Dining at Meadow Brook
Meadow Brook Hall is an incredible setting for dining and gathering. Learn more about the beautiful Christopher Wren Dining Room and the Breakfast Room.
The elegant dining room is fashioned in the Georgian style of architect Sir Christopher Wren, who worked in England in the 17th century.
The design of this room is inspired by Wren’s Belton House in Lincolnshire, England (completed in 1688). Meadow Brook Hall architect William E. Kapp of Smith, Hinchman & Grylls was so inspired by the magnificence of the ceiling in the chapel of Belton House that it was adapted for the ceiling of the Wilson dining room.
The simplicity of the walnut-paneled walls contrasts with the elaborately carved plaster ceiling which required artisans six months to complete under the direction of gifted Detroit architectural sculptor Corrado J. Parducci. The result of this monumental project is a ceiling of great magnificence.
Matilda Wilson asked that the house fit a family of four, serve dinners for forty and entertain a guest list of 250.
Though the dining room table appears small for the room, a dedicated closet holds table leaves to extend it from chandelier to chandelier, easily seating 40 guests for dinner.
When not entertaining, the family sat at the oval table. You may see the room set with multiple small tables for an event: the grand dining table is not conducive for conversation and the Wilsons preferred to seat guests this way. Like many of the Wilsons great ideas, this is a practice we continue to this day.
Large portraits of Matilda and Alfred Wilson by society painter Louis Betts add to the elegant nature of the room.
Coming from the formal dining room, the delicate lines and tints of the Breakfast Room flow almost imperceptibly into the open view of the east gardens, creating a tiny haven of serenity, even on the busiest of days.
Intimate and charming with its small scale and warm colors, the octagonal room was decorated in the Chinoiserie style, a European invention which drew upon primarily Chinese and Japanese motifs.
French doors open onto the Breakfast Garden with its path to the Pegasus Fountain and the Rose Garden.
The family ate breakfast together in this room every day at 7:20 a.m. Matilda once remarked that this was her favorite time of day.