Cache-Control: public, max-age=1024000 Bellamy's Kitchen


In a pleasantly written book, entitled A Career in the Commons, we find this sketch of the singular apartment, in the vicinity of the (Old) House of Commons called "the Kitchen." "Mr. Bellamy's beer may be unexceptionable, and his chops and steaks may be unrivalled, but the legislators of England delight in eating a dinner in the place where it is cooked, and in the presence of the very fire where the beef hisses and the gravy runs! Bellamy's kitchen seems, in fact, a portion of the British Constitution. A foreigner, be he a Frenchman, American, or Dutchman, if introduced to the 'kitchen,' would stare with astonishment if you told him that in this plain apartment, with its immense fire, meatscreen, gridirons, and a small tub under the window for washing the glasses, the statesmen of England very often dine, and men, possessed of wealth untold, and with palaces of their own, in which luxury and splendour are visible in every part, are willing to leave their stately dining-halls and powdered attendants, to be waited upon, while eating a chop in Bellamy's kitchen, by two unpretending old women. Bellamy's kitchen, I repeat, is part and parcel of the British Constitution. Baronets who date from the Conquest, and squires of every degree, care nothing for the unassuming character of the 'kitchen,' if the steak be hot and good, if it can be quickly and conveniently dispatched, and the tinkle of the division-bell can be heard while the dinner proceeds. Call England a proud nation, forsooth! Say that the House of Commons is aristocratic! Both the nation and its representatives must be, and are, unquestionable patterns of republican humility, if all the pomp and circumstance of dining can be forgotten in Bellamy's kitchen!"[42]

[42] At the noted Cat and Bagpipes tavern, at the south-west corner of Downing-street, George Rose used to eat his mutton-chop; he subsequently became Secretary to the Treasury.

John Timbs
Club Life of London Vol. II
London, 1866