We were hanging around with Ethel, Lady Raglan a few days ago (in our fantasy land). Her book, Memories of Three Reigns (1928) gives a wonderful glimpse of a lost world and a county house breakfast.
I always remember what a great feature was made of the breakfasts at my grandfather’s (the Earl of St. Germans) house parties at Port Eliot (in Cornwall; 1870) and the numerous course that succeeded each other.
There would be a choice of fish, fried eggs and crisp bacon, a variety of egg dishes, omelets and sizzling sausages and bacon. During the shooting parties hot game and grilled pheasants always appeared on the breakfast menu but were served of course without any vegetables.
On a side table was always to be found a choice of cold viands; delicious home-smoked hams, pressed meats, one of the large raised pies for which Mrs. Vaughan (the cook) was justly famous, consisting of cold game and galantine, with aspic jelly.
The guests drank either tea or coffee and there were the invariable accompaniments of home-made rolls (piping hot) and still room preserves of apple and quince jelly; and always piled bowls of rich Cornish cream.
The meal usually finished with a fruit course of grapes or hothouse peaches and nectarines.
Our usual breakfast fair, a bowl of muesli and wholemeal toast suddenly seems so…..well….frugal!