All rights reserved. Jake Smith © 2019

Léopold II

King of the Belgians

Menu dated 10th March 1870



Dinner at the Château Royal de Laeken, Brussels, hosted by Their Majesties King Léopold II and Queen Marie-Henriette of the Belgians

When a young 34 year-old Léopold II sat down to this royal dinner in 1870, he was only into the fifth year of his four and half decade reign as King of the Belgians.

 

This amazing 20 course banquet, shared with his wife Queen Marie-Henriette, gives a telling insight into how King Léopold II became distinguished by his portliness as he progressed through his reign.

 

Delicacies including partridges stuffed with foie-gras and set in sherry jelly accompanied a spread of roast woodcocks and roast snipe with a refresing stomach-soothing Champagne sorbet making a timely appearance halfway through the dinner.

 

King Léopold’s love of fine food caused gastronomic ripples in the early 1900s when his unlimited budget allowed him to secure the chef from the famous Jockey Club in Paris after the King appreciatively devoured the chef's offering of duckling with turnips.

 

Each morning while the King read his papers a Court officer would arrive to take his orders for the day and present the King with a draft dinner menu of up to 30 courses. Léopold, who enjoyed an impressive apetitie, would then cross-out those that did not tempt his royal palate that day.

From the private Royal Menu Collection of © Jake Smith

Queen Marie-Henriette of the Belgians

Purée de volaille à la Reine

Thick puréed chicken soup garnished with shredded chicken cooked in court-bouillon (aromatic stock) and diced Royale (a savory custard made from egg, chervil and chicken consommé)

 

Consommé à la Royale

Clear chicken consommé garnished with diced Royale

 

Petites timbales Agnés Sorel

Small tartlets made from a layers of truffles, pickled ox tongue and puréed chicken meat coated in a Madeira sauce originally created by the mistress of King Charles VII of France, Agnés Sorel, a renowned chef in the 1400s

 

Filet de bœuf à la Godard

Beef filets garnished with quenelles, braised lamb sweetbreads, cockscombs, truffles and mushrooms all bound in a ham and champagne sauce named after 18th century French General Godard d’Aucour

 

 

Jambon de Yorck aux laities

Slices of York ham with lettuce

 

Côtelettes de mouton purée d'artichauts

Mutton cutlets with puréed artichokes

 

Filets de poulets à l'Anglaise

Chicken filets poached in a white stock served with an Anglaise sauce made from a creamed chicken stock ,nutmeg, lemon and anchovy butter

 

Perdreaux rouges gras en aspic

Cold dish of young red partridges stuffed with game meats, truffles and foie-gras and set in a Madeira flavored aspic jelly

 

Pain de Foie-Gras en aspic

Loaf of force-fed goose livers in an aspic jelly mould

 

Sorbets à l'orange au Champagne

Orange and Champagne sorbet

 

Cardons à la moëlle

Cardoons with poached veal-bone marrow topped with a baked Gruyere cheese crust

 

Asperges, sauce hollandaise

Asparagus spears served with a Hollandaise sauce made from egg, butter and lemon juice

 

Bècasses et Bécassines

Roast woodcocks and roast snipes

 

Poulardes

Roast chickens

 

Pudding à la Giraud

 

Timbale d'ananas à la Venitienne

Pineapple slices poached in a vanilla bean syrup and layered with Venetian cream

 

Spounne aux framboises

Sponge cake with raspberries

 

Café moka

Mocha coffee ice-cream

 

Pêches

Peaches poached in vanilla-bean syrup

 

 

Dessert, Fruits & Compotes