Regency Hot Spots: Soho Square Bazaar

              As late as 1839, Soho Square was described in History of London as presenting “a very pleasing and somewhat rural appearance”.  Dating back to the 1680s, it has a park and garden area in the center complete with a statue of Charles II. (here is a link to another post on the statue in the square: http://www.regrom.com/2016/11/18/regency-hot-spots-soho-square) From … Expand

Regency Hot Spots: Private Art Collections

The private art collection is a distinguishing feature of the wealthy (for a modern update to some of the Duke of Bridgewater’s collection, see this fascinating article from 2008: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/sometimes-one-can-have-just-too-many-titians-913933.html) At the beginning of the 19th century, the practice of opening collections to public inspection was becoming increasingly common (http://www.tate.org.uk/research/publications/tate-papers/24/william-hazlitts-account-of-mr-angersteins-collection-of-pictures).  These collections and viewings would, literally, become the foundation of places like the British National … Expand

Regency Reader Questions: Dining in Hotels

Regency Reader Question I’ve just finished & enjoyed Rose Lerner’s well-researched “True Pretenses” set in a country town in 1808. In it, the hero invited the well-born heroine out to dinner at a hotel. What were the “rules” that governed dinner in restaurants? What sort of chaperonage would be expected? Where (in London) would a gentleman take a lady for dinner? Any advice would be … Expand

London Hot Spots: The Porter Brewery

The ambulator; or, The stranger’s companion in a tour round London (1807) Porter beer rose in popularity in the 1700s, and would begin to dwindle in popularity in the 1820s.  Much of its popularity was related to its favor with the working class of industrializing London.  According to a letter from Cesar de Saussure in 1726: “In this country nothing but beer is drunk, and … Expand