When 12 and reading about Macaulay's breakfast parties I dream of giving one - lashings of kedgeree. And champagne? I should so so this very weekend.

Catherine Sedgwick, a visiting American novelist, said that an English breakfast party starts around ten to eleven o'clock.

“The number of guests is never allowed to exceed twelve. The entertainment is little varied from our eight o'clock breakfasts. There are coffee, tea, chocolate, toast, rolls, grated beef and eggs, and in place of our solid beef-steaks, - broiled chickens, reindeers' tongues, sweetmeats, fruit and ices.”
I imagine the tongue was beef tongue (so delicious), not reindeer tongue.

Another American novelist, Mrs. Beecher Stowe:
“Looking around the table, and seeing how everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves, I said to Macaulay that these breakfast parties were a novelty to me; that we never had them in America, but that I thought them the most delightful form of social life. He seized upon the idea as he often does, and turned it playfully inside out, and shook it upon all sides, just as one might play with the lustres of a chandelier - to see them glitter. He expatiated on the merits of breakfast parties as compared with all other parties. He said, ‘You invite a man to dinner because you must invite him ; because cause you are acquainted with his grandfather, or it is proper you should; but you invite a man to breakfast because you want to see him. You may be sure if you are invited to breakfast, there is something agreeable about you.’ - This idea struck me as very sensible; and we all, generally, having the fact before our eyes that we were invited to breakfast, approved the sentiment."

1 comment:

  1. Daily Mail,
    Bucharest, Oct 2016:

    "Riot police were forced to break up crowds at a popular British expat breakfast party after 3,000 people turned up "