The stately home that millions of Downton Abbey fans have grown to know and adore is no movie set. It’s an actual working estate in England’s countryside and home to modern day members of the real British aristocracy. HGTV’s Castles on Camera takes you inside Highclere Castle to see its spectacular rooms and meet the real lord and lady of the manor.
The Victorian-era manor is 175 years old, contains around 30,000 square feet of living space and is currently maintained by a staff of 70.
George Reginald Oliver Molyneuz Herbert, 8th Earl of Carnarvon, godson of Queen Elizabeth II and Lord of Highclere Castle, stands in the home’s library.
OK, so let’s talk Downton Abbey. What is it about this show that has captured your heart? Tell me in the Comments.
Did you catch the new season premiere of Downton Abbey last night? If you’re as obsessed as we are here, indulge your Anglophile tendencies with some adorable and appropriate vintage teacup crafts. These darling ideas are perfect for flea market finds and/or old teacups with minor chips and nicks in them. Finger sandwiches and tea cakes optional…though highly encouraged.
I have a new TV obsession to replace my former dependence on shows like Mad Men and The Wire — it’s Downton Abbey. If you’re not already familiar with the popular British import, its formula is roughly one part period piece to one part soap opera, and it’s addictive. It’s kind of like a juicy serialized Gosford Park, in that the lives of the wealthy are frequently contrasted by the lives of their servants downstairs, and Maggie Smith cracks wise. Anyway, I’m not alone in my obsession with all things Downton, according to the The New York Times. They’re reporting that many people are holding themed viewing parties to watch the show with friends.
Photos: Andrew Kropa for The New York Times
I love that other folks are so into the show that they’re creating party menus with classics from across the pond, like steak and Guinness pie and sticky toffee pudding. It’s tempting to hold a viewing party myself this weekend, with our own brand of themed decor and recipes like Mince Pies, Raspberry Sherry Trifle and Blueberry Scones. Of course, the Dowager Countess would ask “What is a weekend?”, but my new answer would be, “Two days off from work to throw Downton Abbey viewing parties.”