A Glass of something – ratafia – brandy – uisge beatha – champagne

The clock moves on and while we don’t need to light the candles until a little later in Scotland in June, it may be time to raise a wee glass of something to toast Lady Daisy and her adventures.

Hers 'n' His table of goodies

Hers ‘n’ His table of goodies

What the ladies drank varied according to their age and station in life. Nicely brought up girls would drink lemonade at dances and even today those of us who dance often prefer juice or water between sets to cool us down and re-hydrate, rather than something from the bar.

But if they did fancy a little naughtiness, then plenty was around. Ratafia, a fortified wine, might be almond flavoured and often served throughout the day with little biscuits.

Brandy was very popular among the gentlemen and the subject of lots of books with a seaside setting as it was widely smuggled throughout the Napoleonic wars.

Champagne, too, was drunk in quantities. I remember staying on the Isle of Harris and eating in Alison Johnson’s wonderful restaurant. The building had once been a Manse (minister’s house) and when the kitchen garden was dug out, it was found to be full of French champagne bottles of the early 20th century.

Where do you get your ideas?

Uisge beatha or Scottish whisky, malt or blended, might well have featured as the relatives from Edinburgh had arrived for Tobias’s marriage.

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So, today’s final competition is for a free copy of Daisy’s Dilemma for your e-reader.

What drink was cited by the wonderful Hogarth as the ruin of women? As before, if there’s more than one correct answer either here or on the Facebook Site, I’ll choose.

Here’s to Lady Daisy. Cheers!

Great blog for all things Regency is here https://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/tag/ratafia/

When Daisy Meets Mariah

London Girl

London Girl

Just a wee extract to remind us how very difficult some characters can be…

“Miss Mellon…”

“Actually it’s Lady Daisy, being the daughter of an earl, but as I’m certain we’re going to be excellent friends, I insist you call me Daisy.” The girl rushed the words out and Mariah was not surprised when her mama intervened.

“Katerina Grizelda Anne Di Torres are the baptismal names available to my daughter, Miss Fox, but she chooses to be known by a name that she overheard in the pantry.” The countess uttered the words in sharp staccato and Mariah had no trouble understanding that she attracted all the respect she required be paid to her as countess.

Daisy smiled and Mariah did, too, despite the heat this argument clearly roused between her visitors. It was understandable that the older woman deplored her daughter’s choice, but on the other hand, she had the demeanour and vivacity Mariah could more easily associate with Daisy than Katerina Grizelda Anne Di Torres.

“It is not obvious at our births, I believe, what the dominant traits of our personality will be,” she said diplomatically. “Perhaps Lady Daisy feels the weight of history and expectation carried by her formal names to be too much for such delicate shoulders.”

“Daisy, please,” the younger woman said. “But it is acknowledged by even the sour-faced tabbies at Almack’s that I have very delicate shoulders.”

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