Dining room

The most sumptuously decorated and furnished rooms in The Regency Town House were the dining room and drawing rooms which were the principal entertaining rooms.

Table for 18

Above: Table for 18.

The dining room on the ground floor could seat up to twenty people around a table. The original colour of the room, discovered under many layers of paint, was deep mauve, known at this time as ‘lilac’ or ‘peach blossom’, a colour which was thought to aid digestion. The dark tone gave the room a masculine atmosphere which conformed to contemporary fashion. Curtains would have been deep red or maroon which would set off the gilded frames of family portraits, hunting and still life scenes typically hung in such rooms.

One of the focal points of the room was the alcove in the dividing wall between the dining room and parlour. The sideboard, a prestigious piece of furniture, was placed here and used as the base for serving the meal and displaying the family silver. Underneath, a ‘cellerette’ would have kept wines and champagnes cool for the meal.

Above: Drawing of a dining room in a Regency home

An evening spent entertaining guests might consist of a dinner of two courses, followed by dessert. This was served ‘à la françaîse’ where each course offered between 12 and 25 different dishes all brought to the table at the same time. After the meal the ladies would withdraw leaving the gentlemen to enjoy port, Madeira and fine wines. Later the party would gather in the drawing room for tea or coffee, followed by singing and musical entertainment by the family and guests and perhaps a little dancing.