Finally, we've got a real-life royal on our hands in Ladies of London. Well... close enough. During last Monday's episode, we were properly introduced to Julie Montagu, a yoga instructor/health nut originally from Sugar Grove, Illinois who's also known as Viscountess Hinchingbrooke. Fancy, schmancy. Her husband, Luke Montagu, is accordingly Viscount Hinchingbrooke, and also heir to the Earl of Sandwich. Before you ask, "What kind of sandwich?" that's not the Sandwich we're talking about. Although, is anyone else craving a little corned beef on rye right now? No? just me?
Getting back to business, Sandwich is a town in the county of Kent in southeast England. It's about two hours from the ladies in London, and it's a medieval town with Tudor buildings lining the streets, historic churches, and lush English gardens. Sandwich basically exemplifies what we Yanks think a little English town looks like.
In Monday night's episode of Ladies of London, the cast has their Downton Abbey fantasy come true when they visit Montagu's family's estate, Mapperton. Although it is owned by the Earl of Sandwich, Mapperton is actually in Dorset, which is in southwestern England, so we might not get to see any of Sandwich in the episode. But now that I've already whet your appetite, here's a taste of what you should know about Sandwich.
The Other "Sandwich" Gets Its Name from Here
The story goes that the fourth Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, was a big-time card player, and he ordered beef served between two slices of bread so that he could eat while still playing cards. His friends asked "to have the same as Sandwich," and the food caught on. For the 250th anniversary of the sandwich in 2012, the town even staged a re-enactment of the famous card game, which was probably about as exciting as watching someone eat a sandwich.
The Earl of Sandwich is Also a Restaurant Chain, Unsurprisingly
Montagu's father-in-law, the 11th Earl of Sandwich, helped found a chain of sandwich shops appropriately named Earl of Sandwich, along with the Planet Hollywood chain founder Robert Earl. He's also British, but ironically, he isn't an Earl.
It Has American Ties
There is a town in Massachusetts named Sandwich, which recently signed a twinning charter with its English namesake. One of Sandwich's most well-known residents was Thomas Paine, the political thinker famous for writing Common Sense, which called for independence from Great Britain. I wonder what his thoughts are on "knickergate"?
This Sign Exists
Ham is also a town in England, so of course this sign had to happen.
Important Medical Research Took Place Here
Medications for HIV and high blood pressure, in addition to Viagra, were all discovered at Pfizer's research and development site in Sandwich.