I profess that cooking is definitely not my forte, I am oblivious to the designs of any kitchen and I would rather spend money on chocolate and books than on any cooking gadget.
That said I have had to create an authentic kitchen which now nestles in the basement of Piccadilly Terrace.
Lord Byron would have had no interest in the design or practicalities of any kitchen for his attitude towards food was for the most part ambivalent.
The Regency fashion for delicious cuisine left no impression upon him and in his journals he confessed that he would frequently go for days without eating a substantial meal preferring a diet of ‘hard biscuits and Soda water’.
Before his marriage in January 1816 it had been left to Annabella to engage the cook for the engaged couple prior to their move to 13 Piccadilly Terrace in London:
“So – thou hast engaged a Cook for us – I will trust your taste, – – -“
History would indicate that Byron clearly did not trust her taste, however that is another story!
Anyway, I hope that he will now trust to mine as I have designed a kitchen for any respectable Regency cook to be happy to work in.
Although the kitchen in the Regency era was very different to the modern and convenient kitchens of today being a place of hard toil in uncomfortable conditions with limited light they still retain a charm that is easy to recreate in miniature.
The design for the kitchen here at Number 13 has been inspired by the Georgian kitchen within the beautiful Fairfax House in my hometown of York.
I confess that I have also been (occasionally, I might add!) inspired to create the sumptuous dishes of ‘Game Pie, Plum Pudding and Roasted Hare’ that are on display in the kitchen at Fairfax House despite Byron’s factious letter to Lady Melbourne:
“a woman should never be seen eating or drinking unless it be lobster sallad & champagne…”
Time for a cup of tea and a biscuit I think!
Byron’s Letters and Journals Vol 4 1814-1815 Ed Leslie A. Marchand (London: John Murray 1975)
Lord Byron’s Relish The Regency Cook Book, Wilma Paterson (Glasgow: Dog & Bone 1990)