King of Great Britain
From the private Royal Menu Collection of © Jake Smith
Mayonnaise de Homard
Shelled boiled lobster marinated in chive vinaigrette, combined with mayonnaise and garnished with lettuce and cucumber
Filet d’Agneau Niçoise
Filets of lamb that have been dry-braised in a metal casserole which served with tomatoes, French-beans and potatoes served with a gravy made from the casserole juices
Chaudfroid de Poulet Devonshire
Cold dish of chicken suprêmes which are coated first in a white sauce and then glazed in a cider-flavoured aspic jelly
Cailles en Aspic Fontainebleau
Cold dish of roasted quails, glazed in a game-bird flavoured aspic jelly, which are layered between vine leaves and decorated with seeded grapes also glazed in aspic jelly
Petits Pâtés de Mouton á la Windsor
Small mutton pies made from braised marinated mutton leg cooked with carrots, onion and sherry
Petits Pois á l’Anglaise et Pommes Nouvelles
Boiled baby-peas tossed in butter and chopped parsley served with new potatoes, cooked in their jackets and then peeled, tossed in butter
Derby Beef, Langue, Jambon et Roast Beef
Derby Beef (rolled silverside pickled in juniper berries and cooked with vegetables), Tongue, Ham and Roast Beef
Pâté de Pigeon
Asperges, Sauce Chantilly
Asparagus spears dressed in a Chantilly sauce made from mayonnaise mixed in equal parts with cream
Macédoine de Fruits au Moselle
Chilled mousses made from mixed berries blended with a rum flavored syrup
Menu dated 17th June 1937
Luncheon in the Royal Enclosure, Ascot, hosted by Their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom.
This 1937 menu is from the private luncheon hosted by King George VI at his first Royal Ascot meeting that he attended as King – he had taken the throne just seven months earlier.
Among the guests joining the King for this lunch in the exclusive Royal Enclosure was his wife Queen Elizabeth and his sister The Princess Royal; along with the soon-to-be infamous Joachim von Ribbentrop and his wife.
Herr Ribbentrop was Hitler’s newly appointed Ambassador to Britain and would later be hanged at the end of World War II after serving as the Führer’s Minister for Foreign Affairs.
But on this glamorous day at Royal Ascot in 1937, the darkness of World War II could not have been imagined and Ribbentrop’s state of mind – as he wondered amongst the decadent banquet tables, flowing Champagne and magnificent racecourse fashions – could not have been further removed from the gallows.
The King’s guests partook of this entirely cold royal buffet that consisted of that traditional race-day treat - pigeon pies; along with lobsters in mayonnaise, foie-gras stuffed quails glazed in aspic jelly, the famous Windsor Mutton Pies much loved by the late Queen Victoria, and all finished off with a coffee ice-cream and macerated fruits.
On each of the four days during Royal Ascot “the elaborate Royal lunch was sent over to the course from the kitchens at Windsor Castle, with chefs and servants to wait on the Royal Family and their guests”, recalled Mr Corbitt who had once been the Deputy Comptroller of Supply at Buckingham Palace.
There were no divorcees at this lunch as, in the Royal Enclosure; there was a complete ban on their attendance.
“Even the influence of the war years, with the breaking-down of the old standards, left this Royal rule unchanged. King George VI, approached many times by many different people, would hear nothing of any change in the regulations”, remembered Mr Corbitt.
In his memoirs Corbitt also reveals another royal dining ritual associated with Royal Ascot that was first introduced by George V:
“One of the great features of Ascot Week under King George V, which was suspended during the years after the war but has now been revived, was the famous strawberry-and-cream teas. It was usually five o'clock when the Royal party got back from the races. Tea was served at once in the Orangery of the Castle for some sixty or seventy people. Luscious strawberries, specially cultivated by the Royal gardeners under glass, were served with cream from the Royal dairies. There was gay talk of the day's racing for an hour or more, then the King and Queen and their guests left for their rooms to change for dinner”.