Social New York under the Georges, 1714-1776: Houses, Streets, and Country Homes, with Chapters on Fashions, Furniture, China, Plate, and Manners

By Esther Singleton | Go to book overview

IV
TAVERNS AND TEA GARDENS

TAVERNS played a very important part in the social life of the day, and the hosts were respected in the community and were frequently of considerable weight and standing. The best taverns had always a large room for entertainments and balls, and these were largely patronized by the gentry. There were many men in the city,--officers, unmarried clerks, etc., who lived in lodgings and took their meals at taverns, which also provided ladies with delicate fare. These hostelries usually had delightful gardens which were illuminated on summer evenings, and sometimes the guests were entertained with music. Moreover, if anything went wrong in the kitchen at home, or if the weather was too hot for cooking, there were many bakers who prepared appetizing breadstuffs or offered their ovens for a small price. Some of the conveniences within reach even of a modest income appear in the following advertisements:

"Mrs. Brock has removed to the new brick house near the City Hall, sells wines, lets lodgings and furnishes victuals abroad from twelve to three o'clock."

" William Keen grocer and confectioner purposes to carry on Pastry in all its branches, where persons may be supplied with cake of all kinds done in the best manner, Tarts of all sorts, with the best of gingerbread fit for Sea; Captains of vessels and others may be supplied with all kinds of sweet-

-365-

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