The Joys of Excess (Penguin Great Food)
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As well as being the most celebrated diarist of all time, Samuel Pepys was also a hearty drinker, eater and connoisseur of epicurean delights, who indulged in every pleasure seventeenth-century London had to offer. Whether he is feasting on barrels of oysters, braces of carps, larks' tongues and copious amounts of wine, merrymaking in taverns until the early hours, attending formal dinners with lords and ladies or entertaining guests at home with his young wife, these irresistible selections from Pepys's diaries provide a frank, high- spirited and vivid picture of the joys of over-indulgence - and the side-effects afterwards.
night to my uncle Wights and supped with them; but against my stomach out of the offence the sight of my aunts hands gives me; and ending supper with a mighty laugh (the greatest I have had these many months) at my uncles being out in his grace after meat, we rise and broke up and my wife and I home and to bed – being sleepy since last night. 12. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning; and at noon to the Change awhile and so home – getting things against dinner ready. And anon comes
office, where all the morning. At noon to the Change; and there (which is strange) I could meet with nobody that I could invite home to my venison pasty, but only Mr. Alsop and Mr. Lanyon, whom I invited last night, and a friend they brought along with them. So home; and with our venison pasty we had other good meat and good discourse. After dinner sat close to discourse about our business of the victualling of the garrison of Tanger – taking their prices of all provisions; and I do hope to order
the Well, where much company; and there we light and I drank the water; they did not, but do go about and walk a little among the women, but I did drink four pints and had some very good stools by it. Here I met with divers of our town; among others, with several of the tradesmen of our office, but did talk but little with them, it growing hot in the sun; and so we took coach again and to the Towne to the King’s Head, where our coachman carried us; and there had an ill room for us to go into, but
the best in the house that was not taken up; here we called for drink and bespoke dinner […] So to our coach, and through Mr. Minnes’s wood and looked upon Mr. Eveling’s house; and so over the common and through Epsum towne to our Inne, in the way stopping a poor woman with her milk-pail and in one of my gilt Tumblers did drink our bellyfuls of milk, better then any Creame; and so to our Inne and there had a dish of creame, but it was sour and so had no pleasure in it; and so paid our reckoning
Seale in the morning, but my Lord did not come. So I went with Capt. Morrice at his desire into the King’s Privy Kitchin to Mr. Sayres the Master-Cooke, and there we had a good slice of beef or two to our breakfast. And from thence he took us into the wine-cellar; where by my troth we were very merry, and I drank too much wine – and all along had great and perticular kindness from Mr. Sayre. But I drank so much wine that I was not fit for business; and therefore, at noon I went and walked in