A Seven Dials break

If any of you are near Seven Dials, I’ll spend a few minutes at The Crown. There is good Internet access here and Chinese food close at hand.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Hearts just as pure and fair May beat in Belgrave Square As in the lowly air Of Seven Dials! –W. S. Gilbert (Iolanthe)

  2. Love it!

    Isn’t Belgrave the area where the family I’m Upstairs Downstairs lived?

  3. Rubricarius says:

    The area is called Begravia and the Bellamy’s resided at 165 Eaton Square – an address which doesn’t actually exist.

  4. Rubricarius says:

    Forgive the missing ‘l’ in Belgravia and a memory glitch I should have written 165 Eaton Place

    Are you a fan too Fr. Z? I really don’t think I have ever seen so arrestingly beautiful a woman as the character Lady Marjorie played by Rachel Gurney.

  5. John says:

    Fr, Z:

    I see you enjoyed a packet of Walker’s. They have two varieties that I have tried on previous trips and it is a tie between them for the most unappetizing flavor: Lamb and Mint or Prawn cocktail.

  6. Fr J says:

    Personally I was rather fond of the interaction between Mrs Bridges and Rose!

  7. john: I am a bit more conventional when it comes to these things.

  8. Nick says:

    That looks like Lay’s potato chips with a different name on the bag.

  9. I am indeed a fan of UpDown. I watched the whole series through for the first time last spring and summer for the first time. The characters are developed all along the way. I was sorry it had to end.

    Have you all seen Gosford Park?


  10. Rubricarius says:

    Fr. Z.,

    I think that declaration should make you an honorary English man! The series was actually very cleverly written and, considering the time of its production, rather daring (c.f. Episode: Magic Casements) The principal charcters did indeed develop and were far more ‘real’ than those in many contemporary productions. As a self-confessed devotee of Lady Marjorie the other character who held the series together was Richard Bellamy, later Lord Bellamy (a life peerage) played by dear David Langton who really did live in Eaton Place and, sadly, like Rachel Gurney is no longer, sadly, with us in this life.

  11. RichR says:


    Frito-Lay owns Walkers Crisps in the UK and Lay’s in the USA.

  12. David Andrew says:

    Speaking of strange flavor combinations for crisps, out on Long Beach Island, NJ, (and I suppose elsewhere along the coast), one can find bags of chips (crisps) with flavors such as “crab seasonings.”

    That one pic features what looks like an excellent bowl of hot and sour soup!

    I’ve found a good Chinese restaurant near my home, but the one weakness is their hot and sour soup. They don’t make it in small batches per order, they make a huge vat of it at the beginning of the day. By the evening, it’s become so caustic that it’s more like furniture stripper than soup.

  13. Antiquarian says:

    I think that Lord Bellamy’s viscountancy was not a life peerage but a hereditary one– of course, his only son James committed suicide so the title would have died with him.

    I remember the scene where the family barrister (whose name eludes me) arrives with the news that Mr. Bellamy was being offered a peerage in the New Years’ Honors, and they together mused on his “style.”

    Can you tell I too loved the series? I loved how all of the various housemaids had flower names– Rose, Daisy, Lily. (And of course the scullery maid was Ruby, a wonderful character.)

  14. The suan la tang I had tonight was as good as I have ever had.

  15. Rubricarius says:


    I may indeed be wrong as I rather lost interest in the series after the death of Lady Marjorie. The barrister’s name was Sir Geoffrey Dillon if I recall correctly played by Raymond Huntley.

  16. Fr J says:

    You’re like me Fr Z – I always have Jasmine tea with my Chinese meal, so eases the digestion! My favourite soup though is chicken and mushroom and preferably with bamboo shoot (though that seems rarer these days) or, of course, the wonderful “won ton” though I like to have this as a side dish with my main course!

  17. mcitl says:

    Father Z –

    I’m really quite concerned, as I hear that you have been hanging out with OLD people lately.

    Really, now, can’t you do better than that?


  18. Ruth says:

    Fr. Z – Have you ever had a “Crisp Butty”? Perhaps it is only to be had in Lancashire. It is crisps, preferably salt and vinegar, between 2 slices of white bread that is buttered, with some steak sauce if desired. Delicious!! Another variation is “Chip Butty” with french fries in place of potato chips.

  19. Tony from Oz says:

    Fr Z,

    I, too, loved Upstairs Downstairs – but, golly that was a looong time ago – the show dates from the late ’70’s early ’80’s. But beautifully done.

    However, my ‘Aunty Chris’ – a dear lady from Fyve, Aberdeen, who went into domestic service in some of the grand houses (eg Lord & Lady Leith etc) in 1914 at the tender age of 14 – snorted when I asked her, 30 years ago, what she thought of the series. She had been trained as a cook and told me that the downstairs scenes with the servants were inauthentic because \’the butler and higher servants never ate with the ‘lower servants’ (eg Ruby the scullery maid) . This was Aunty’s world until she emigrated to Australia in 1930.

    I asked her once how did the aristocracy for whom she worked treat the servants; \”Like human beings!’ she replied emphatically with her delightful scottish lilt. She told me that, as a young lass she had taken some leave to return home to her family for a week, but that, before she left the great house, Lady Leith had summonsed her and, to her surprise and delight, had told her she belived she was going home and presented her with a 5 pound note for holiday expenses [at least the equivalent of 200 quid or $400 in today’s money].

    When Chrissie arrived during the depression in Australia, she soon quit domestic service because here, there were few ‘great houses’, and skilled servants (she was a cook) were expected to perform a range of other tasks (which Chrissie thought infra dig).

    Up until about the 1920s, almost half the UK was employed in domestic service. Anyhow – it was a fascinating insight into a world now disappeared.

  20. Doug says:

    Fr. i have been a devotee of Masterpiece Theatre and Great Performances my whole life…literally. My mother, in the late seventies and early eighties, broadened my horizons with Upstairs Downstairs as well as Brideshead. To this day I refer to both often.

    Plover’s eggs anyone?

    Antiquarian….your memory serves you well. You are correct. Dillon = Huntley.

  21. Louis E. says:

    Modern life peerages (always of the degree of baron) did not exist until 1958…there is no chance that the Bellamy viscounty was ever represented as other than hereditary.

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