Now that the warmer weather is here
and the warming rays of the sun, if we are lucky, sends the temperature
soaring up into the nineties. This in turn seems to have an uncanny
effect on some people and often it
becomes an excuse for many of the female population to strip
off. Not that I
am complaining no, no, no, but it begs the question is bare
Around a year or so ago we, at the restaurant, decided to
convert a small room that lead off the main
dining area into an area for dining that would be slightly more private.
But due to the size of the room,
the table would only be able to seat six persons; thus giving the guests a nice cosy area, slightly away
from the hustle of the main restaurant. All was well until the day the phone rang and the
little room was the last table in the restaurant to be sold.
Trying to explain about the little room over the phone, even to someone that had been to dine with
us many times before, had it's problems. Many a chuckle was heard from the diners as they enjoyed the
privacy of the little room, I added my five bobs worth by telling that this is the sort of room
in which, many
years ago, the old king would have wined and dined a few of his lady friends of the time.
After a few weeks had passed customers were starting to phone up and ask for the room by
saying: you know the one where the king brought his lady friends.
It was then that a kind gentleman turned up one
day with a wooden plaque that he had made, with the words Lillie Langtry written on it, she
one of the lady friends in question. So the plaque was duly fixed up above the entrance and the room
was named the Lilly Langtry room. But was the lady in question a friend of the old king and mores the
question would she have felt a home dining in a small private room?
So a little research was needed.
She was a young lady that was born beautiful and had intelligence to
match. Her upbringing enabled
her to take every advantage of these natural assets. She was born Emilie Le Breton in October 1853
the channel Island of Jersey. This young lady became known as the Jersey Lilly and at one point had a
suitor by the name of Charles Spencer. He was a twenty three year old lieutenant
his chances and thought his luck was in when he was stationed with his regiment in Jersey and met the
incredibly beautiful Lilly; but for him sod's law stepped in. He approached her father, the
Dean, for his daughter's hand in marriage only to be refused, as Lillie was only fourteen years
old. So after a very
cold shower he promptly asked to be immediately posted back to England.
There were a few more young men that thought they stood a chance but they all failed in gaining the
true love of Lillie, so with not a lot going on in Jersey, she turned her thoughts to the bright lights and
maybe one day she would meet a real prince charming.
Her red letter day came when Lord Suffield
wrote to her asking if she would like to attend a bit of a bash that he was giving in his little town
property in Upper Grosvenor Street ,London. Unfortunately for Lillie it was not a great social success,
she did not receive the same attention by the London gentlemen as she was used
to back in Jersey.
Despite a very warm welcome it seemed that her grown up ways and her
clothes that were made on the
islands failed to leave an impression. Lillie wrote in a letter to a friend
that even the serving
maids were dressed better than her, she disgraced herself so often
she could hardly wait for the ball to end. So with a heavy heart and in search of a good seamstress she high tailed it back to Jersey.
One of the highlights came when one of her brothers married and Lillie was to be a
bridesmaid. This is where Lillie set her eyes on a rather dashing guy.
Yes, there is one at every wedding and he is called the
best man, Edward Langtry was the toff in question. Edward it seemed
had pots and pots of money and an eighty foot yacht called Red Gauntlet to
boot. Lillie thought for a few
was this her prince charming? Lillie had to think long and hard about this one, and so it came to pass and within six weeks
of her first clapping eyes on him she was married to a wealthy
Irishman. They had their
wedding bash at the jolly old yacht club and then caught the high tide and sailed away on the Red Gauntlet.
With Lillie fixed up with a rich hubby things start to move, London's high society
was now her
playground and to top it all she had been introduced to Queen Victoria's son the Prince of Wales.
he was married to Alexandra, Bertie's thoughts had gone astray, he was unfaithful, but he soon became
bored with it all. Then came the day when he met Lillie once again
and once more in his life he had
eyes for only one woman, Lillie Langtry. Bertie and Lillie spent a lot of time together in 1877.
There were dawn rides in Hyde Park or Rotten
Row, then of course one had to be seen at Cowes with Bertie's yacht Osborn. In 1877 Lillie came
down to dear old Sandringham to attend a winter ball but rather
than stay at the house she decided to stay
with friends, the Romney's, telling them that Sandringham is not Palatial but it's a great place to hold a
dance. So there you have it, the little girl from the Channel Island that started out as a commoner, through her
sheer beauty and determination became a lady friend of the Prince of
Wales. Lillie took London by
storm, she was introduced to Prince Louis of Battenberg and yes I do like his cakes, by whom she had
a daughter. Lillie became a millionairess relying on her talents and her legendary beauty, she spent her
last years of her life in Monaco but she sadly died and on the
12th of February 1929, her last wishes were that the Jersey Lily would be returned back to her beloved Island to be buried.
Sandringham Strawberries and Jersey Cream
Mrs R. and I have spent many happy hours on Jersey, if you have never been then put it on your list.
One of the places that you must search out if you do take a trip,
is to make your way to the
Potteries Restaurant. The seafood there is out of this world, or if you don't like fish order a bowl of
fresh strawberries that are served with a good old helping of real Jersey
cream. Although I have headed
this recipe Sandringham strawberries and Jersey cream, its only because they go
together just like Lillie and dear old Bertie did. This is a very simple recipe for a
summer's evening. Take
strawberries slightly over ripe the better, remove stalks give them a rinse under cold water, dry with kitchen paper and set aside.
In a bowl whip up around one pint of whipping cream, double cream is better but its twice the price,
whip the cream until it will not fall out of the bowl if you hold it above you head, don't try this until
you have fully whipped the cream. Take your strawberries and pop them into the food blender add one table spoon full of caster sugar and
blitz the lot, the mix still wants to contain a few bits of chopped strawberries, so don't go mad and
finish up with a strawberry sauce, remove the mix and slowly add to the whipped cream, once all the
strawberries have been blended correctly you should have a stiff mixture that you can spoon into tall
glasses. Pop these into the fridge to set. It will take a couple of hours.