The Duchess of Duke Street (1976–1977): Season 1, Episode 3 - A Nice Class of Premises - full transcript

With the death of Queen Victoria, the Prince of Wales becomes King Edward VII. It also means an end to Louisa's relationship with him. Without royal patronage, Louisa's husband Augustus wants to open their house to gentlemen lodgers, but Louisa wants to start her business cooking for dinner parties. With little to do, Augustus spends too much time in the pub and Louisa decides he needs something to do so she suggests they buy the Bentick Hotel. Unfortunately, Augustus isn't up to the task of managing such an establishment, drinking and entertaining his friends most of the time. Louisa finally realizes bills have not been pair for months and the hotel is on the verge of bankruptcy.

What's wrong
with the lobster?

Her ladyship
on her high horse again?


Call this
a bleeding mayonnaise?

Well, I followed
that recipe you gave me

exactly, madam.

In a pig's ear.
It's curdled.

I'll tell you just
what went wrong.

The oil you used
was cold,

straight out
the pantry, right?

When it got
too thick,

you bunged in
some vinegar,

then more oil,
and beat it all up

together, right?

I was in a hurry.

I thought it would
save time.

You can save time
on most things,

not when you're
making a mayonnaise.

I did my best,

No, you didn't,
Mrs. Wellkin.

the whole point.

Your mind wasn't
on it.

I'm sorry.

I'll be more careful
in future.

I'll pour it away.

Hold on.

Waste not, want not.

Fetch us an egg.

All right.



Yep. One. Two.

Let me see
your cloth.



Now slow and steady
does it,

and you can't
beat too hard.

Excuse me, ma'am.

Mrs. Wellkin and me,
we was wondering

if we could watch
the procession.


The queen's
funeral procession, madam.

Ever so many kings
and princes and that

will be there.

Oh. You can go
and gawk

if you want to,
see her off.

Won't you be
watching, madam?

No. I take
no pleasure

in funerals.

It's the front
doorbell, ma'am.

Well, go and answer it
then, Ethel.

You know it's
Molly's night off.

Time to cool.

Here you are,
Mrs. Wellkin.

You beat that.

And add the rest
drop by drop.

And let's liven it
up a bit, eh?

Where's the lemon?

Won't you please
take a seat, major?

No, thank you.

May I offer you
a glass of port?

No, thank you,

As I said,
I was just passing.

Ah. Shocking news.

Yes, indeed.

It must have been
worse for you,

being so close
to her late majesty

in the household,
so to speak.

Yes. Of course,
the end had been expected

for some time,

but death always
takes us unaware.

Yes, I suppose
it does.

Good evening,
Mrs. Trotter.


Major Farjeon was
just passing, my dear.

He's just looked in
for a minute.

It's always
a pleasure.

Well, I have one
or two little things

to attend to.

If you'll excuse me.

How are you, Johnny?

Oh, sorry.
Sir John, isn't it,

since the new year?

Johnny will
still do fine.

Thought you'd still
be in the Isle of Wight.

I have been, yes,

but the lying in state
ends on Saturday,

and hi--his majesty
asked me to check

on the burial arrangements
at Windsor.

It takes a bit
of getting used to,

doesn't it?

His majesty.

King Edward, eh?

How is he?

He stood up to it
surprisingly well.

Of course, he's not
a young man.

He's waited longer than
anyone else in history

to become king,
nearly 60 years.

Yeah. I've heard him
say he waited so long

sometimes he hoped
it would never come.


There are many
who hoped it wouldn't.

Well, they better
not say it near me.

Who are they anyway?
Who says that?

Oh, many in society
and in the government.

They see him only
as a man of pleasure.

They don't realize
how devoted he is

to his people
and country.

So he must be careful
not to give ammunition

to those who expect him
to be unworthy

of his high position,

and that is really
why I'm here.

He won't be calling
for a while, eh?

Not for the foreseeable

Oh, come on, Johnny.

You don't have to go
all round the houses.

Let's have it

He asked me to say that
he will always cherish

the fondest memories
of your... kindness,

your friendship,

but in the new

the special relationship
between you

must regretfully
be considered as over.

So I won't
see him again.

Oh, no. No.
He hopes you will still

meet again as friends.

Why, the lease
of this house, of course,

is yours and all
the furniture and movables,

and if in the future
you're in any

financial difficulty...

Oh, no. He's been
kind enough already.

I don't want money.

Times change.

Remember, in case of need,
you can always call on him.

And now, please, don't
bother to show me out.

Thank you for making
my mission

so painless,
Mrs. Trotter.

Oh, yeah. Louisa
will still do fine,

and I hope we're
still friends, eh?

You know, Louisa,
after two weeks

of full mourning,

it's a blessed
relief to spend

a moment or two
with someone

as refreshing
as yourself.

You've been taking
lessons from him, Johnny.

