Entertaining in Style: Nancy Astor and Nancy Lancaster
Two American born women and cousins, politician Nancy Astor and interior designer Nancy Lancaster, transformed 20th century British culture with their inspiration in creating the English country house style, as well as their gracious and sophisticated method of entertaining. Their descendants, designer Jane Churchill and photographer Emily Astor will discuss their relatives and show previously unseen family photographs from Cliveden, Nancy Astor’s country house, as well as several homes owned by Nancy Lancaster.
Their talk, based on their new book Entertaining in Style: Nancy Astor and Nancy Lancaster showcases both Nancy’s inspirations for the perfect entertainment. They will highlight glamourous menus from the private Mirador recipe collection (Nancy’s Virginia family estate) as well as from materials from Astor’s and Lancaster’s archives. Both Lancaster and Astor gave parties with superb food combining classic English dishes with American Southern classics such as fried chicken and Pullman Salad. Churchill and Astor will also illustrate interiors and table settings featuring the family’s original china, silver, and décor.
From menu cards, table diagrams, and private letters featuring witty repartee from Lancaster and Astor, the authors were able to reconstruct who came for dinner as well as what they ate. Join Royal Oak at a presentation as we explore the legacy of two great women who left a lasting mark on English social history and style. As Emily Astor said, “both Nancys disrupted English menus just as much as they revolutionised women’s rights in politics and the workplace. But they did so with style, glamour, and buckets of laughter.” The presentation will be followed by Q&A with Carl Raymond, host of The Gilded Gentleman History Podcast.
Jane Churchill, of Jane Churchill interiors, is the great great niece of Nancy Astor and great niece of Nancy Lancaster. Emily Astor, photographer and author, is Nancy Astor’s granddaughter. Carl Raymond, lecturer and writer is the host of The Gilded Gentleman history podcast, which focuses on the social and culinary history of America’s Gilded Age, France’s Belle Epoque and England’s late Victorian and Edwardian eras.