I dined this day with relish

Oil painting of Tarmons in a landscape with blue and pink sky.

Tarmons, Woolloomooloo, Sydney, Residence of Sir Maurice O'Connell (detail), George Edwards Peacock, 1845. Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW: ML 148

June 29, 1846
I dined this day with my respected chief, Lieutenant-General Sir Maurice O’Connell, at his beautiful villa, Tarmons… there were brisk coal fires burning in both dining and drawing-room, and the general appliances of the household, the dress of the guests and the servants, were as entirely English as they could have been in London… Continue reading

A gentleman’s dinner

The Cook and the Curator set a table with china and silverware.

The Cook and the Curator set the table for a Macleay dinner, at Elizabeth Bay House. Photo Alysha Buss © SLM

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

Dining a la mode

The dining room at Elizabeth Bay House, with a full ‘a la Francais’ setting for 14 diners.

The dining room at Elizabeth Bay House, with a full ‘a la Francais’ setting for 14 diners. Photo © Patrick Bingham-Hall

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

Fish in fashion

Fish catch with basket and harbour in the background

Fish catch and Dawes Point, Sydney Harbour (detail), J W Lewin, c1813, gift of the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation and South Australian Brewing Holdings Limited 1989, given to mark the occasion of the Company's 1988 Centenary, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

Lewin’s painting celebrates the abundance and variety of fish that could be gleaned from Sydney Harbour. With its breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour, you can only imagine that the Macleays would have the freshest of fish on their table at Elizabeth Bay House. Continue reading