Elegant, light and feminine, this room was used mainly for entertaining guests and was the most sumptuously decorated room in the house.
Ladies would take tea here after withdrawing from dinner, leaving the men in the Dining Room. The men would later join the ladies upstairs and perhaps play cards or listen to music played on the harpsichord.
Visitors frequently called to ‘take a dish’ of tea (teacups had no handles, after the Chinese fashion). From 1791 people began to refuse to serve or take sugar in their tea to support the movement to abolish the transatlantic slave trade. The boycott spread, especially amongst women who could not vote to express their opinions. They became known as the ‘anti-saccarites’.
Some of our Georgian neighbours were living life to the full during the period. We know from reports of the time that there was an uproarious party at No. 30 Royal Crescent thrown by a lady referred to in the article as Mother Mac. The newspaper cutting reads;
“…She came down with her eyes rolling about like a ball grinding mustard seed in a wooden bowl. My cellar doors, Gentlemen, (said she) are locked, and those who will not go up and dance, are desired to walk out of my house. – But as Old Women must be considered as Old Women, and Young Men will be Young Men, neither was complied with. Glasses were broke, and the bare-picked drum-sticks and pinions flew about…”
This page from The New Bath Guide lays out some of the rules and expectations at the gaming houses.