Will you sponsor the Banqueting Room?
The lavishly decorated Banqueting Room was the stage for extravagant feasts. Meals could consist of over sixty courses and last several hours.
You can become a sponsor of this virtual room from £95. To find out why it’s so special listen to our Royal Pavilion curators discuss the Banqueting Room.
Sponsor this room
Become a Silver Sponsor with a donation of £95 or more. As a Silver Sponsor, you can add a message to be pinned to the virtual Banqueting Room.
Become a Gold Sponsor with a donation of £150 or more. As a Gold Sponsor you can add a message to the virtual Banqueting Room and will also receive a high quality photographic print of the room.
The print will be made by the local photographer who made these images, Jim Holden. Printed onto high quality photographic paper, this is a work of art that will acknowledge your support as a sponsor and provide an attractive picture for your for your home.
The print will be approximately A4 size and posted out to you following your donation.
Why sponsor this room?
Our Royal Pavilion curators David Beevers and Alexandra Loske explain why the Banqueting Room is so special.
‘Well, it is significant that the two most lavish rooms in the Pavilion are the Banqueting Room and the Music Room, because these reflect George himself. George was very, very, very fond of eating and very fond of music as well. The Banqueting Room was designed to impress and my goodness it did impress. All the visitors that come to the Pavilion are completely overwhelmed by its splendour and magnificence. George was very theatrical in his outlook and for him eating was, it wasn’t a sort of functional necessity so much as a sort of theatrical performance, with him as the sort of Master of Ceremonies at the table. He wanted his guests to be impressed by their surroundings. The food was lavish even by the standards of the time. He had the most famous chef, the first celebrity chef in one way preparing dishes, Antonin Careme preparing these extraordinary sort of sugar sculptures and whatnot, and the aim was to impress his guests, but also diplomacy took place in the room like this. I mean, it wasn’t just eating it was you know, discussing tactics, discussing politics, forming alliances. In George’s case because he had such a fantastic imagination he went completely over the top. There’s a famous occasion of his describing his being present at the Battle of Waterloo. He never went anywhere near the Battle of Waterloo and the poor old Duke of Wellington who actually was there of course and won it, had to listen to George’s nonsense really and Wellington famously said, “Yes, the embankment was very steep your majesty.”, poor man. So it was a theatrical performance of food, the ceremony of the table as it was called, was something that was very important to George and the visual appearance of the room was lavish beyond anything else people commented that it was really inappropriate for a seaside town like Brighton, this is metropolitan style, totally over the top.’
‘Well, this is one of the high points of the building and it also sums up the building. What was it about? It was about wining and dining and singing and dancing. So naturally, this is one of the two largest rooms and this is the one for dining so it had to be absolutely spectacular because that’s what the building was for. So George wanted to impress his guests and he builds this up architecturally and with the interior decoration and you walk into this room and you know, this is one of the best parts of my visit here, a high point. Here, I’m going to dine for hours, the finest food in the grandest of environments. So it’s a room that plays with your senses and it disorientates you a bit because you look up and there’s this ceiling that you can’t quite make out, is it an open sky? And what is that big plant there at the top? And what is that big dragon doing? Is it holding this huge chandelier in its claws? And imagine being in that room eating and drinking for a long time, so if you do get a little bit inebriated you may have looked at that chandelier in a very different way. It’s a fabulous room. Hugely decorated. It impresses you and it lulls you into another world.’