Yes. Well,
if you'll collect

his things together,

I'll send a valet
round in the morning.

Well, old girl,

you tried all your life
to change him.

The only way you could do it
was by popping off.

So you're free?


I can't tell you
I've prayed for it.

Yeah. I'm relieved,
too, in a way.

if we could...

Not tonight, love.

We'll talk about it
some other time.

Not now.

I'll see you
in the morning.

Ahem. It was up
to Louisa.

She didn't, uh...

She didn't want
anything more from him.

I hope your settlement
was generous.

How much
did you get?

Uh, nothing.


You're too soft,

That's always been
your trouble.

You should have
dealt with it.

You should have got
something out of it

to make up
for the humiliation.

You'll never
stand up for yourself.

Listen. Norah,
will you listen?

All I can feel is that
I'm glad it's over.

I have Louisa
to myself.

She's not the way
you think.

There's no one else
like her.

She's not fast
or flighty.

If she was, I wouldn't
have stuck it...

grand living,

all that sort
of thing.

She...she don't
care for them,

not for herself.
She's not after that,

nor money,
nor jewelry.

Then what is she

I don't know.
I wish I did.

Even, well,
the other side of it,

she don't seem
to care much

for that either,
not even with him,

with a prince.

They're more
like pals.

Hear them laughing.

He could be natural
with her.

It didn't happen
very often,

and in between,
I was with her,

just the two of us.

But she was never
your wife.

What you know?

NORAH: Good morning, Louisa.

What brings you

Surely I can visit
my own brother.

It seems to me
the last words

I heard you say was,

"I shall never darken
this doorstep again."

That's just Norah's way,
my dear.

That's how it is
in families.

It doesn't mean anything.

She has to speak
her mind, you see.

Oh. I see.

Well, let bygones
be bygones, eh?

I don't mind people
speaking their minds.

I've been known
to do it meself.

One thing,
I'll say, though,

when people
speak their minds,

I like them
to stick to it,

whatever it is.

And in future,
I see they do.

AUGUSTUS: The news from
the cape seems better.


Kitchener has pushed
de Wet and his army

right back across
the Orange River.


Louisa's brother
Arthur's out there.

You must be longing
for him to come home.

Not much.
Boers can keep him

as far as I'm concerned.

No doubt he'll turn up
one of these days,

looking for a handout.

I was wondering

what you were
going to live on now.


This must be
an expensive house to run.

We'll manage.

But how?
If you ask my advice...

I never do when I know
I'll get it anyway.

You mind your business,
we'll mind ours.

And if you're stopping
for lunch,

I better make sure
there's something in.

Norah, please don't
leave, honest.

You married
beneath you.

You were one
of the youngest

butlers in the country,
highly thought of

in a fine position
with a great future.

She put an end
to that.

She dragged you down.

Well, you always were
too trusting.

One thing's clear.
If you are to have any hope

of leading
a normal married life,

you must put
your foot down.

There's the cod we was
gonna have tonight,

and there should be

on that joint
of ham.

Yes, madam.

I could dice
some carrots and turnips

to go with it and some
veloute potatoes.

Plain boiled,
Mrs. Wellkin,

and make
a parsley sauce.

That will do fine.

Yes, madam.

Soup smells good.

Oh. It's Ethel's
making, madam.

She's keen to learn

I hope you
don't mind.

Oh. I'd be the last
to do that.

How long was you

Nearly 9 years,

In service together,
were you?

No. He was a regular
in the army.

His regiment was one
of the first

to be sent
to South Africa.

He died out there,
did he?

On the way.

He caught fever
on the troop ship.

He was dead before
they ever reached

Cape Town.

Do you miss him?

Yes, I do.

He was a good man,
very good to me.

Only thing missing
was children.

Just didn't seem
able to have any.

May be
just as well, eh?

Ethel, dice some
carrots, will you?

Oh, ma'am.


There's a person been
waiting to see you.

What kind of person?

Young. Servant girl,
sort of.

Where is she?

Walking up and down
in the street.

In this cold?

Why didn't you
bring her in?

She won't come in, ma'am.

Well, why didn't you
come up and tell me before?

I didn't like to.
I thought...

Well, go and get her now.

She must be
frozen to death.


Why didn't you say
who you was?

Why didn't you come in?


Here. What's up?

Come sit down, girl.

Now, sit down there.

Are you in some kind
of trouble?

You're frozen
to the bone, girl.

Not in the family way,
are you?

Did you get the push
from Lord Henry's?

No. I walked out,
ran away!

Oh, Mary, when?

Two days ago.

When did you
last eat, eh?


You warm yourself.

Get us a bowl,
Ethel, quick.

Where you been
sleeping, eh?

Rough. Under
the railway arches,

but there's
awful people there.

I was afraid
to go back.

Why didn't you come
straight here?

