King Edward VII, Queen Victoria’s eldest son, (1901-1910) was quite the gourmand and loved his food so much that the royal tailors often had trouble keeping up with his ballooning figure.
King Edward VII
in Puck magazine 1901
One day, seeking reprieve from the confining constriction of his waistcoat, King Edward casually unbuttoned the bottom button – the members of his court saw his new look and quickly emulated it.
To exemplify the King’s gargantuan appetite ... for one of his stays at a historic house during a race meeting ... the cooks and domestic staff struggled to provide enough food for the large meals eaten every day by the guests.
|A French silk waistcoat c 1750|
(not nearly large enough for
for the King!)
The dinner, which was often made up of ten courses, could include oysters, caviar, truffles, snipe, partridge, ptarmigan, quail, beef consommé, filet mignon, roast duck, foie gas, tongue, chicken, lobster, melons, peaches, nectarines and French jams and biscuits ... all needed to be on the menu when the King came to call.
|Boutrand Fine Champagne|
The quantity of meat eaten was enormous – then it was washed down by copious amounts of champagne and wine, followed by glasses of fine French brandy.
For the big houses and great estates of England, the Edwardian era was a time of excess and extravagance ... the feasting went on for days and thousands of pounds worth of exotic and expensive food was consumed..
Unsurprisingly, with such large quantities of sugary foods and meat being washed down with alcohol – many wealthy Edwardians suffered from chronic stomach and digestive illnesses, they then became addicted to the medicines freely available which contained large doses of opium.
That is K for food fit for a King .... perhaps unfit would be a better description?!
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