Whitebait Dinner

The RA has traditionally celebrated summer with a whitebait Dinner when a large group of RAs and their guests board a boat at Westminster Pier and go either downriver to Greenwich, as Turner did, or more often upriver to Putney, Barnes or Mortlake.   Farington describes an occasion in 1818 when a party of RAs visited Eel Pye House in Twickenham and then ‘a little after 3 oClock and about 4 we sat down to excellent fare brought from the Freemason Tavern under the management of a Clever Waiter.   We dined in the open at at one table and removed to another to drink wine and eat fruit’.   This year, a boat load of 80, more than ever before, went to the Duke’s Head tavern in Putney, an old boating inn, where, as is traditional, we consumed highly salted whitebait and white wine:

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2 thoughts on “Whitebait Dinner

  1. Mark Pomreoy says:

    Hello Charles! I have just discovered that Yale have put James Boswell’s correspondence on-line and so have mined it for this, a 1794 note to Farington, “I object to the Royal Academy holding a festive Club on the anniversary of the Royal Martyers [sic] murder and trust that Friday the 30th will be changed to Saturday the 31. Inadvertancy has occasioned the objection. I have no doubt that our most excellent Club has been happy as usual. May nothing ever happen to disturb our social harmony… I drink their health at the seat of my ancestors.”

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