I did.
I walked past

and hoped
you'd seen me.

I was afraid
to come in.

Oh. You silly herbert.

Here. Get yourself
around this.

Now mind, it's hot
as a jockey's breeches.

Now, take it slow.
Don't scald yourself.

I don't understand
why you didn't

just knock
at the door.

Ivy said you was
all different,

that you wouldn't want
to see anybody

you'd been
in service with.

Oh. Did she now?

She said you was
a grand lady

and you wouldn't want
to be reminded.

There's some
people I don't want

to be reminded of.

Poison Ivy's
one of them.

Miss, it's never
been the same

since you left,
you and Mr. Trotter.

They made me do

..washing, cleaning,
fetching, and carrying,

and Ivy hit me
for being slow,

and sometimes,
I got so tired...

And you didn't dare tell
Mrs. Catchpole, did you?

Oh, no, miss.

Oh, Mary.

I'm so glad she
came to you.

Poor girl.
I couldn't think

what had happened
to her.

And your kitchen maid
Ivy's been up

to her old tricks
again, Mrs. Catchpole.

Oh, dear.

What are you gonna
do about it?

What can I do?

I've not been well.

This house has been
so difficult to run

since you
and Mr. Trotter left,

and then
Monsieur Alex.

We've had a series
of cooks

on a month's trial

two quite good
but only competent.

Oh, well, that's
enough of my worries.

Please do sit down.

I'm so glad things
worked out well for you.

I expect you were
provided for.

Mm. I have a house

in one of the best parts
of town,

servants look after me,
bit in the bank.

And a devoted


Most women
would envy you.

Well, they'd be wrong.

I knew it was wrong
from the start.

When I realized what was
behind all that attention,

all that special
sort of kindness

I had from the prince,

it's not that
I wasn't flattered.

I was--I was quite cocky
for a while,

but the price was
too high, Mrs. Catchpole.

Knowing the prince
must have,

well, helped you

Helped me?
It's finished me.

I've become too exclusive,
ain't I?

"By royal appointment."

Nobody really thinks
of me as a cook no more,

and that's what I am.

I'm a master cook.


And it's not
just the name.

It's not the big success
that makes your name.

It's going on
and building up

your reputation.

It's the doing of it,
the atmosphere,

the ingredients,
and the contrasts

and making everything

What do I do now?

I order meals
for a husband

who don't much care
what's served up

in front of him
as long as it's on time.

It's driving me barmy.

Yes. I understand,
my dear.

Um, ahem, Lord Henry
is giving dinner

to the King of Portugal
next Tuesday.

He stayed on
for a private visit

after the funeral.

Old Carlos
is no problem.

He likes good,
no-frills English cooking

and lots of it.

You give him oyster soup,
halibut, lark pudding,

venison pasty,
3 kinds of roast,

and he's happy.

You see? Who else
could have known that?

Lord Henry will probably
get a decoration

out of it, you know.

And so might you
if you came back

and cooked dinner
for him

just for
the one night.

How many guests?


Yeah. Tuesday's not
much notice, is it?

Here. We're forgetting
about why I come here.

What about Mary?

Say yes,
and I'll promise

she's taken back.

Don't worry.

I'll cook your dinner
for you,

and I'll keep Mary meself.

If I'm going back cooking,
I'm gonna need someone

to help me, ain't I?

You'll never believe
the change

in that place, Gus.

They've only really

to appreciate you
in your absence.


It will be funny
being back

in the kitchen
at Lord Henry's,

where it all
started, eh?

I don't--I don't want
you to go there again.


I won't have my wife

a menial position.


I mean it, Louisa.
I won't--I won't have it.

Well, Mrs. Catchpole
only asked me

to do her
a favor, Gus.

Then she should
ask me.

Must I remind you
that you are my wife?

Do you think I have
to be reminded?

I haven't finished

I'm talking to you.

We have to discuss
our future.

Oh, not now.

Now! We keep
putting it off.

We can't put it off
any longer!

All right.
Let's hear

what Norah
had to say.

I knew I'd get it
sooner or later.

We have to take stock.

We have no income,
we live in a house

that's far
too big for us.

Do you want to
sell it?

No. Of course not.
It's our only asset,

all we got out of...

we should use it.

Oh, yeah? How?

In the most
sensible way.

Let the spare rooms.

Own a boarding house?

No, no, no.

Private rooms
for gentlemen.

You get all huffy
about me occupying

a menial position,

and you want to
let off our rooms

to strangers,
go skiving around

after them?

We have servants
to do that.

Don't you see?
It would give us

our independence,
a chance to keep up

our station in life.

Which do you fancy,
St. Pancras or Waterloo?

I'm serious
about this.

All right then.
Let's be practical.

Now how much would we
get out of letting

3 or 4 rooms?

Precious little.

There's no money
in it, Gus.

