As you may know, Annapolis is named after Queen Anne of Britain. Anne Stuart reigned, like most of the monarchs in that period after Cromwell tried to throw the monarchy down, rather uneventfully. Though, the sweet, dark-haired girl that took after her predecessors, the Merry Monarch Charles II, would have put some drops into the pond of history and make her mark though in a far more subtle fashion than some of the other previous occupants of her throne. Indeed, when she took the throne she legitimized Annapolis as a city, as she was flattered by her namesake city.
While interest in Anne’s reign is being drummed up by the newest film about her life “The Favourite.” We figured it would be appropriate to talk about our dear city’s namesake and her attraction to amazing party functions. As the best banquet hall in Annapolis, we figured exploring how a queen dines might bring your own banquet cravings to mine. After all, everyone deserves to eat like royalty every once in awhile.
Queen Anne Spent on Food
Anne loved to spend the money from the royal coffers, mainly on the very stylish drink “hot chocolate.” We’re not talking Swiss Miss here folks, we’re speaking of the traditional royalty level drink that was famously made by one person in the palace. It consisted of pure melted chocolate, thick and creamy that would often be consumed much like coffee. We’re guessing it delivered a similar effect to caffeine because the obvious sugar rush. That being said, she still didn’t spend quite as much as some of her fellow monarchs. In fact, her keeper of the purse was often criticized for not keeping Queen Anne clothed quite as richly as many thought she should be. That’s because she liked food more.
Hampton Court, one of her many favorite palaces was quite a lodge. It started as Cardinal Wolsey’s main house (the same man who chased Henry VIII away from Catholicism) and was extravagant. It had a huge number of chimneys which was indicative of many fireplaces and actual bathrooms (a transcendent upgrade) but mostly it had a great kitchen. Which is likely why Anne made it her home base and invested a ton of cake. Her favorite drink, the previously mentioned melted chocolate in a cup, was so special to her the palace was actually outfitted with a special kitchen for her chocolatier. Additionally, the hunting lodge had access to fresh game meat and fish which Anne was known to partake in during huge binge fests. This love of food attributed to her “plump” appearance which many believe was the key to her image among the people who thought of her as a mothering figure: kind, warm, sweet, and plush like a comfy mattress.
While Annapolis is gifted with an entertaining namesake, let’s all be grateful our taxes aren’t paying for her expensive hot chocolate anymore. Instead, you can use the money the American revolutionaries saved you to come and eat like the queen at the historical banquet hall on 113 Main Street. We don’t offer the same menu as Hampton Court, but we do offer Annapolis classics and our banquet menu is fully customizable and authentic. Reach out to us to schedule your event at O’Brien’s Oyster Bar and Grillfish.