Downton Abbey Inspired Dinner Party Anyone?
Throw a Downton Abbey-Inspired Dinner Party!
To go along with the dinner party make sure you enter to win a Downton Abbey-Inspired Gift Basket here.
Attend to these 12 steps and you’ll have a winner! Be sure to invite me!
1. The Setting: The Edwardian era was all about excess. So go big or go home. Assign your guests titles (who doesn’t want to be a Duke or Duchess?) and ask them to dress for dinner. And remember — no hats for women after 5 p.m. and no gloves (or cell phones — shudder!) on the table.
2. The Music: Put on a CD of a solo pianist for the cocktail hour, but no music during dinner. Or hire a piano player and really dazzle your guests.
3. The Cutlery: Only the nouveau riche had all of those specialty pieces.The nobility didn’t use them. But it is fun, isn’t it? I’d load up on silverware myself — to set the mood. The formal place setting has, moving left to right, the large fork, dessert fork, folded napkin in the middle (not on a plate and no chargers or napkin rings, please — if you use a napkin ring it means you don’t furnish a separate napkin for each meal — Unthinkable!), cheese knife, dessert spoon, dinner knife, and finally soup spoon.
4. The Linens: White napkins (heavily starched) and white tablecloth.
5. The China: Patterned china was all the rage. So dig out your grandmother’s finest! Or better yet — use this party as an excuse to buy new dishes!
6. The Glassware: Use 3 footed glasses — a white wine, a red wine, and a water glass. They don’t all have to be the same pattern, but try to use all of the same pattern at one place setting or use the same pattern for each type of glass.
7. The Centerpiece: Flowers were plentiful in England, so weren’t deemed special enough to use for a fancy dinner. The Crawleys would have used fruit — and as exotic a fruit as they could get. At the time, that would have been bananas, oranges, and pineapples.
8. The Candles: All light would have come from candles — either ivory or white.
9. The Seating: Host and hostess would be seated at either end, with the most important woman on the host’s right, the next most important woman on his left, the most important man on the hostesses’ right, the next most important man on her left, and alternating boy-girl down the table in order of importance. People with the lowest status would be seated at the center of the table.
10. The Service: Edwardians actually would have had servants bring fully loaded plates from the kitchen. If you don’t have a butler, you’ll have to wing it. If you do have a butler, I really want an invite!!
11. The Sexism: After dinner, women retire to one room for tea and gossip while men move along for cigars, liqueur, and pool. I think I’d skip this!
12. The Attitude: Project the confidence of Lord and Lady Grantham and you’ll have it made!!
If you’d like you can enter to win a Downton Abbey Gift Basket here.