We budget carefully,

and we wouldn't need
Mrs. Wellkin

with you doing
the cooking.

Over my dead body!

What? Slaving away
in this place

day and night
for a handful

of moldy lodgers?

Look. I'd earn more
out of one booking night

at Lord Henry's
than we'd get out

of 10 lodgers
in a month.

You don't know you'll
get any bookings,

and this will be
regular, steady.

Norah says...

Well, Norah can go...

My sister is only
concerned for our welfare.

my aunt Fanny.

She wants to know
you're good for a touch.

My sister is part
of my obligations.

My mother would
expect it.

I'm sick and tired
of hearing you and Norah

go on about
your great connections.

Can't even put
a name to them.

I'm sorry, love,
but if you want me

to face facts,
then you've got to

face them, too,

I know it's
difficult for you.

You're a butler
by profession.

You can't very well
carry on a living

in your own home,

but it's different
for me, isn't it?

I'm a cook.
I can go anywhere,

and I'm willing
to work hard

with your help,

and we'll try and make
a go of it, eh?

I won't have you going
to other people's houses.

What do you mean?

Meeting other men.

They take advantage
at those house parties,

and women are
fair game.

I know what goes on.
I know what happens.

Do you think I'd
let it... ever again?

You're my wife.

Oh! You keep
doing that.

Scares the life
out of me.

Don't you ever knock?

Sorry. I'm sorry.

I had to...
I had to see you

to apologize.

I didn't mean
to imply...

I wanted to say that
we're just starting,

everything is just
starting now.

The past, it's over.

I draw a veil
over it.

What do you expect
me to say?

"How decent,
how generous"?

I'm prepared
to forgive.

You're offering me

You're prepared
to forgive me?

You knew what was
gonna happen, Gus,

as well as I did.

I married you.

I was married
off to you

to make me available
to him.

I wanted you.

I'd have done

anything to get you,

I just wanted
to be with you.

You knew how
it would be,

and I fought against it,
didn't I?

I kept waiting,

No one will believe
what it's been like

never knowing
when it would end.

I thought maybe once
he had let you go

we'd have a chance,
we'd be together.

Well, we are.

I mean,
really together,

man and wife.

I thought maybe,
all this time,

maybe you'd get
to like me a little,

maybe be ready
to settle down,

maybe realize
I could make you happy,

and I could, Louisa.

I know I could
make you happy.

We get along fine.
Nothing's changed.

I don't mean it
like that.

I want you, Louisa.

But we had
a bargain, Gus.

I told you straight
I didn't love you.

I still don't.

I'm fond of you, love.

I don't belong to you
or no one.

If things is gonna
change between us,

it will only happen

How long do I
have to wait?

I can't say that.

We'll have to see.

It's no good unless
you stay at home.

If you're gonna go
working out

in other people's

I won't be able
to stand it...

There's not gonna be
no one else.

I'll never know
that for sure.

You're so precious
to me, Louisa.

I'm jealous.
God help me,

I get so jealous.

Here, Gus.

I love you.

Try to...
try to love me.

You're kind
to everyone.

Be kind to me.

Let me. Please!

Be kind to me.

Gus, let go of me!

I want you.
It's my right.

I've waited.

Gus, let go!

Just this once.
Just now, please.


It can't mean
that much to you.

I'm your husband.
It's my right.

You can force me, Gus.
You're stronger than me,

but if you do,
it will be the only time.

You'll never
see me again.

Well, the dinner
was a triumph,

thanks to you.

His lordship was ill
all yesterday.


He couldn't let
his principal guest

eat alone,
but King Carlos

had so many

his lordship nearly
passed out.

Still, he asked me
to thank you

most particularly.

I won't beat about
the bush, Louisa.

His lordship was
overjoyed to hear

that you were
available again,

and he's asked me
to offer you

the position
as cook here

at the same salary
we paid Monsieur Alex. don't think
I'm not grateful...

Now don't refuse till
you think about it.

He'd expect you
to work for him

only during
the season.

The rest of the year
you'll be free.

And he's prepared to
take Mr. Trotter back

as his London butler
on the same terms,

living out.

Blimey O'Reilly!

You'll want time
to think about it,

of course.

No. No.
It's a generous...

it's a more than
generous offer,

and I am tempted,

but, well, you see,
Mrs. Catchpole,

if I'm ever gonna make
a real go of my career,

I can't work
for just one person.

I wouldn't be me.

I'd be Lord Henry's
cook, wouldn't I?

I can't go backwards.

I was afraid
you'd say that.

Of course, I don't know
that anyone else

is gonna want me.

Oh. I've had some

Lady Padgett's
housekeeper asked

if you were
available again.

Lady Padgett?

And several
of the people

who were here
for the dinner

for Dom Carlos.

I've made a list.

Sir Ernest Castle,
Admiral Fisher.

