Menu dated 13th July 1886
Luncheon hosted by Her Majesty Queen Isabella II of Spain at her Paris residence during exile, the Palacio Castilla.
At just three years-old Isabella II was proclaimed Queen of Spain. By the time she was 38, however, the Queen had been ingloriously deposed by the Glorious Revolution of 1868 and was living in exile in Paris.
Her Paris home was the Palacio Castilla, which is today The Peninsula hotel. Here the deposed Queen would successfully plot the restoration of the monarchy with her son, Alfonso XII, being crowned King just six years later. To seal the deal however, Isabella II would have to renounce all her claims to the throne and give an undertaking to a life of exile with occasional sanctioned fleeting visits to her homeland.
This penned menu-card from 1886, written in a mishmash of French and Spanish, gives a glimpse into the Queen’s social life in exile. By now she was in her mid 50s and living in a relationship with the Marqués de Alta Villa, having separated from her husband, Francis of Assisi, early in the couple’s exile.
When entertaining, the royal exile continued to use menu-cards intricately embossed in gold with her royal title in Spanish: “Isabel Segunda” for Isabella II.
On this menu, Tutti-frutti ice-cream concluded the Queen’s nine-course luncheon. This sweet treat of ice-cream mixed with crystallised fruits macerated in cherry brandy was quite the trend in the late 1800s, appearing on the menus of the White House through to the table of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary, who enjoyed his scoops drizzled with coffee syrup.
Consommé á la Princess
Chicken consommé garnished with chicken quenelles
and sautéed asparagus tips
Croquetas á la Reine
Croquettes of minced chicken mixed with truffles
and calves’sweetbreads and bound in a supreme
sauce before being crumbed and fried
Trucha salmonado Macedoine
Macédoine of salmon and trout
Jamon York al madera
Wood smoked York Ham
Granadines à la Monte Gil
Larded roast beef
Pastel foie gras Strasbourg
Terrine of Foie-Gras from Strasbourg
Ponche à la Emperatriz
Pineapple and rum punch
Esparragos salsa estragon
Asparagus in tarragon sauce
Chateaubriand à la Ruse
A cold dish of beef fillets surrounded by artichoke hearts and eggs stuffed with vegetables bound in mayonnaise; before being garnished with chopped aspic jelly.
Helado Tuti fruti
Tutti-Frutti ice-cream containing chopped crystallised fruits that have been macerated in Kirsch (cherry brandy)
Queen Isabella II of Spain
Embossed monogram: Isabel Segunda