How famous Georgian
What was the holiday season as before turkeys and trees? Caroline McGhie visit the house in Spitalfields breaks Dennis particular
It's hard to imagine before Christmas Victorian has his hands on it and wrapped sentimentality and garlands. But there is a very old house in Spitalfields arthritic London where you can still enjoy the experience. Gateway back in Folgate Street, everything is cold and dark. The only heat comes from the chimneys, the only light and flickering candles filter gray sadness when the wings are open.
There is a smell of the forest floor and spices. David Milne in his baker's apron, sewing fir garlands dotted with clementines to hang from the ceiling of the room. He is the curator of this extraordinary home, cared for 15 years and sometimes sleeps here.
This garland of fruit, wood and flowers that resemble wood carvings decorated 18th century Grinling Gibbons, who wove their magic in Hampton Court, the Cathedral of St. Paul and Blenheim Palace. "The use of green was pagan and returned to classical mythology," David said. The Christmas tree as we know, did not get his first role until the coverage Illustrated London News is Queen Victoria in 1848, so there was no turning back.
David is preparing for a night in which historians, fans of the Georgian era, local celebrities - including TV presenter Dan Cruickshank and local artists, perhaps, Gilbert and George - come. Jeanette Winterson, owner of green coffee slow food in Spitalfields Market, located so you can not be there. Wassail Bowl, a huge trunk, grated scarlet silk curves down the stairs, and gingerbread men among kitchen utensils copper helps create a festive atmosphere.
The piece de resistance in the dining room is a beautiful black swan mounted on a ceramic substrate with a chandelier above that David has with fresh oranges between fixtures. No raisins, nuts, candied fruits and grenades. "What we take for granted today were tremendous luxury and made in North Africa and Spain," he said. The famous house a mix of periods of King George, William IV and during the reign of Queen Victoria.
The Georgians loved their gelatins and puddings. David setbacks as mussels and small castles copper melting jelly flashing in the dark as defective gems. "The cakes were made of ox tongue and other meats that can put in our hands, fruits and spices. Later, the meat was abandoned and only had fruit pies, spices and fat in them." King George was supposed to have eaten plum pudding, as part of its first monarch of Christmas dinner in 1714, which was known as the "sausage king".