King of Great Britain
Menu dated 4th October 1912
Midnight supper at Balmoral Castle, Scotland, hosted by Their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary of Great Britain for the annual Ghillies Ball.
Royal “finger food” including grouse pies, lobster medallions, champagne jellies and rosettes of partridge breast were served alongside a rather common sounding ‘assortment of sandwiches’, at this 1912 midnight supper hosted by King George V and Queen Mary.
This was the night of the annual Ghillies Ball at Balmoral Castle, instigated by Queen Victoria in 1852, named in honour of the royal gamekeepers and household servants at the castle and its surrounding estates; who are invited to partake in a midnight ball of highland dancing with members of the royal family.
The invited staff however, did not partake in this menu. Instead this supper spread was exclusively for members of the royal family and their personal friends, for when they returned to the castle dining room after the ball.
On this night the King and Queen were accompanied by their son the Prince of Wales (future King Edward VIII who would later abdicate); their eldest daughter Princess Mary, the Princess Royal; and the King’s aunt, Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein.
When recounting his memories of the Ghillies Balls held during the reign of King George V, the then Deputy Comptroller of Supply at Buckingham Palace, Mr Frederick Corbett, remembered how:
“Dancing starts at nine-thirty and goes on until about eleven-thirty, when usually the Royal Family leave the ballroom with their guests to take refreshments from a buffet set up in the Castle dining room".
Mr Corbett also recounted in his memoirs that:
"Queen Mary was an amazingly energetic figure at these dances. She loved all Highland dances and many of the old English country dances, which she always had included in the program.
She would take part in every one throughout the first half of the dance. But King George V was no great dancer. He would go and sit on the Royal dais at the end of the room and watch the dancers with a keen eye, occasionally turning to one of his staff with a shrewd comment".
From the private Royal Menu Collection of © Jake Smith
The Times, 29th April 1911
Consommé de Volaille
Cassolettes de Homard Mayonnaise
Individual handled porcelain dishes filled with lobster medallions dressed in mayonnaise
Petits Aspics de Pâté de Grouse
Small cold pies filled with grouse meat set in aspic jelly
Jambon et Poulets decoupés
Thin slices of ham and smoked chicken rolled into florets
Galantine de Volaille et Langue Ecarlate
Cold deboned chickens stuffed with forcemeat and pickled ox tongue
Perdreaux á l’Aspic
Deboned partridges served cold that have been stuffed with foie-gras and glazed in a sherry flavoured aspic
Assortment of sandwiches
Petit Pains de Foie Gras
Small hollowed bread rolls stuffed with a fois-gras mousse and decorated with herbs
Gelées au Champagne garnies de Fruits
Fresh fruits set in Champagne jelly
Crêmes Marie Louise
Almond ice-cream named after the second wife of Napoleon I
Pátisserie assortie et Petits Fours
Assorted patisseries and petit fours
Biscuits glacés Benedictine
Slices of vanilla ice-cream wedged with
Benedictine flavored ice-cream, topped with cream
Orangeade et Lemonade