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Everyday Life and Dining at the Château de Versailles


By Eva Eliscu

No matter if at court or in a private house, life came with plenty of rules. Starting with the hat.

A gentleman would keep his hat on upon entering the Château but take it off upon entering the private rooms. The hat also needed to be removed when in presence of the King. The exception was when dining; then a gentleman would wear his hat. If a gentleman was addressed by the King he would take his hat off when giving his reply. Louis XIV disliked gray hats.

Where one was seated at the table depended on birth, rank, and favor. Birth counting for more than rank, old noble houses counted for more than younger ones. An Ambassador, when invited to supper, would be seated in a place of honor.

Louis XIV loved food and had a great appetite. His appetite for young beautiful women was also well known. Louis XIV was famous for having longtime and short-lived mistresses. These various mistresses had a seat at the table once they had been formally presented to the court. Louis XIV was not fond of forks and he seldom used them. Knifes were allowed and used but their tip had to be rounded.

With Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XV, the royal court left the Middle Ages Kitchen and went to what we call the New French Kitchen. Special care was now given to cooking meat to conserve maximum flavor. A big change was all the vegetables Louis XIV grew in his garden. Vegetables had to be fresh and tender. Many new varieties of vegetables made their debut on the table. He loved sweets and fresh fruits and bought 1,200 orange trees for his L’Orangerie. The 17th century saw a culinary revolution, which transported French gastronomy into the modern era. Come and meet the three French Kings at La Biblioteca on February 7, at 3pm.



“Three French Kings”

Wed, Feb 7, 3pm

La Biblioteca

Reloj 50A





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