Travel back in time to the roaring twenties with the new exhibition; Let’s Misbehave: Blenheim Palace in the 1920’s then enjoy an insightful talk in the Indian Room followed by a themed afternoon tea in the Orangery Restaurant.
Wednesdays at 2.30pm from 19 February – 8 April the themed talks & teas will immerse visitors in the 1920’s era; from How Churchill Waged War with Allen Packwood to The Sphinx with Hugo Vickers.
On Wednesday 19 February Paul Levy the local renowned writer, journalist, broadcaster, co-literary executor of Lytton Strachey’s estate and trustee of the Strachey Trust will be considering the question; Did the Bloomsbury Group make itself redundant? Though radical in their time, most of their domestic social goals have now been achieved and are taken for granted.
On Wednesday 18 March join Allen Packwood OBE, who served as the Director of the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge for an in-depth talk about Winston Churchill. Expert in all things Churchill related, Allen’s talk will take visitors into a past world which is closed to most of us – and there may even be the occasional Churchillian reference to alcohol and cigars!
On Wednesday 26 Feb & 11 March, well-known biographer, lecturer and broadcaster Hugo Vickers will be talking about the 9th Duchess of Marlborough, Gladys Deacon. Hugo will be talking extensively about the Duchess, and his recent book; The Sphinx: The Life of Gladys Deacon, Duchess of Marlborough. He is a well-known Royal expert and has covered events from the first wedding of the Prince of Wales, the funeral of Diana, and the Queen Mother, and the recent royal weddings.
On Wednesday 4 March, Dr Darren Clarke will be talking all things Charleston, a
Bloomsbury Love Story. Charleston Farmhouse in East Sussex was the country home of the artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant and a meeting place for the friends and family, members of the Bloomsbury group. At Charleston the group could experiment with new ways of living, decorating the rooms with rich and vibrate Post-Impressionist designs, creating a background for new ways of living and thinking. Dr Darren Clarke tells the story of the Bloomsbury group at Charleston and explains what The Charleston Trust is doing to maintain their legacy.
On Wednesday 25 March, join Annie Sloan, the world’s leading authority of paint, colour and technique for a talk entitled Innovate and Inspire. Revolutionising decorative painting with the creation of the now-iconic Chalk Paint™, Annie’s contagious enthusiasm, passion and expertise has unlocked creative potential all over the world. Annie collaborated with the Charleston Trust to create unique range of Chalk paints and will be talking to guests about how she made her dreams come true.
On Wednesday 1 April, Blenheim Palace’s own researcher, Antonia Keaney will be talking about A Passion for (Twenties) Fashion. Antonia will talk about how the Marlboroughs and their friends embraced 1920s fashions and quickly adapted to the exciting changes in both outerwear and underwear, moving swiftly away from the extreme constrictions of the Victorian era to fall upon the styles of the liberated 1920s.
On Wednesday 8 April, Michael Waterhouse, author of The Churchill Who Saved
Blenheim, will be talking about the 9th Duke of Marlborough who married Consuelo Vanderbilt, famously known as the Dollar Princess to secure the fortunes of the Oxfordshire Palace.
Each Talk will be followed by a Twenties themed Afternoon Tea. The Orangery Restaurant will serve an afternoon tea that brings to life the delicious elements of the decadent decade and all-time favourite dishes.
These include savoury bites of Chicken Croquettes, inspired by the Ybor City cigar factory workers’ strike, and the Oxford Savoury – crayfish and cod roe butter on toast. Sweet treats include boozy cakes, custard and rhubarb; all of which became popular in the age of decadence. Guests can indulge on a selection of cakes and pastries, such as a pineapple “Upside down” cake, a Lime financier, Rhubarb and custard delice, a Rose and white chocolate pistachio macaron, and the Black Forest tart.
To celebrate the age of wild, boozy parties, mixologists at the Palace have created the “Gin Rickey cocktail”, a heady concoction made with Oxford Toad Gin. A perfect match to sip whilst enjoying the afternoon tea, the cocktail also made an appearance in Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 classic The Great Gatsby. A non-alcoholic version made with Seedlip Garden 108 is also available. For the champagne afternoon tea traditionalists, guests can experience the glamour of 1920s with a Taittinger Brut Reserve, served in beautiful champagne coupes.
Running from 15th February to 13th April, ‘Let’s Misbehave – Blenheim Palace in the 1920s’ is a fascinating insight into the heady world of the upper classes in a time of great social, artistic and political change. Discover the aesthetic, and often shocking, world of Strachey, Woolf, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Maynard Keynes and Adrian Stephen as you see portraits around the exhibition.
Themed Talks & Teas must be booked in advance, visit blenheimpalace.com/letsmisbehave for full details and booking.