After several recommendations from friends we finally decided to watch Downton Abbey. As expected, we are completely hooked and have already watched all of Season One. Now we are trying to catch up on Season Two by this Sunday when episode six airs at 8pm on PBS.
The show, written by Julian Fellowes, best known for his Oscar winning “Godsford Park,” is set at the beginning of the 20th century and goes through the first World War. The setting is an estate, Downton Abbey, and the plot revolves around the drama of the family and their staff. Specifically, lots of romance drama coupled with the challenges of running a home with a large staff for a dignified family.
The episodes are fantastic, drama on both sides, upstairs with the family and downstairs with the service. However, the real gem of the show is Maggie Smith, the Lordship’s mother better known as Violet Crawley. Her one liners are hysterical and very poignant. Violet Crawley’s character reveals the culture and thoughts of English society in the early 20th century.
The estate is gargantuan; Downton Abbey is actually Highclere Castle that has been occupied by a single family, the Carnavons, since 1679. I would love to walk around the grounds, as the setting is picturesque. This shot of Lady Mary is beautiful and reveals the idyllic English countryside.
The interior is relevant to the times and full of rich colors and lavish furniture. The details of the millwork and size of the rooms are unmistakably British nobility.
However, while the upstairs is extravagant, I am most intrigued by the servant’s quarters.
One of the coolest aspect’s of the staff dining area are the bells. Sure I would rather be the one ringing the bell for service from my lush bedroom, but the actual row of bells all lined up is great looking. If you don’t believe me…here is a close up.
Do you agree…I love them.
The kitchen is also a place that grabs my attention. The long work table down the center of the kitchen and the lack of upper cabinets with open shelving are appealing even today. All the beautiful copper pots and stoneware are not bad either.
The cook’s desk complete with a perpetual calendar is a perfect spot to finish up her daily tasks. I recently bought a perpetual calendar just like the one on the desk for my kitchen.
The last spot that I enjoyed are all the rustic georgian chests in the servant’s bedroom. You know my fascination with the Georgian chest from this post, so I do not need to restate but love all the treasures from this era in history.
Do you watch Downton Abbey? What appeals to you?