Crikey! There's half
the brass here.

There you go.

What the bleeding hell
is this, eh?

It's obvious, isn't it?
I've decided to go ahead.

Oh. You have,
have you?

It makes sense!

Our savings won't
last forever.

We need a regular income
to keep our heads

above water.

We're not in
the bleeding navy.

We've already
discussed this idea

and decided
against it.

You decided.

for gentlemen."

Discreet, Louisa.
Only for the best people.

Out! Out!

We'll ring you
when you're wanted.

Now, see here!

Don't you
"See here" me.

I don't understand
what you're objecting to.

That's what worries
me, Gus.

Always on
about your dignity,

your position
in life.

When you start putting
signs like that up,

you're throwing it

I want us to be

You was ambitious,
ready to work, you were.

Now you won't lift
a bleeding finger.

This whole idea is
a way for you

to sit at home
and do nothing.

But that's what
I want.

I want us to be here

Gus, I've told you.

I'm starting up
me business again.

I've asked you to
help me run it.

I'm not
a kitchen hand.

Oh, come on.
There's other ways

you could help,
and me prospects

are looking up now.

You're a good cook,

there's no denying that,
but it's time you learned

how to be a housewife!

I'm not
an housewife,

nor an housekeeper,
nor an house anything,

and let me tell you,
when my business

really gets going,
it's going to bring in

50 or 60 quid
a week,

and that goes straight
into the bank

for you and me,
for the both of us.


Yes, and we don't
need to let rooms

because I deal with
the real best people,

and some of them
are gonna come here

to consult me
to make bookings,

which is another
reason why

I don't want this
staring them

in the face.

Put that where
the monkey put the nuts!

LOUISA: Hurry up
with them sauces, Mrs. Wellkin.

The cab will be here
in a minute.

Yes, madam.

All right. You got
everything in there, Mary?

Yes, ma'am.

Good. Well, we're
just about ready.

Don't know how we
managed it all in here.

There's a limit
to how much

we can make
and take with us.

Need a bigger
kitchen, madam.

Yeah. That we do.

Right. Now, Mary,
you take the implements,

Mrs. Wellkin, you take
the sauces,

and both of you
manage the hamper.

Yes, madam.

What--what about
the master?

Oh. Left something
cold for him.

Hang it.
Where's the patties?

I'll fetch them, ma'am.
They're in the pantry.

Oh, thank you,

I could carry them
out to the cab, as well.

Oh, would you?
There's a good girl.

Please, ma'am, I could
do so much more.

I've been watching
how you do things.

In your own time, eh?

Oh, please, ma'am,

I've heard you say
you need

another pair
of hands.

Well, I know there's
a lot to learn,

but I am quick

Ethel, turn round.

Yeah. You're not

Quite presentable.

If you could pick up
a bit of style

and control yourself,
I might be able to use you.

Oh, ma'am. Oh, ta
ever so, ma'am.

I mean, thank you,
Mrs. Trotter.

Blimey. Here. Come on.
Here's the cab. Right.

But you're not coming
with us tonight, Ethel.

When you're working
other people's houses,

they watch you
extra critical.

Don't want any of my girls
showing herself up.

You start with the basics
like Mary

tomorrow morning
6:00 sharp.

Any idea where
Mr. Trotter is?

He's at the pub, ma'am,
The Grenadier.

This early?

Shall I fetch him?

No, no. Leave him.

I've been going
through the mail, ma'am.

There's some bookings
for the month after next.

Oh. Right.

Oh! This one's
for the 14th.

"Could you quote
for a dinner party of 36,

wines included?
Lady Bee-u-champ."


My God.
"Bee-u-champ." right.

The Marquess of Thorne.

Yeah? What's
the randy old beggar

want this time?

He's willing to pay out
200 guineas

for a private supper
for two.

Oh. I think he wants you
to be the other guest, ma'am.

"100 guin...private,
own apartment,

"6 delicious

and a bum surprise
to follow."

I'll give him
a surprise all right.

Nice to see you,

A very great pleasure
to see you.

You're as lovely
as ever.

Thank you, kind sir.

What brings you

Oh. I was just passing.

Somehow, whenever
you say that,

I get a very funny

Heh heh.

What's up?

Don't tell me I'm
gonna expect a visit.

No. No.
Nothing like that.

So you were just
passing, eh?

Take a pew.

Thank you.

Everyone in London
seems to be talking

about your cooking.

An astonishing

Yeah. It's working
out pretty well.


Is Mr. Trotter at home?

No. No. He's...he's
out this morning.

Most mornings,
I gather,

and evenings.

It's about him, actually,

that I rather
wanted to see you.


Word has reached
the palace

that your husband spends
much of the day

in a public house
near here

and that after he's
had a drink or two

he starts talking

about things
he shouldn't.

Oh, my God.

