London was overflowing with places for men to eat or procure cooked meals (taverns, clubs, coffee houses, supper clubs, chip houses, pubs). Many of these same options were available working class women (as were the plethora of street vendors selling pies, bread and cheese, and other portable foostuffs).
But what was a lady to do when she found herself peckish while on a shopping spree or after a long day touring the British Museum? Obviously if she were ravenous, she could have her footman fetch her a pie, but what if she’d just attended a lecture with a gentleman? Where could they go?
The answer, as far as I can tell, is a fashionable pastry shop (as anyone who’s read or seen Persuasion already knows). Anyone who reads Regency-set romances is familiar with the famous Gunter’s of Berkeley Square. But there were any other options.
For starters, there was Perry’s:
Then there’s Farrance’s:
And you could always make up your own (which is honestly one of my favorite options). I’ll be adding these and other locations to the Regency Places map for future reference.
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Cool stuff. Farrance’s sounds like a place I’d like to go. I’m always into an “exquisite soup”. Though I agree with you, making things up (as long as plausible) is often the easiest. Sometimes research turns up a name for a business, but no images or detailed descriptions, which means that if I improvise, someone out there may know I got a detail wrong.
Nice post, Isobel! I love those descriptions of Perry’s and Farrance’s. What source did you find them in? Lovely to have some other alternatives to Gunter’s –especially for places to bring children for treats.
If anyone is interested in more information about dining out during our period, for full meals, here is the URL for a post I did on that topic here at the Riskies in Aug 2016: https://riskyregencies.com/2016/08/05/dining-out-in-the-regency/
Whoops. I meant to add that. They’re from “The Epicure’s Almanack: Eating and Drinking in Regency London (The Original 1815 Guidebook)”.