This is the Table Deckers’ Room, and was very important for the Prince’s sense of theatre. George was very concerned with appearance, whether it was the fine detail of his clothes, the interior design of his Royal Palaces or, in this case, how food was presented. Here’s David Beevers, Keeper of the Royal Pavilion.
‘George’s table deckers appear to come from Brunswick, and they weren’t really cooks or chefs, they were kind of artists of the table and they were responsible for laying the table and decorating the tablecloth with sugar paste sculptures, often with coloured stones and coloured marbles, recreating pictures from classical mythology, all of which was destroyed at the end of the dinner. It’s all to do, less with eating than what was called ‘the theatre of the table’. And in fact the whole business of eating in the Royal Pavilion was a kind of theatrical occasion and I think very often the food was less important than its service and the theatricality with which it was served.’
Now turn round, and follow the small passage along to the kitchen. This short corridor was part of a network of hidden passageways that ran the length and breadth of the Pavilion, so that servants could move around out of sight. They have bare tiled floors and walls tiled with plain white Dutch tiles, with a pretty detail running along the top in blue.