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The London Season

Get ready for the wildest ride of your life, a whirlwind of activity unlike any other. We invite you to be our guest at the grandest of all parties -- the granddaddy of all parties -- 100 days and 100 nights of almost nonstop activity -- a party we call "The London Season".

PreCatelan RestaurantWhat is "the Season"? There are many stories as to how the London Season came into being, most of which are probably true. The one common denominator is that the majority of the people who are called Society reside in castles and manors on large estates in the country, all of who need to visit London from time-to-time to take care of various business matters, including attending Parliament that sits from February through August. It is this migration from the country and festivities that take place during this period that is called the "London Season".

Another and quite probably equal in importance to Parliament is the social aspect and the pressure imposed upon the men by the women. Living in the country is generally uneventful; you can't choose your neighbors and you have to make the most of very limited entertainment. So when the men travel to London to engage in running the country, the women join them using this time to meet with friends, go shopping, exchange news, give and attend parties where their children can meet and make advantageous matches in the world's largest marriage market.

Who is this group of people called "Society"? Society, the elite or "ton" as they are sometimes called, consists of an estimated 1,500 families approximating 10,000 people. This group includes the Royals, titled aristocracy, and old landed gentry as well as politicians, a few wealthy merchants and manufacturers, a few doctors and artists. You may also find included some who have achieved the designation of being outstanding such as an explorer or musician. You will not, however, find those considered as intellectuals or newspapermen.

Being a part of this group requires that you maintain your position by not publicly humiliating yourself and by being seen with the right people in the right places and, of course, wearing only the most fashionable of garments.

Who may participate in the Season? Actually, the London Season is open to all, but typically it is celebrated by Society. The Season's highlights consist of the public events; i.e. riding in Rotten Row, sitting or strolling in Hyde Park, attending the most popular of sporting events, the theatre and the opera, as well as the private events. If not considered a member of Society and you are fortunate enough to receive an invitation, you may participate in these private events as well.

Public Events Private Events
The races: Derby, Ascot, Goodwood Henley Regatta Balls and dances
Breakfast, lunch, garden and dinner parties
Eton vs. Harrow Cricket Match Afternoon and evening concerts
Royal Art Academy Exhibit Evening and Court receptions, Drawing-Rooms
  Theatre and Opera
  Afternoon visits

The cost of one's participation can get expensive, although it is possible to partake in some of the Season's free activities: strolling or riding in Hyde Park. If you want to participate, you must be prepared to spend and spend and spend. First there is the cost of domestic help and in some cases the rental of residences for the summer. Then there is the cost of transport, tickets to the theatre and the opera, subscriptions to clubs, boxes of calling cards, the cost of food and entertainment if one is sponsoring any of the private activities and last, but not least, the cost of one's wardrobe. Then men can get by in suits at approximately 10 each; however, their wives and daughters NEED to have numerous dresses at costs approximating 50 each. It's obvious that the Season would not survive without those who have no need to worry about the cost.

A summer's night gatheringNow that you have some background for the Season, join us in some of the events. We have purposely omitted the subject of balls here as there is another section that discuss these in some detail.

Pearl button link to Typical Day Part 1 Locale Pearl button link to Typical Day, Part 2 The Daily Schedule Pearl button link to Typical Day, Part 3 The Park
Pearl button link to Victorian Tea Party The Food Pearl button link to Elisabeths household accounts Evening Parties Pearl button link to Victorian Education Theatre and Opera
Pearl button link to Victorian Tea Party The Races Pearl button link to Elisabeths household accounts Sporting Occasions Pearl button link to Victorian Education Presentation at Court

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