Continuing our tour of the Pavilion, today we are moving on from the magnificent Kitchen, as detailed in our last post in the series…

and today our tour recommences in the Pages Room, shown as number  6 on the  plan of the ground floor rooms in the Pavilion, below.

This is the room where the dishes for the Prince Regent’s banquets would be assembled and then rushed out by the footmen to the waiting guests in the Banqueting Room.

Again the placement of this room, so close to the kitchen and the grand rooms of the Pavilion, indicates the importance of food to the Prince regent. In most grand Georgian buildings the kitchen and domestic offices were deliberately situated a long way away from the formal dining room so that cooking smells (and noises) did not  intrude on the social life of the owners (see this piece on Kedleston and the arrangement of the kitchen there)

But in the Pavilion, the high-tech Kitchen and the Pages Room were directly next to the Banqueting Room.

No fear of any food being served below temperature here…

The Banqueting Room, adjoining, is an astounding, extravagant room. And is numbered “7” on the ground-plan above.

(©Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove)

This is Nash’s watercolour of it as it appeared in the 1820s

(©Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove)

In this close up of that picture, above, you can clearly see The Prince Regent, or George IV, as he was after the death of his father George III in 1820, sitting half way down the table, facing us. The male figure at the end of the table, on the same side as the King is the architect responsible for most of this exuberance,  John Nash. Do click on this and all the other images in this post to examine the detail.

(©Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove)

This is how the room appears today, very  little changed from that scene in the 1820s. The most magnificent sight in the room is probably the chandeliers. They hang from a dome, painted as if it is open to a tropical and not a Sussex sky. The main chandelier hangs from giant 3-dimensional plantain leaves and  a huge gilded dragon grasps the chandelier in its claws. This cost £5,600 in 1820,and was then lit by gas-a new invention.

The four subsidiary chandeliers are in the form of lotus leaves and hang from mirrored stars. The quality of the lead crystal in these chandeliers is breath taking; rainbows of light beam from the prisms.

The painted clerestory windows, which can be seen either side of the chandelier in the picture below, were so designed that lamps could be placed behind them at night, so that they were not obscured by the darkness, but glowed in the evening light.

Princess Lieven, who was used to the grandeur and splendour of Imperial Russia, was nevertheless  impressed by this room and wrote:

I do not believe that since the days of Heligobalus there has been such magnificence and such luxury

The table is set as if for a dessert course,and the contents are  magnificent

( but my pictures of it sadly are not!)

Next, the Banqueting room Gallery and the first of the costumes in the Dress for Excess exhibition.