Thursday, 16 September 2010

Our Compliments to the Book

Yum. Ann’s on the foodie trail again…

“It’s been a busy couple of weeks for royal breakfast watchers. A painting of the Queen by the Duke of Edinburgh shows Her Majesty reading the newspaper at a modest breakfast table of toast, marmalade and tea. But Tony Blair describes in his new book the breakfast served at Balmoral when he was staying with the Queen: eggs, bacon, sausages, kidneys, tomatoes, kedgeree, kippers, all kept warm on a hotplate. It was, he writes, suitable for Trollope, or Sir Walter Scott.

So what did they eat for breakfast in Scott’s novels? Here’s a menu from Waverley:

‘The table loaded with warm bread, both of flour, oatmeal, and barleymeal, in the shape of loaves, cakes, biscuits, and other varieties, together with eggs, reindeer ham, mutton and beef ditto, smoked salmon, and marmalade, porridge with cream and buttermilk too.’

Even better is this delicious description of Archdeacon Grantley’s breakfast table in Trollope’s The Warden:

‘The urn was of thick and solid silver, as were also the tea-pot, coffee-pot, cream-ewer, and sugar-bowl; the cups were old, dim dragon china, worth about a pound a piece, but very despicable in the eyes of the uninitiated. The silver forks were so heavy as to be disagreeable to the hand, and the bread-basket was of a weight really formidable to any but robust persons. The tea consumed was the very best, the coffee the very blackest, the cream the very thickest; there was dry toast and buttered toast, muffins and crumpets; hot bread and cold bread, white bread and brown bread, home-made bread and bakers' bread, wheaten bread and oaten bread; and if there be other breads than these, they were there; there were eggs in napkins, and crispy bits of bacon under silver covers; and there were little fishes in a little box, and devilled kidneys frizzling on a hot-water dish; which, by the bye, were placed closely contiguous to the plate of the worthy archdeacon himself. Over and above this, on a snow-white napkin, spread upon the sideboard, was a huge ham and a huge sirloin; the latter having laden the dinner table on the previous evening.’’”

For more reflections on food, join Ann’s next Foodie Walk. Meet her on Saturday September 18 at 10.45 am, Green Park tube, park exit.

Enjoy a video preview of Ann guiding her Foodie Walk HERE.

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