The Empire days of 2016

August and September were hectic months (in a good way!) so there was no time to blog, but – take my word – I wanted to. I even had to decline an organised outing (in Regency attire) to watch the new film Love and Friendship. Besides the official photographs from the festival are stuck somewhere, and I was not taking that many pictures. For this post I was able to rely on friends who generously allowed me to use their photos!

Back in November last year I was invited to join the organising group. I did not have to think twice before accepting, as I thought it would be great fun. (And a perfect excuse to meet with a terrific group of people on a regular basis. Who would say no to that?)

We only made a few minor changes, so the programme was similar to last year. This year´s theme was Love. (What else?) So the music was particularily romantic, and the dance programme included many particularily romantic dances such as The Duke of Kent´s Waltz. The Empire days started with a dance-class on Thursday evening. I was occupied elsewhere, but I believe it was useful for those who needed to practise their dancing skills. I am by no means an expert, so various clips on youtube came in handy.

Friday was ball night. As one of the organisers I was early at the venue for preparations. One of my assignments was to set up a small exhibition in the parlour. I have blogged about it before, so I will not go into details, but the atmosphere in the historical manor house, Kristinehof, is unique.

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The ball started with a glass of bubbly in the courtyard.

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A Wedding breakfast in the parlour. Anders wrote most of the texts for those who wanted to learn more about courtship, wedding, and married life in the early nineteenth century.

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My contribution was to set the table for a wedding reception. This era saw the rise in popularity for intimate but elegant wedding ceremonies, often at home, with a few select guests mingling over tea, cake, wine, and sweets. We served bisquits, candied rose-petals and lilacs on East-Indian porcelain. An imported pineapple was extravagant.

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An ouverture before the first dance. Eager dancers listening to lovely tunes from the orchestra in the ball room.

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The orchestra and Mrs Löfgren, our Dance Master. Photo courtesy of Ulrika Rosander.

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Quadrille!

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Our photographer, Miss Lillemor. Photo courtesy of Ulrika Rosander.

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There was dinner and desserts! Photo courtesy of Olof Rosengren.

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Saturday was picknick-day. We met up in the Haga-park, one of the royal gardens. There was no fixed time. People could chose to stay throughout the day or only drop by. I needed a sleep in and had to rest my tired feet, so I was what could be described as “fashionably late”. It was the first outing for my new pantaloons and the striped waistcoat.

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The Echo Temple (1790) is perfect for dancing.

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Picknick and mingle on the lawn. Photo courtesy of Jenny Björkquist.

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Miss Annelie and the crocquet cart. Photo courtesy of Jenny Björkquist.

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There were many of us on the lawn in front of the Royal pavilion. Photo courtesy of Keit Svensson.

Photo courtesy of Jenny Björkquist.

The centre of events: dancing in The Echo Temple. One of the few full length views of my new pantaloons and waistcoat. (The pantaloons look baggy, but i assure you they were not.) Photo courtesy of Jenny Björkquist.

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And Vilhelm brought his harpsicord. (The rustic one in his collection.)

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The August night was dark but warm…

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… but it was nevertheless nice with a cup of tea. It is always nice with a cup of tea…

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Rain was pouring down on Sunday, so we moved the second picknick to our friends house.

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After lunch we cleared the dining room to make room for some more dancing.

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Photo courtesy Paula Krumlinde.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, I certainly had! This year I took time to actually engage in conversation – there were so many nice people to talk to. It is always interesting to discuss Jane Austen and share costume ideas, but of course there is much more beyond those obvious topics.

This post was not so much about costuming and sewing projects. There is more to come in that department later this year…

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