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dent and vice-president are elected, and the repast is all that can be desired; it combines English and French cookery, the choicest wines and the best waiting. Indeed, in the above respects, few private houses come up to it.
The "Coventry Club," late the residence of the family of that name, under the able management of Francatelli, gives universal satisfaction; but it could scarcely be otherwise when we look at the talent of the man. His experience with Sir William Massey Stanley, and his brother Mr. Rowland Evrington, at Melton ; his services in Her Majesty's establishment; his duties at " Crockford's," when in its palmy days, rendered him particularly adapted for the situation. For a French dinner and first-rate claret, thus to bo "sent to Coventry " is anything but a punishment.
The " Conservative Club," in St. James's Street, has an excellent stranger's room; and the constitution, morally and physically, is well supported.
The "Erechtheum," in St. James's Square, on the site of Wedgewood's crockery shop, or " the club with the outlandish name," as the cabmen call it, is not deficient in the culinary department.
The "GarrickClub," King Street, Covent Garden, may be classed with any of its rivals; and the playgoer will be delighted to find himself sitting in a room surrounded with portraits of all the eminent theatrical talent of present and by-gone days. For a snug party, with the prospect of being enlivened by the entrance of some literary lion, or wit of the day, the "Garrick " is second to none.
The " Oriental Club," in Hanover Square, is famed for its Eastern condiments and wines; and as the members are, unquestionably, good livers—(we do not speak of the gastric organs)—they may dine here to their heart's content.
The "Parthenon" and "Windham" Clubs are exceedingly comfortable, cooking good, and wines undeniable.
The "Reform" is known to the world at large as being the club where the inimitable Soyer presided for so long a period. It was the talented Alexis who reformed the antiquated excrescences and abuses of the kitchen. Can any patriot burn with more devoted and intense zeal for the public good than docs Soyer? Can long-drawn speeches in the house furnish so universal a relish as the great artist has given to the world? Are not good diurnal dinners better than septennial parliaments and sessional long speeches? Is not universal fare, better than universal suffrage? We appeal to all England for their verdict! Great as is the merited fame of Alexis Soyer, he is about to surpass all his previous exploits by the surprise he is preparing at the Gore House " Symposium."
Two clubs are especially devoted to our gallant preservers by sea and land,—the " Army and Navy," in Pall Mall; and the "Junior United." The former has had a most unjust nickname given to it, for certainly anything more diametrically opposed to rags or famish cannot be conceived. The new palace, for so it may justly be termed, was opened at the end of February, and a more convenient or handsome establishment cannot be found. The " Junior" is good in the kitchen department: and the lover of Sneyd's, or Cutler and Wilson's clarets, will find them here to perfection.
The " Beefsteak Club" still holds its reputation; and, associated as it is with theatrical reminiscences, it is a high privilege to be admitted to one of, what the late Edward Cannon used to call, the rump parliaments. The room, built for the purpose in the English Opera House, the kitchen only separated by a glass screen; the original gridiron of the society; the quaint mottoes on the walls, "When 'tis done, 'twere well it were done quickly ; "—" Now good digestion wait on appetite, and health on both ;" the cook with his snow-white jacket, apron, and cap; the absurdity of the laws; the freedom of speech, added to a steak such as only can be seen there, and port wine of the finest quality: all unite to make the hours fly fast. Of the great wits who once were wont "to set the table in a roar," few now remain; but the world circles on, and they are replaced, or at least substitutes are found equally delightful to the present race as their predecessors were to the last generation.
It would be obviously incorrect to obtrude into any particular private houses. Where you ought to dine, and where you ought not to dine, only requires classification. The classes commence with Royal Banquets, Lord Mayor and Ministerial Dinners, the well-mounted aristocratic entertainments, those of the untitled gentry, and the snug party of six or eight at the bachelor's house or chambers.
The Ascot dinner in St. George's Hall, Windsor Castle, is one of the finest sights imaginable. The hall itself is upwards of two hundred feet in length, and about thirty-five in width. The ceiling is in compartments, whereon are emblazoned the armorial bearings of the Knights of the noble Order of the Garter, from its first institution. Edward the Third, and his son, the Black Prince, in complete suits of armour, occupy the corbels, and the walls are ornamented with portraits of our monarchs, from the first James to the last George. Along the sides of the hall, the arms of the different knights shine forth on shields; and the cross of our patron saint, encircled by the motto, " Honi soit qui mal y pense,'" fill the other spaces of this splendid apartment. At each are two noble sideboards, seventeen feet in height and forty in breadth, covered with crimson cloth, set in Gothic framework of the chastest carving, with brackets upon which the massive gold plate is arranged. Immediately opposite the seat appropriated to Her Majesty is the celebrated tiger's head, captured at Seringapatam; over it the Iluma, formed of precious stones, presented to George the Third by the late Marquis of Wellesley. Above the Ilunia is a cup formed of a shell, mounted in gold and silver, surmounted by the figure of Jupiter, resting on the imperial bird, the base supported by Hippocampi; several vases of ivory, and the national cup, with figures of St. George, St. Andrew, and St. Patrick, and other respective emblems, set in rare jewels. The table for a hundred, which occupies nearly the whole length of the room, is ornamented with epergnes, vases, and candelabras. One of the latter, called the St. George, is, perhaps, one of the most splendid specimens of modern plate in the world; the upper division contains the combat with the dragon, the lower has four figures in full relief, supporting the shield bearing the arms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the plume of the Prince of Wales. The shield of Achilles, and the gold salt-cellar representing the white tower of the castle, are splendid specimens of art. The winecoolers are copies of the Warwick and other classical vases. The hall brilliantly illuminated; two military bands occupying the gallery; the beefeaters or "bouffetiers," as they were originally called, and the numerous servants in state liveries, give a grand effect to the whole. The company assemble in the drawing-room by half-past seven. At a quarter before eight, Her Majesty and Prince Albert enter; and after graciously recognising their guests, the Queen takes the arm of a person of the highest rank, and, followed by Her Royal consort and the Duchess of Kent, leads