I got sidetracked into primary sources, but this thing is already at 5700+ words for an 8-12K call. Have some Regency setting detail porn that I'm almost certainly going to have to trim:
The barouche drew to a stop in Portman Square. The coachman held the splendid match-bay horses in check; Mary eyed them with some concern, for it seemed that the ten-mile drive from Maitland House had not tired them, but only served to whet their appetite for speed. Caroline had not seemed to care. When they had set out, the coachman had called back to her, “Do you mind if I give them their heads, my lady? They’ve been cooped up these last few days on account of the weather, and I’d like to shake their fidgets out.” Caroline had called back, “Of course, Charles; you know what’s best for them,” only after turning to Mary and saying “You don’t mind, do you?” Mary had swallowed her fear, and hoped that her answering “Not at all” had not sounded too false. She did not think she had ever driven so fast before, but she had to admit to herself that the coachman handled them with expert smoothness. Nevertheless, she was glad it was over.
The footman jumped down from his perch behind them, and opened the carriage door, untucking the rug from around them before helping them down from the carriage, first Caroline, then herself. Mary was relieved to see that the line of servants outside was not quite as large as the one that had greeted her at Maitland House. They bowed and curtsied, and she repressed the urge to curtsy back; she was still accustomed to a single manservant and a housemaid, no more. Caroline only smiled, and said “This is [name is in novel], our butler, Mary; [name], Mrs. Lawrence will be staying with me all Season, so please make sure she has everything she might need.”
[name] inclined his head. “Very good, my lady,” he said, and ushered them up the stairs into the house. The footmen must have followed, for they were right there to take their mantles and bonnets.
“Are you as chilled as I am?” Caroline and rubbed her hands together. “Let’s go up to my dressing room; it’s so much more snug than the drawing room, and we can drink our tea there.”
“That sounds perfect,” Mary said.
Caroline turned to [butler] once more. “Have tea sent to my dressing room, as soon as it can be done, please. If Lady Brackley arrives before dinner, show her right up to us.”
[butler] acknowledged this with a very slight inclination of his head. “Just so, my lady.”
The dressing room was snug, with a comfortable fire already burning in the hearth, the paneled white walls picked out in gold, and a flowered carpet setting off the pale pink wainscoting. Rose velvet curtains were drawn back to let in the pale daylight, still grey with the last of winter. It was far more light and modern than anything at Maitland House, with its oak panels and tapestries and rows of ancestors looking down from every wall. Caroline sat down on the striped damask sofa, settling against its cushioned back. “That’s better, isn’t it?” She patted the spot beside her.
“Much better,” Mary agreed fervently. “This is a lovely room.”
“Do you like it?” Caroline gave her a conspiratorial look. “It used to be done in yellow, for that was his Mama’s favorite, but that made me look bilious, no matter what I tried to wear! So Rockingham said I might change it however I pleased.”
“I couldn’t imagine a better one,” Mary said.