Author Topic: Service and Entertaining Logistics  (Read 5234 times)

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Offline Tsarfan

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Service and Entertaining Logistics
« on: May 05, 2005, 04:26:57 PM »
I've always been fascinated by the service areas of palaces and how the logistics of large-scale entertaining were handled.

Does anyone have any information on such things regarding the Winter Palace or other ceremonial venues?  For instance:  where was food prepared?  how was it transported?  how were candles changed durings events?  where did the crowds at balls and receptions go to use the toilet?  where were wraps stored?  how were people kept out of off-limits areas?  et cetera . . . ?

Offline La_Mashka

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Re: Service and Entertaining Logistics
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2005, 11:13:51 AM »
Very interesting questions!



I only know about the Hermitage in Yekaterina Palace.  The kitchen was located about 500 meters away.  So the guests would put their requests for dinner on the table, the table was lowered from the first floor to the gound floor where very FAST waiters ran to the kitchen, waited for food to be prepared and ran back to put the food on the table.
When this was done, the table was again raised to the first floor.
Tishie mushi kot na krushie

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Service and Entertaining Logistics
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2005, 11:38:19 AM »
Thanks!  I wondered if we'd ever get this thread moving . . . .  Maybe this information is harder to come by than I thought.

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Re: Service and Entertaining Logistics
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2005, 11:42:17 AM »
I can tell you about the Great Catherine Palace.

Tables were laid in the center of the room. long rectangular ones around the perimiter and round ones of ten in the center.  the walls were lined with tables, holding extra glassware, plates, etc etc alternating with empty tables for the food.  Each two guests had their own server who attended to filling glasses, serving and clearing.  Food was plated in the kitchen and carried under covers to the hall.

This was the invention of "Service Russe" where plated food was brought to the diner instead of the diner serving themselves from a platter. It was the only way to possible serve 500-1000 guests in any easy fashion.  

Valets would accept wraps/cloaks upon entrance to the palace and they would be returned upon leaving.  Im not sure of where the toilet facilities were, but am sure they weren't far.  Palace guards would be stationed at key places to keep people out of restricted areas.

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Service and Entertaining Logistics
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2005, 10:20:20 AM »
I haven't seen orchestra balconies in any of the photographs of the largest halls in either the Catherine or Winter Palaces.  Is it just the angle of photography?

Offline Monarchist

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Re: Service and Entertaining Logistics
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2006, 07:15:29 AM »
Anyone knows if some of the service personel lived or stayed in the palace(S) before these dinner events?