Resource: At Home at Highclere

posted in: Resources | 0

Were you one of those who were caught up in the Downton Abbey craze when the series first ran as part of PBS’ Masterpiece Theatre? Or did you recently see the Downton Abbey movie and find yourself desperate to see the earlier series’ seasons so you could learn about the characters’ earlier lives?

One major character in the lives of the Crawley family is the house itself. So, if you are a Downton Abbey fan, you will definitely want to read and look at At Home at Highclere–Highclere is the actual estate home used as Downton. Written by the current lady of the manor, this book gives complete access to the world-renowned historic country house and showcases the art of entertaining, past and present.

Highclere Castle, famed as the setting for Downton Abbey, is the epitome of how we imagine the perfect English country house. Long the Carnarvon fami­ly’s ancestral country seat, Highclere has welcomed royalty, statesmen, and notables from the worlds of business, academia, and the arts for shooting parties, elegant fêtes, and celebrations in the grand style.

Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the current chatelaine, invites readers inside Highclere, past and present, as she describes how to entertain in the style of a stately English country house: the etiquette of the invi­tation, multi-course meals, correct seating arrange­ments, proper attire, setting the table.

She delves into family archives to highlight four real-life historic weekend parties over a seventy-year period during which Highclere hosted an ever-changing cast of notable figures—including Benjamin Disraeli and the Prince of Wales—exploring how society and enter­taining changed decade by decade.

Complete with gorgeous full-color photography of Highclere’s rooms and punctuated by charming archival images, the book explores changing menus, fashionable cocktails of the day, and includes, where practical, adaptations for recipes which can be used for entertaining in the present day.

So check out this wonderful picture book and settle into a comfortable chair on a Sunday evening before you watch Masterpiece Theatre or the Downton Abbey movie on Netflix. Enjoy!

This book is available online.

Leave a Reply