Fantasy breakfast with Winston Churchill

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In the Daily Mail on Monday 29th November 1954 there began the publication of a series of articles on Sir Winston Churchill entitled ‘Life Begins at Eighty’. The series was written by an American journalist, Mr George W Herald and was reviewed anonymously in The Spectator in the form of a running commentary

Here are some examples of Mr Herald’s inventions: His valet, John, who accompanies him on all his trips, will invariably call him over the phone at 7am in the summer-time and 8 in winter-time. Sir Winston has no valet called John and is never called over the telephone. Thereupon Churchill dons a scarlet dressing gown. Sir Winston never wears a dressing gown in bed… In fact, he wears a bed jacket. Sir Winston has a theory about breakfast… served by Edward, his personal cook, which consists of porridge. Sir Winston has never had a personal cook named Edward or anything else, and never eats porridge at breakfast or any other time. After coffee Sir Winston lights one of  his daily six to eight cigarettes. Sir Winston has not smoked a cigarette for a quarter of a century [although he] still smokes ten or twelve cigars a day. While Sir Winston looks through the morning papers John prepares his bath for him… from the bathroom Churchill goes right back to bed. In fact, when Sir Winston has had his bath he always gets dressed. Ritual No 4 is a catnap after lunch. He only has to stretch out on the couch in his study and put a black satin bandage over his eyes to drop off to sleep like a baby. There is no couch in Sir Winston’s study…

At the end of the article, The Daily Mail announced: ‘Tomorrow – His Homes, His Family and His Animals’. On Tuesday, the series was abandoned

From Dipped in Vitriol by Nicholas Parsons (1981)

A recipe for Winston Churchill’s favourite cake has been published by the National Trust to mark the this year’s 75th Anniversary of VE Day. For further details visit