Well, Father Zed, a wise and accomplished man, often sets before you mouth-watering magirology: so surely you won't complain if I offer an occasional gastronomic diversion? Even if it does involve whisking you back to the Thirties?
In his 1936 masterpiece Death at the President's Lodging, 'Michael Innes' [J I M Stewart] tempts our imaginative juices by describing what a college Kitchen could do in the magical Thirties (no pedantry here, please ... don't bother to explain to me that not everything was magical in the 1930s). A college Dean might offer in his rooms such a private luncheon as this: "Double fillet of sole, becasse Careme, and poires flambees -- and there was a remarkable [College] hock. College cooks can produce such luncheons and undergraduates -- and even dons -- give them ..."
Happy days, when places of learning could afford to inculcate more than just a skill in writing Sapphic stanzas or in Latin Prose Compo! "Honour Mods in Careme" would indeed be a much more civilised, and useful, area of learning than [fill this bit in yourselves, preferably including PPE]. One of 'Innes'' dons explains to an undergraduate "You are enjoying a highly evolved system of individual education the stamp of which you will carry to the grave. To that grave you will also carry a nervous tone which is the product of careful physical nurture: of knowledge of the use and abuse of wine, of cookery to subsidize which miners toil in Wales and Kalgoorlie ..." (is there really a place called Kalgoorlie? In Co Donegal, perhaps? Corruption of a Celtic 'Kilgoorlie'?).
But where I most want to seek your help is with this description of:
" ... a most Chestertonian inn. Here one may lunch, here one may dine well: there is bortsch not inferior to that once known at Gurin's, and a simple schnitzel that would have won the commendations of the eminent Sacher himself. There is good straight claret; there is genuine Tokay; there is a curious Dalmatian liqueur [Maraschino, perhaps?]. The garden is erudite [sic], remarkable in summer and winter alike. If you are lucky, you will find no similarly knowing colleague there; only an alien and abstracted savant from the academic deserts of Birmingham or Hull, come to meditate in solitude the remoter implications of the quartic curve, or a London novelist of the quieter and more prosperous sort, giving a lazy week to the ruinous correction of page-proofs. Only one disturbing presence there may be: that of undergraduates -- for undergraduates too, with a sad inevitability, have discovered this earthly paradise. But even undergraduates become more urbane, less restless, in the milieu of the Three Doves."
I offer an instant apology to a good and civilised friend who is a learned and much published scientist at Birmingham ...
Things I ask ...
(1) Gurin's ... I presume, a ***** Moscow, or Eastern European, eatery ... did such things survive into the Stalinist Thirties?
(2) Are there any friends of 'the eminent Sacher' in today's readership? ... I presume we are here in interbellum Vienna?
(3) Is this description of "The Three Doves" based on a real restaurant near Oxford? Or is it an Ovidian adunaton, or perhaps a Platonic idea?
(4) Pam and I used to drink Hock in the 1960s; we used to drink it out of special high glasses. Does anybody drink Hock nowadays? Would a sommelier even recognise the word? ('Bar staff' in modern pubs have no idea what 'stout porter' is).
(5) Any other apposite explanations you care to give ... except for the Quartic Curve, which sounds kinky.