Menu for Downton Abbey Inspired Dinner

This week I made a presentation at a book club (I love doing this—one of my fav things to do). The ladies told me that they threw a Downton Abbey party for one of their meetings. Showed me photos—they dressed up and everything. Very fun! Inspired, I decided to revisit the DA dinner party. We’ve already outlined the elements of the party and taken an in-depth look at the cocktail hour. Let’s now focus on the meal.

A formal dinner during Downton’s heyday could have featured up to 22 courses! Lacking a household staff that includes Mrs. Patmore, Daisy, Mr. Carson, and assorted footmen, me thinks we must simplify a bit. And even taking tiny bites, how could anyone eat their way through 22 courses? Plus the women wore corsets. Impossible.

Ariel Knutson gives us a wonderful menu on her excellent blog post at Buzzfeed. A traditional first course would be soup, particularly Watercress Soup with Pear:

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This would be followed by the fish course. Ms. Knutson suggests Pamela Foster’s Poached Salmon with Mousseline Sauce (her recipe follows a fascinating article featuring a menu from the Titanic):

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Boeuf Bourguignon makes a nice showing as the entrée. (Or you could streamline a bit and serve filet mignon with a drizzle of Béarnaise Sauce—that’s what I would do):

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We’re now at the point where we do the continental thing and serve a palate-cleansing sorbet. Has everyone saved room for their veggies? The salad course is next. If there’s one thing we Americans do well, it’s salad. Open a pre-chopped bag of salad and dress it up, or make your own using a vintage cookbook.

Finally, dessert. A truffle or pudding would be traditional. Ms. Knutsen suggests Raspberry Meringue Pudding:

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And, if all this isn’t enough, you could follow with assorted cheeses and fruit, coffee, and cigars.


Bon Appétit!!