The afternoon of November 13th saw a gathering of ladies meet at the assembly rooms at the Rose and Crown for Lady Elizabeth Marlowe’s Salon. The ballroom had been set with many tables for the ladies to sit and enjoy their tea and conversation which adorned with vases of autumn flowers and small branches of colourful leaves which made beautiful accents adding to the general air of Autumn. Ladies arrived from the surrounding villages, friends were met and news exchanged, giving the room a general feel of camaraderie and expanding Amberleigh’s social circle. Lady Elizabeth happily drifted from table to table welcoming the ladies and explaining they must circulate and join in other conversations to make the most of the afternoon.
The cooks at the Rose and Crown along with Mrs. Pym and Eva Broome supplied a delightful repast to be enjoyed while the conversations ensued. There was a splendid buffet set up to one side of the room consisting of three tables laid with linens, china and silver; looking very elegant indeed. There were table lustres with fruit atop them which accentuated the autumn theme to the day. Each of the three tables was designated its own array of savouries, sweets and tea and the central table held a three tier cake decorated in autumn colours with leaves created from sugar paste made to look like they were falling from the small tree atop. Behind the tables stood smiling staff happily waiting to assist, dressed in crisp white linens and hats.
As the ladies arrived they began sitting at the tables and talking, until all the tables were full and a low din of conversation filled the room. Lady Elizabeth, now big with child and looking bonnie, moved around amongst the ladies, speaking with all and bringing topics from one table to the next to encourage further conversation. She had a happy countenance and was greeted kindly by all.
While Lady Elizabeth was making her rounds, Miss Jane Meryvale was doing much the same, sowing the seeds of promoting education among women and introducing the Bluestocking Society’s values. She was seen to have several heated discussions in her quest to visit each and every table. Meanwhile her mother met with friends and was introduced to others, finding the afternoon quite enjoyable.
Lady Hazelmere was not impressed with Miss Jane Meryvale’s crusade as she referred to it, saying to Lady Elizabeth that the ladies should not be importuned with these outlandish ideas in this way. Lady Elizabeth spoke to Lady Hazelmere and smoothed her feathers then skilfully changed the subject to one Lady Hazelmere was champion of; music. A trio of musicians had been procured to soften the mood of the afternoon and were immediately asked to play Lady Hazelmere’s suggestions.
As the afternoon drew to a close, the ballroom slowly emptied, a sense of happy animation went with all the ladies and the day was considered a great success by all.