Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. I’ve been sharing from my alternative history, And Aleksey Lived, which is scheduled to be released in exactly a month, if all goes according to plan.
This week’s snippet comes a few lines after last week’s, when soon-to-be Empress Arkadiya met her future sister-in-law Tatyana’s children. Ten-year-old Pavel excitedly told her he’s heir to the throne till his uncle has a son, and 8-year-old Varvara said they used to have two other brothers.
Tatyana suggested they talk about more pleasant things, and calls for lunch.
Nicholas II’s coronation banquet menu
Tatyana picked up a silver bell and rang for the waiters.
The luncheon which was brought forward was just as refined and elegant as Tatyana herself—roast beef tenderloin with foie gras butter, oysters in cream and bacon sauce, candied carrots on a bed of greens, mushroom bisque, baked lobster tails in saffron risotto, and karavay bread with intricate curlicues baked on top, with an assortment of carrot, fig, blackberry, and currant jams.
The tableware was equally elegant. Besides the usual sparkling crystal and silverware, the plates, bowls, and platters were white china with a delicate pink rosebud pattern. Arkadiya still wasn’t sure if she were eating everything with the correct fork and spoon, and hoped none of the china and crystal would break. Her family had only used such fancy tableware on Easter and Christmas. The rest of the year, it was shut away in a locked cabinet.
To Arkadiya’s great relief, Tatyana mostly spoke about her work as a nurse, instead of the wedding. Pavel and Varvara also spoke about their lessons in arithmetic, science, art, music, reading, and French. They pointed out several photographs of themselves with their tutors, on a table of framed candid photographs documenting the family’s normal, everyday life.