Rosie Boote, painted by Sir William Orpen, wearing a cocktail dress, fur and diamond earrings.
Virginia Park Lodge was originally built as a hunting lodge for the first Earl of Bective, Thomas Taylour, Lord Headfort, one of Ireland’s richest men. Located 20 miles away from his principal residence, Headfort House, in Kells, the lodge was intended as a cottage-style home from home, informal in layout but still lavishly decorated with the finest silver, china, and furniture. The second Earl added to the property and imported exotic shrubs and trees from China, Japan and elsewhere to create the parkland that surrounds the lodge.
Geoffrey Thomas Taylour, the 4th Marquess of Headfort, scandalised Edwardian society with his marriage to Miss Rosie Boote, a music hall star who had attended the Ursuline convent in Thurles, the school credited with having turned her out as a well-educated young lady equipped to take her place even in the highest society. Rose was much acclaimed as one of the glamorous Gaiety Girls, considered polite, educated, well-behaved young women, unlike the corseted actresses from London’s earlier musical burlesque shows.
The couple married in 1901, not without the resistance of high society and family members, who later came around, charmed by the Marchioness’ beauty and personality. They defied all odds and retreated to the solace of Virginia Park Lodge and raised their loving family, here they fought wars with the other aristocracy about social injustice and held tight whilst the world went to war.
Richard Corrigan has cooked all his life. He’s opened numerous restaurants, gained a Michelin star, run the catering at a dog track in east London, cooked for the queen, appeared on television on countless occasions and recently toured America hosting a show there.
His passion for seasonal food is matched only by his enthusiasm for ingredients sourced in Britain and Ireland; butter and bacon, cheese and charcuterie, sausages and salmon.
Richard’s approach is defined by his belief in good hospitality coupled with excellent food. Food that is sourced as locally as possible and from individuals rather than large companies.
Richard’s culinary career, in brief, spans several years in the Netherlands, head chef of Mulligan’s in Mayfair in London and his first Michelin star, awarded to him when he was head chef of Stephen Bull in Fulham in 1994, also in London.
Richard went on to open Lindsay House in Soho, London, and won a Michelin star there in 1997. He then bought and refurbished Bentley’s in 2005, an oyster and seafood restaurant just off Piccadilly. He went on to open Corrigan’s Mayfair in 2008.
Richard’s media career is wide and varied. He was crowned winner of the Great British menu no less than three times. Richard also won the recent Great British Waste Menu special, airing to over 7 million on BBC 1 prime time and which culminated in a dinner at the House of Lords.