Bailliage de Naples
When Dickens Came to Naples
by Thelma Negley
Vice Chargée de Presse
Charles Dickens came to Naples last December; well, at least in the spirit of Christmas Past.
Traditional carolers in Victorian costume, hors d’oeuvres and champagne greeted Chaîne members and their guests as they arrived December 13 at the Grey Oaks Country Club. Most were dressed in festive black tie, adding to the elegant holiday atmosphere already created by the club’s abundant Christmas decorations.
In the main dining room, tables were covered with cream and gold tablecloths, topped with glittering gold and silver centerpieces and glowing votive candles, all reflected in the sparkling crystal wine glasses.
Bailli Roger Weatherburn-Baker extended holiday greetings to one and all and introduced Alex Dimaras, a delightful ten-year-old member of the Opera Naples’ Children’s Choir, who, in the costume of Tiny Tim, enchanted us with “God Bless Ye, Merry Gentlemen.”
The apt centerpiece for this Dickensian goose-roasters Christmas was, of course, a superbly roasted goose, one of which was symbolically paraded through the dining room as Alex sung his carol to great applause. A fabulous Victorian English dinner concluded with a melt-in-your-mouth steamed plum pudding. Chef Chris Mark capped our evening with a divine cognac-and-liqueur enhanced egg nog and a take-home gift of a boxed Buche de Noel.