Now apparently,
it's not really malicious.

It's partly boasting,

partly feeling
sorry for himself.

He'll tell anyone
who will listen

how his life has been

Now so far,
the king hasn't heard,

but if he does...

His majesty is completely
discreet himself,

and he demands discretion
from others.

He knows I wouldn't
do nothing to hurt him,

and neither would Gus,
not meaning to.

I admit I have
a certain sympathy

for Trotter,
and I realize

this puts you
in a very difficult position,

but if the greatest
possible damage

is not to be done,
you must find a way

to stop him.

No. I'm afraid not,
my dear.

It was only
a little while ago

you said Lord Henry was
keen to take him back.

Yes, but not
without you.

It was really you
he wanted.

Thank you, James.

Well, you know
the situation.

I'll be honest with you,
Mrs. Catchpole,

I don't know what to do.

I'm desperate.

It must be dreadful
for you.

No. It's not me.
I don't matter so much.

It's the palace.

Think what some
of them scandal papers

could make of it.

Well, you must speak
to Mr. Trotter,

warn him.


I don't seem able
to talk to him no more.

He gets on his dignity,

and when I do try
and lay down the law,

it only makes him worse.

He's been hurt
very badly,

as well as the fact
that he hasn't

worked at anything
since he left here,

been living off you.

He must have lost all
belief in himself.

I've asked him
to take over

and run me business
for me.

He won't hear of it.

Oh, no, no, no.

That would make you
his employer.


He'd be all
the more conscious

of his own failure.

Well, I am fond of him,
and, you know,

I'm sorry for him, like,

but it's no good
if he won't even try.

I think you have
the answer.

He has to be given

his self-respect
and pride

by having work
and responsibility.

I only wish I could
think of some way

to help.

"Partner in dairy.

"Capital investments
and shared profits,

"Hotels and catering.

day and night porter."

No. "Bentinck.

"Long established
family hotel for sale.

"Excellent position,
permanent residence,

"small experienced staff.

Present owner retiring."

Permanent residence, eh?

"Lease and content
subject to negotiation.

fully equipped kitchens."


the old Bentinck.

What do you think
of it?

Nice class
of premises.

How'd you like
to run it then?


No. You.
You'd be the boss.

Want to have a look?

MAN: Go on. Go on.

You've bought it?

60 years left
on a 90-year lease,

and the goodwill.

The man made us
a very good price.

I think he was taken
with Louisa.

How could you
afford it?

Where did the money
come from?

Well, we've
worked it all out...

what was left
of our savings,

what I've earned
these last few months,

what we'll get from
selling this place.

We can afford it.

Signed the papers
this morning.

And Gus is gonna
manage it.

Well, naturally
with his experience.

What will you
be doing?

Looking after
the kitchens,

running me own

and Gus will
take care

of everything else.

The best hotel
in London.

I intend to see
that it is.

Yeah. Need a deal
of modernizing.

Well, we need to learn
to walk before we can run.

Of course, I shall
ask you to assist me.


Well, I shall need
someone I can trust.

I shall want Norah
to be housekeeper.

Well, I've said it.

You make
the decisions.

LOUISA: Right.
Come on, girls.

Good morning!


What are you doing
down here, Jessop?

Aren't you meant to be
the hall porter?

Well, yes, ma'am.

Get up into the hall
and port.

Here you are,
Mrs. Wellkin.

Here's your kitchen.

Do the best you can.

Shout for me
if you want me.

We'll work out
the menus together.

Yes, madam.

Right. Come on, girls.
Roll your sleeves up.

Get this place ready.

It's a bit

What do you mean?
Plenty of space.


Oh, God.

Oh. Turkey.

Wild turkey

Yeah. Yeah.

The turkey
are coming.

on their way.

Oh, good. Ohh.

Huh? Huh?

Mr. Merriman.

This is
Mr. Merriman.

He's the Bentinck's
head waiter.

Mr. Merriman,
this is me staff.

to meet you.

All right. Come on.
Get to work.

Deal to do to get
this place cleaned up.

I'll say.
Broken-down old dump.

Meals were cooked
in this kitchen

for Gladstone,
young woman.

He was a bit
broken-down, I know.

LOUISA: Ethel.

Excuse me.

Come on.
There you are.

He sort of goes
with the hotel.

I inherited him.

He's better
than he looks.

What was all that
about the turkey?

Oh. I've been warned.

Every now and then
he wakes up,

thinks he's still
in the Crimea.

He says he was
Lord Raglan's batman.

It's possible.

Women running
the kitchen.

It will end in tears,
end in tears.

I go away
for only two days,

and I come back here
and find Mrs. Wellkin

all upset
and ready to leave.

All I did was
send back her menus.

You what?

It seemed to me that
with only 16 guests

in the hotel,

they were
needlessly extravagant.

