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

Regency H(n)ot Spots: Cranbourne Alley

(The above is a millinery shop in Paris c. 1822) Cranbourn(e) Alley (or Street) was a paved pedestrian thoroughfare that led from Castle Street to the north east corner of Leicester Square. Beginning in 1678, it was long populated by milliners and other clothing items. London, Past and Present, 1891 By the Regency era, it was the premier destination for purchasing head wear, particularly for … Expand

Regency Hot Spots: Soho Square


Soho Square was built in the late 1670s and was initially one of the most fashionable addresses for Town dwellers.  Originally called King’ Square in honor of King Charles II, its center housed a statute of the king finished and mounted in 1681 by Danish sculptor Caius Gabriel Cibber.  By the early 1800s, the statue was describe as being “in a most wretched mutilated state; … Expand