Posts tagged Marie Antoinette
Posts tagged Marie Antoinette
Silks and velvets, muslin and lawn, the wheel of fashion, spun by the queen and her “minister of fashion,” whirled faster and faster
image: behind the scenes of Annie Leibovitz’s Marie Antoinette Vogue photoshoot; my screencaps
One of the early amusements designed for Marie Antoinette and her guests at the Petit Trianon was a Chinese pavilion which housed a moving merry-go-round that operated through an invisible mechanism underneath the structure. The queen and her courtiers would sit astride expertly carved Chinoiserie-styled animals, such as fanciful dragons and plumed peacocks. Both the pavilion and merry-go-around were likely dismantled during the revolution.
Maria Theresa of Austria died on November 29th, 1780. In her last letter to her daughter, Marie Antoinette, dated the day after her 25th birthday, Maria Theresa wrote: “Yesterday I spent time more in France than in Austria, and I remembered all the happy times in the past, which is indeed gone.”
Marie Antoinette (2006)
The Oak of Marie Antoinette
“Marie Antoinette loved to shelter under this tree, planted in 1681, between the Grand Canal and the Grand Trianon in the park of the Château de Versailles. It was the oldest tree in the park when it was devastated by the 1999 storm… The stump is exposed in the park of Trianon in memory.”
source: dalbera on Flickr
A chair from Marie Antoinette’s dairy at Rambouillet
(C) RMN (Château de Versailles) / Droits réservés
A British chemise a la reine circa 1783 - 1790. One of the few surviving chemise a la reine dresses from the 18th century. This one is made from Indian cottin muslin and is finely embroidered “with zig-zag lines of pulled-thread or Chikan work.”
Eat Like a Queen: Marie Antoinette’s Favorite Foods
Rainbow colored macarons, glasses of bubbling champagne, vanilla cream filled pastries and towers filled with sugary sweets— these are the delicate and delicious treats consumed en masse by Marie Antoinette in Sofia Coppola’s colorful interpretation of the famous queen’s life. But what did Marie Antoinette really like to eat?
Marie Antoinette’s eating habits were surprisingly simple, in contrast to her portrayal in the Sofia Coppola film.
In the mornings, Marie Antoinette preferred coffee or hot chocolate, sometimes accompanied by simple bread. The bread she ate was possibly kipfel, a type of Austrian bread which is considered an early form of the croissant or it may have been an earlier form of kaisersemmel, more commonly known today as a Kaiser roll. Although popular legend has it that Marie Antoinette brought the croissant to France from her native Austria in the form of comfort food, this is likely a simple legend, because the croissant was not mentioned in records of French cuisine until the mid 19th century.
When Marie Antoinette was obliged to dine in public, which was the custom for the royalty at Versailles, she hardly touched the food presented to her. Typically, the food served during these ceremonial meals were elaborate court dishes which were meant to illustrate the majesty and wealth commanded by French monarchy. Although her husband ate at these public meals with gusto, Marie Antoinette often waited until she was able to retreat to her private apartments to eat her meals.
Privately, Marie Antoinette preferred foods which were much less extravagent than the court meals served at the grand couvert. She enjoyed meals of boiled or roasted white meat, especially chicken or fowl, accompanied by cooked vegetables. She was also fond of broths and simpler soups. She did not drink alcohol with much frequency, if at all, and preferred lemonade or water imported from Ville d’Avray for its purity. She also liked to dip small biscuits in her water or lemonade. She sometimes drank cow or donkey’s milk, especially for health purposes.
On the sweeter side, Marie Antoinette loved chocolate. Chocolate in the 18th century was primarily consumed in liquid form and would be quite thick, much thicker than the typical popular “hot cocoa” drink that is sold in stores today. Marie Antoinette especially liked chocolate which was fused with her favorite flavors, such as sweet almond, vanilla and orange blossom.
Marie Antoinette’s favorite foods, like simple meat dishes and morning hot chocolate, probably aren’t fun to sample as mountains of macarons and towers of champagne, but here are some suggestions for getting a taste of some of Marie Antoinette’s favorite meals:
Enjoy a private “Marie Antoinette” inspired dinner by complimenting some roasted white chicken meat with chicken broth, biscuits, and sweet lemonade. If you’re in a more “Trianon” mood, try a snack of fresh cow’s milk and fresh cheese.
For dessert or a sweet morning treat, try out this mid 18th century hot chocolate recipe: “Place the same quantity of chocolate bars and glasses of water in a coffee maker and boil gently; when you are ready to serve, place one egg yolk for four servings and stir over a gentle heat but do not boil. If prepared the night before, those who drink it every day leave a leaven for the one they make the next day; instead of an egg yolk you may use a whisked egg white after having removed the first mousse, mix it with some of the chocolate from the coffee maker then pour back into the coffee maker and finish the preparation as with the egg yolk.” For that Marie Antoinette kick, make your hot chocolate with vanilla, almond milk or a dash of orange flower water.