No. 1 Royal Crescent - Bath | Author Darcy Burke
Darcy Burke

No. 1 Royal Crescent - Bath

On our last trip to England, we visited No. 1 Royal Crescent, a Georgian era house museum, in Bath. You may recognize the Royal Crescent from movies and TV shows (namely Bridgerton!). The museum is the first house on the right of the crescent and is a lovely time capsule of a family spending the season in Bath. As you progress from room to room, you learn the day in the life of this family through a story told with video and audio. There’s a daughter looking for a match and the rakish heir who likes to gamble and spars with his father over responsibilities. Very romance novel-esque! The video screens were cleverly disguised as paintings or mirrors. In the kitchen, the prep table was a screen and you watched the cook make meringues as if you were looking down at her hands. I was very interested (and maybe a little horrified) to see the whisk she used made of twigs. I can’t imagine cleaning that, nor would I want to use that to whip egg whites into a meringue! The cook must have had some serious arm muscles!

When you read my upcoming series, Rogue Rules, you will likely recognize things I “borrow” from this house! While there, I purchased a map of Bath from Jane Austen’s time, which will be most useful! As much as I love to visit the past, I don’t think I’d want to live there. How about you?

Exterior of Royal Crescent, stone townhouses joined in a crescent shape, in Bath, England

Look familiar?

Stone facade of a Georgian era town house in Bath, England

The house museum at No. 1 Royal Crescent

Dining room in Georgian era townhouse with a white tablecloth and elegant dishes and glasses, table and chairs are made of dark cherry-colored wood, multiple painted portraits of individuals hang on the walls

The first stop of the tour is the dining room for breakfast.

Georgian era hearth with white marble in dining room

The tour included a story, which was a day in the life of the family living in this house during the Bath season. In the dining room, two “portraits” were actually screens where actors portrayed the lord and lady as they discussed the coming day. The voices of their children were also heard and they included the rakish heir, the eldest daughter who is looking for a husband, and a younger daughter who is a hoyden who will likely never marry. There was also another son who is in the military as well as a young boy in school.

Ornate wood buffet side table laden with silver and dishes set for the Georgian era

Buffet table in the dining room as it would have looked during the Georgian era. Check out all the wine!

Small table with three elegant wood chairs an a white tablecloth in a Georgian era siting room with a window and a marble fireplace

After breakfast, the lady of the house adjourned to the sitting room across the entry hall where she met with the housekeeper to discuss the plans for the day. This part of the story was relayed in audio.

White marble Georgian era fireplace with a clock on the mantel and a portrait of a man hanging above it. A sconce is mounted on either side of the portrait and in front of the hearth is a small, round, wooden table with two chairs. A candlestick and a map of the city of Bath sit atop the table.

The window looks out the front of the house. To the left is one of the cabinets with things like fossils inside and to the right is that large chair.

Lady's bedchamber with a Georgian era bed draped in floral fabric. There is a table and stool where embroidery was done.

Upstairs to the lady’s bedchamber.

Ornate wooden dresser with a portrait hanging over it in lady's Georgian era bedchamber.

The lady’s dresser

Georgian era fireplace in the lady's bedroom with a carved white mantel and hearth with a coal grate.

The lady’s beautiful fireplace.

The lady's desk with a cushioned 18th century chair. Two portraits of ladies adorn the walls.

The lady’s desk where she certainly completed her correspondence.

Looking through an ornately carved white archway to a corridor with turquoise painted walls and a chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

The corridor between the lady’s and lord’s bedchambers.

Looking through an ornate white painted archway into the stair hall with stairs leading up and down in a Georgian era townhouse.

The staircase from the corridor between the lady’s bedchamber and the drawing room. Don’t miss the fabulous decoration on the arch.

Georgian era drawing room with gold-papered walls, a crystal chandelier, portraits, a dark pink settee, a card table, a pianoforte, and a white manteled hearth.

The drawing room where the family adjourns for leisure pursuits and conversation. Papa asks his heir if he must go out that evening–he’s getting a poor reputation.

Drawing room from Georgian era town house with gold wallpaper and gold window coverings. There is a pianoforte and a card table.

The younger daughter will play some music for everyone while someone comments on her independent attitudes.

White carved mantelpiece in the lord's bedchamber with blue painted walls. Wood chairs with red cushions sit on either side of the mantel, on which sits a wood clock and a candlestick on either end. A landscape painting hangs over the fireplace.

The lord’s bedroom where we learned that the heir has been gambling and generally behaving like a wastrel. His father is not amused!

Handwritten letter about a wastrel son of a nobleman who has gambled too much.

The lord has thrown a letter regarding his son’s gambling debt into the fireplace!

Below stairs with stone floor and stone archway in Georgian era town house.

Time to go below stairs and see what the servants are up to.

Large cooking hearth with a spit and assorted fake meats cooking in a Georgian kitchen.

The heart of the house – the kitchen! There are several cookie and preparation areas. This main hearth allows several things to be cooked at once.

Georgian era stove with pots "cooking" atop it. A shelf above holds cookware.

Another cooking area – a stove with pots boiling and simmering.

Georgian era kitchen work area with bowls, pans, and cooking utensils. The table has shelves and drawers.

One of the areas where food is prepared and utensils stored.

Georgian era kitchen work table that is actually a video screen showing how a cook at that time would have prepared chocolate meringues using a whisk made out of twigs.

This was the coolest thing in the kitchen–the story continues with the cook making the lord’s favorite dessert, chocolate meringues. The table is a screen showing how she prepares the dish, including whisking the egg whites with a whisk made of twigs!

Fake chocolate puffs or meringues along with the 18th century recipe to make them atop a work table in a Georgian era kitchen.

Here’s the finished product, or fake ones anyway. They don’t look particularly appetizing, do they! Can you imagine whisking egg whites with that bundle of twigs?

Sink area in a Georgian era scullery, which is a cleaning and storage area. The shallow sink holds a bucket.

Time for the scullery maid to the dishes in the scullery sink!

Cabinet for food storage in the scullery of a Georgian era kitchen.

The scullery is also used to store food and is where ironing and other laundry tasks happen.

Table in the housekeeper's room in a Georgian era house with a candlestick, teacup and teapot, and papers.

The housekeeper has a very nice room with a table for her to work and have tea.

Angled desk with household account book in housekeeper's room in Georgian era town house.

The housekeeper’s desk where she maintains the household accounts. She was a intrinsic part of this family’s household, and the lady relied on her a great deal.

Open hutch in housekeeper's room in Georgian era house with a variety of dishes.

The housekeeper’s supply of dishes to use.

White cupboards used for storing the Georgian era household's dishes and silver, overseen by the housekeeper and adjoining her chamber.

The household china and silver were kept here, adjoining the housekeeper’s chamber.

Servants hall with long wooden dining table in Georgian era town house.

The servants’ hall is where the servants would eat and gather.

List of rules of the servants' hall in a Georgian era town house.

The rules of the servants’ hall!

Large stone hearth with a wood shelf in lieu of a hearth in the servants' hall of a Georgian era town house

The hearth in the servants’ hall.

Exterior stone stairs from lowest floor of Georgian era town house leading up to street level

Step out from the servants’ area below stairs to this small flagstone area where things like coal would likely have been stored.

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