Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas in Cairo

Miss Maddie Hatter, foreign fashion reporter for the London Fog & Cog, passes the Christmas of 1898 at Shepheard's Hotel Anglaise in Cairo. 

Picture the hotel's lovely Egyptian-inspired dining room all dressed up in English holiday finery while you read the excerpt below:

The hotel’s little orchestra played Christmas music at every possible occasion, until Maddie began to prowl the streets around the hotel, ever surrounded by loudly begging children just to escape from the relentless tunes. The British baron and his war-hero guest were present at every festivity. The former was fond of talking about his quest for a fabulous treasure. Maddie tried in vain to interest CJ in a serial story of his proposed adventure. Surely expeditions in search of legendary treasures would interest readers more than the exact style of ascot the royal relation had worn this week

On Christmas Eve, Baron Bodmin threw a lavish dinner party. He had caused real fir trees to be flown in from somewhere, and they blazed with real candles beside every pillar in the vast dining room, dripping wax into their sand-filled tubs and onto the floor tiles. The tables were dressed with holly and ivy and fat, red candles. A sumptuous feast of roast turkey, pan gravy, and all the traditional side dishes was brought in by the steam-driven serving carts, each one attended by a human server to pile high the pre-warmed plates. This was followed by flaming puddings with the appropriate sauces. A heavy meal indeed in the summery climate

And now, a more festive image of Madame Saffron's parlour in festive apparel, as Miss Maddie, Madame Saffron, Oberon O'Reilly, and me wish you and yours a joyful, adventurous holiday season: