The Times Archive Blog tells us about the food at a party thrown by the Princess Royal in 1789:
That part of the Supper which was hot consisted of twenty tureens of different Soups, Roast Ducks, Turkey, Poultry, Cygnets, Green Geese, Land Rails, Chickens, Asparagus, Peas and Beans. The cold parts of the collation were the same kind of Poultry boned, and swimming or standing in the centre of transparent jellies, where they were supported by paste pillars not in circumference thicker than a knitting needle. This, with the lights playing from the candles and reflected on by the polish of the plates and dishes made a most beautiful appearance. Crayfish pies of all kinds were distributed with great taste, and the Hams and Brawn in Masquerade swimming on the surface of pedestals of jelly, seemingly supported but by the strength of an apparent liquid called for admiration.
De Quincey’s lieutenant-colonel might have lived had he developed a taste for Hams and Brawn in Masquerade instead of those abominable muffins.