Table 12 “Food Glorious Food”


A very interesting combination at this table all with a connection to another: first a foodie trio: two of the perhaps most fashionable hosts of the time, the restauranteur Marcel Boulestin, 56, and John Fothergill, 57, raconteur and innkeeper to the literati, (and also a member of two South Wales iron families), accompanied by Boulestin’s partner and cookery writer Robin Adair, 31. They are joined by perhaps one of the most notable industrialists in Lady Rhondda’s empire, William Royse Lysaght, 74, his eponymous company by now merged with GKN. And, depending on the identity of John Fothergill’s unnamed guest, the men are joined by just one woman, Mrs Emilie Hawkes Peacocke, 50, a pioneering journalist, not that long widowed, who spent her whole career crashing through or outwitting the glass ceiling – and someone who campaigned against the tradition of the “Lady’s portion”, the serving of a smaller portion of food to women. Boulestin was probably the more well-known of the foodies though Fothergill’s An Innkeeper’s Diary had made his name when published in 1931 – he was in the process of make a go of his second inn at this time. Fothergill’s family background may have given him common ground with the business titan Lysaght. Indeed John Fothergill emerges as being the most likely “host” for this table should there being one – by the time the guest list is printed he has filled all bar one of the places, leaving one guest for John Fothergill. And he spends his life being a “host”. Emilie’s views on food portions won’t have escaped him either.