We recently hosted a Regency-style breakfast in the grand dining room at Elizabeth Bay House as a “money can’t buy” experience for the literacy charity, Room to Read. The offer included a personalised gastronomy-focused tour of the House followed by a breakfast which was based on the menu plan given to Maria Macarthur by her godmother, Continue reading
Historical research is a curious thing. You find a fleeting reference or snippet of information that prickles your interest about a place, a person, an object or an incidence, then find yourself chasing leads that might shed more light on the subject. In this case, it is the mystery of Governor Arthur Phillip’s ‘French cook’.
Currently at various Sydney Living Museums Houses we’re running a series of night time tours, where you can see the houses as their original occupants saw them lit by candle and lamplight. Which raises the vexing question of just HOW should you light the historic dining table? Continue reading
By the end of the 19th century an entirely new form of dining had taken over the fashionable table. Forget the Francaise, join us as we dine a la Russe! Continue reading
While many Sydney-siders gather around the harbour for New Year’s eve celebrations, New Year’s Day was often spent in public celebration in colonial times in the form of a foreshore picnic. Montagu Scott’s extraordinarily detailed depiction of such an event gives a brilliant ‘snapshot’ of revelers and their antics in 1870. Continue reading
Servant ‘butchers’ dinner guest!
In putting on the dishes and taking them off, I shall observe to you a few things, as many accidents have occurred through inattention and want of care. Thomas Cosnett, The Footman’s Directory, and Remembrancer; or, The Advice of Oneimus to His Young Friends. (London, 1835)
With the second course finished, it’s time for some precision table acrobatics as we re-set the table for dessert. Continue reading
Famous for ‘evicting’ his mother and father and unmarried sister from Elizabeth Bay House in 1845, William Sharp Macleay (1792-1865) remained as master of the house for another 20 years. Continue reading
As any Downton Abbey or Austen aficionado will tell you there are two obligatory scenes in a costume drama: the ball, and the dinner – and we do love a dinner that pulls out all the stops! Continue reading
Today’s post is brought to you by our guest blogger, HHT Historian, Jane Kelso whose exhaustive research on first Government House includes a fascination with the various Governors’ dining practices – and their guests! Continue reading