Agamemnondinner

The Agamemnon Dinner of November 1900

Found among a large collection of menus printed at the turn of the nineteenth century by the high class Cambridge printer W.P.Spalding is this menu for the annual ‘Agamemnon  Dinner’ of the famous Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club, which was held at King’s College on 27th November 1900.


A copy of this particular menu, signed by some who attended the Dinner, is in the King’s College archives. It shows that the medievalist M.R.James, a good amateur actor who enjoyed reciting his famous ghost stories at ADC events, was present at the Dinner, along with A.A.Milne, then in his Fresher year. All the menus reflect the high gastronomical standards of the various Cambridge colleges at that time, but the dishes on offer at the Agamemnon Dinner seem particularly delicious.

James and Milne could choose from starters that included Potage Dauphine served with an amontillado, Turbot boulli, sauce crevettes and filet de sole a la Villeroi which came with a liebfraumilch, perdrix aux choux, or petites timbales a la Royale, which were served with a 1894 Champagne Irroy.

The main courses consisted of Boeuf pique a la Godard, Oison Roti, sauce aux pommes, celery a l’Espagnoles, haricots verts, pommes de terre en croquettes et Oakley.

Or they might prefer Langue de Boeuf a la Ecarlate with puree d’Epinards.

Dessert number one came in the form of ‘Pouding A.D.C.’ or Bavarois au Curacao.

Then there were liqueurs offered with Glace au pain bis a la Jamaique..

Then, rather bizarrely, came Croutes d’ Anchois ( marinated fish towards the end of a meal; I wonder if this was ever popular). And finally, another  Dessert (not specified), after which came port and coffee.

Personally, I could happily scoff the lot—apart from the anchovies, obviously, although I’d want to know what potato croquettes ‘et Oakley’ exactly meant. [RR]

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on StumbleUpon

One thought on “The Agamemnon Dinner of November 1900

  1. Anonymous

    Based on my experiences as a student at "the other place" I believe "et Oakley" would indicate the croquettes contain both potatoes and cheese. I don't know if the food at these sorts of dinners was any good in 1900, but it sounds like the same tarted up boarding school food one is served at them today. Such food is generally rather comforting and delicious, especially since copious amounts of sherry followed by wine and champagne masks culinary mediocrity rather well.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.