Well, that was none
of your concern, was it,

and in any case,
she'd agreed them with me.

I would have thought
that even you

would have realized the need
to economize at first.

The last thing
we want to economize on

is the service
we give.

There are dozens
of small savings

we can make.

Augustus agrees.

We can use the extra money
to redecorate this office.

Well, in my opinion,
it would be better used

in trying to brighten up
that hall.

That's none
of your concern, is it?

Any such decision is
up to Augustus.

All right,
but I'll have

no more interference
in my kitchen.

Louisa's right,
in a way.

She will go on playing
the great cook.

All she thinks about
are her precious kitchens.

She appears to forget
that you run this hotel

and that I am
the housekeeper.

Oh, Jessop, have
Merriman bring me

a bottle
of champagne.

Champagne, sir?

Yes. The Krug '92.

Krug '92.
Certainly, sir.

MERRIMAN: Trouble.
Trouble brewing, ma'am.

Knew it all along.

What do you mean?

Couple of more guests
left this morning.

Staff thinks
if any more go,

shutters will go up
and they'll all be out

on the street.

Now, listen here,
the lot of you.

This hotel is gonna be
a success.

It's gonna make
its reputation

on its cuisine, right?

10 guests or 100,

they get the best
bleeding meals in London.

We'll be turning away
visitors in 6 months,

and my business is growing
all the time.

So whatever happens,
you're not gonna be out of.

You'll be treated fair,
and there's gonna be

no sackings,
and that's my guarantee.


Very good, ma'am.

Now you've got lunch
to get ready.

Carry on.

And the menus stay
the same as we arranged,

Mrs. Wellkin.

Yes, madam.

Ethel, you'll take over
the preparations

for the German Embassy

Yes, ma'am.

Mary, you come with me
to Hertfordshire.

Mrs. Trotter.

I...I've been meaning
to say,

the kitchen
at the embassy,

last time we had
ever so much trouble

keeping things hot,

and when there's
50 or more places...

Yeah. That's a problem
we keep running into.

I've been thinking
about it.

We're gonna use
hay boxes.

Hay boxes?

When I was a kid
at home, we used to put

the porridge overnight
into hay boxes.

Porridge? Are we
gonna make porridge?

No, you silly herbert.

It's the process,
isn't it?

You start it
in a big iron pot,

then you put the pot
in a box of straw overnight,

and in the morning,
it had cooked

nice and slow
in its own heat.

For bouillons, fricassee,
and such, perfect!

If you say so,

Yeah. I'm having
a load of boxes

delivered tomorrow.

We'll try it out
on the kaiser's nephew.

Oh, excuse me, madam.

A letter for you.

Lady Freel.


Ah. Come in,
my dear chaps.

Don't believe it.
We're at Newmarket.

Oh, Jessop, have
Merriman bring us up

a bottle of brandy.

Certainly, sir.

Come into the office.

Wine with dinner.
Now brandy.

Lower them in gently.

In you go.

Gently, for God's sake.

Excuse me, ma'am.

Mr. Trotter, he
wants dinner for 6

in his room.

What, at this time
of night?

His personal guests,

a few
sporting gentlemen.

It will take
a bit of time.

Now mind you don't
get them mixed up, Mary.

There's a soup of game

and a veal fricassee
for Richmond

and bœuf à la mode
and the oyster soup

for Grosvenor Street.

Oh. Hay boxes, eh?

They'll work,
Mr. Merriman.

Oh, I know it, ma'am.

I've seen the turkey cook
rat stew in them

in the Crimea.

Rat stew?

Oh, it's very tasty,
a nice rat.


Mrs. Trotter said
we got to know how

to set out
the places.

I got it wrong
last night,

and there was
hell to pay.


Sure that's right?

Study the menu.

Lay for
the first course

on the outside,
work your way in.

Simplest way
stands to reason.

Never thought of that. Ta.


You're late tonight.

Uh, Mr. Trotter's

a few friends.

Oh, yeah?

Something wrong?

He's asked
for the keys

to the wine cellars,

There's a lot
of rare wines in there,

and as head waiter,
I'm responsible,

always have been,

and, uh, he wants
the keys.

Well, he's the manager.
He better have them.

Very good, ma'am.

So his lordship bet them
that none of them

would say hello to him
the following morning

when he rode down
rotten row.

They all said of course
that they would

and took him on
for 50 guineas.

Next morning,
they were all there,

so his lordship just
carriages a few horsemen

and an old
hackney cab.

When the hackney reaches
the end of the row,

the cabby stands up,
takes off his hat,

his muffler,
and his coat,

and it's his lordship!

And they all owed him
50 guineas!

Very good,
very good.

Ohh! Ha ha!

Keys, sir.

You took your time.

There we are.
What did I tell you?

Keys to a fortune
in claret, port,

rare brandy,
and champagne!

Hey, hey!

Oh, thank you,

Keep you going.


You'll wear yourself
out, ma'am.

Begging your pardon,
but is it worth it

just for money?

It's worth it for what
money can buy.

I'm gonna clear
all this lot out,

get in the most
up-to-date equipment.

That's what I'm
working for.

Every penny
goes towards it.

This is gonna be
the best kitchen in England,

and I'm gonna use it
to create the dishes

that no one's ever
dreamt about.

Yes, ma'am.

Right. I'm off then.

Where to?

I told you...
house parties

after the season.

up to Hamilton,

back down to Anglesey.

How long will you
be gone?

About 3 weeks.

I'll miss you.

Go on.
You've got Norah.

Don't laugh at me.
I'll miss you.

Gus, how many times
have I come looking for you

these last months?

You're never here.

Ain't even asked
after me.

Well, I've been
busy making contacts

for the future.

Good. That's good.

And I've asked
for the checks

to be sent
direct to you.

you mean you object

to the service?

It's a privilege,
a privilege for you

to be allowed
to stay here!

Oh, but you're

Your bill's canceled.
Get out! Get out!

What are you
doing there?

If you have duties
to attend to, see to them.

Otherwise, clear off.

Here we are.
Oh, lord.

We weren't expecting you
back till tomorrow, madam.

Eh, we found we
could catch

the afternoon train.

Oh, good evening, ma'am.

Where is everybody?

My God,
Mrs. Wellkin,

what in the bleeding
hell is this?

Thought I told you
never to get anything

but the best quality

Anything else is a waste
of time and money.

They were the best
I could get, madam.

Rubbish. Mather and Russ
don't even sell stuff

of that quality.

We don't shop there

They won't give us
no more credit.

No more credit?

I went round to see
Mr. Mather himself.

Seems our bills
haven't been paid

for several months.


Tradesmen have only
been supplying us

on your reputation,

but not anymore.

Not as much point,
seeing as hardly anyone

to cook for.

There's only two guests
left in the hotel, ma'am,

and they're friends
of Mr. Trotter.

What's going on?

Your ruination,
that's what.

What do you mean?

Staff walked out because
they've not been paid.

Guests followed
because there's no one

to look after them.

Only Mr. Jessop and me
left upstairs...ruination.

I wouldn't leave till
you'd come back, madam.

Well, what about

She was turned out
last week.

That Miss Trotter said
she'd have to go back

to being a general maid.

She refused.

Where is
Miss Trotter?

Lying down,
as is her wont.

And Mr. Trotter?

Cafe Royal,
I suppose.

Dines there
most evenings.

Does he now?

Right. Mary, you come
with me.


Here. Where do you
think you're going?

There's nobody allowed
in there.

Is that so?

I'm sorry, but I work
for Mr. Trotter,

and he said to make sure
that nobody goes in there.

Well, you just try
and stop me.

Oh, my heavens.

Oh, my God!

Here. Where does he
keep the account books?

Mary, see if you can
find the cash box.

It ain't possible.
It ain't possible.

How much?

7 pounds, 6 shillings,
and 4 pence, ma'am.

Well, that's all
we got left

in the world, Mary.

Here. Take that

Put it in one
of the ovens.

For God's sake,
make sure it's not lit.

And push off and get
yourself to bed.

Hey, you're not
usually up so late.

Louisa's back.

in your office.


I wasn't, uh...
I didn't expect you

back so soon.


I, uh, had a few
friends in.

to these accounts,

you've signed half
the bar bills

for months
and given free meals

to every bleeding
sponger in London.

Oh. Hospitality, Louisa.

Oh, yeah?

You wanted to act
the big man, eh?

You've no right to
speak to him like that.

Right? You talk
to me about rights

when this hotel...
Not one bill's

been paid in!

I slaved for,

everything I earned

and gave you to put
in the bank

has been spent!

What the bleeding hell
have you been up to!?

I had to learn.
It's been difficult

with all...

Oh, no, not
for you, Gus!

Seems to me most
of it's gone down

you and your
friends' throats!

The rest of it has
gone on her back!

I tried. I tried.

If only you'd been
closer to me, Louisa.

You try to put
the blame on me.

Well, why not?
He gave up

everything for you.

He gave up
everything for me?

It's not the profession
for a gentleman.

A gentleman?
He's little better

than a thief!

He's the owner
of this hotel.

I'll be damned!

I put him in here
to run it.

With your help,
he's run it

into the ground!

Are you gonna
let her speak

to your sister
like that?

Oh, get out!

Go on! Get out,
both of you!

Go on!

Take your bitch of
a sister with you!

Get out! Go on!
Take her with you

and that rubbish!

Louisa, how can you run
the hotel without us?

The hotel can
go to hell!

And if either of you
show your faces

in here again,
I'll smash them in!

Get out!