Dine Like Downton

Every week, millions of people from all walks of life indulge in the same guilty pleasure–watching Downton Abbey.  With giddy anticipation, we time travel back to post-Edwardian England into the lives (and stately home) of the aristocratic Crawley family whose escapades, and that of their servants, captivate us far beyond each hourly episode.  At Downton, everything–from clothing to decor–is served up in impeccable style, especially at mealtime. 

Got Downton fever (and don’t we all)? Wish you, too, could dine more in the style of Lord Grantham, Lady Mary and handsome Matthew than that of their servants below stairs?

Pulling off the Downton look is easy to do with these heirloom-inspired pieces.  Well-priced for their design punch and accessibility, they look so much like pricey antiques you’ll be tempted to ring for Carson to formally announce, “Dinner is served.”

Schonbek’s Sterling Collection crystal chandelier ($1,164.99) exudes 18th century sophistication, glamour and sparkle (on the off-chance your dinner conversation doesn’t).

Intricate medallions, traditional beading and sumptuous platinum give Ashcroft bone china its to-the-manor-born sensibility.

From the renowned archive of the Sheffield Silver Company comes Sheffield Heirloom silver-plated flatware.  Each set ($225-$399) includes 12 knives, forks or spoons in different vintage patterns, all based on historic designs.

Whatever the beverage, you’ll feel grander sipping it from Royal Doulton’s Highclere crystal stemware ($43 each), coincidentally named after the real estate where Downton Abbey is filmed.

The Rothschild Gallery tray is a must for every Downton devotee because of the Rothschild family’s link to Lady Almina Carnarvon, the real countess of Highclere Castle. You see, Almina was Alfred Rothschild’s daughter. Her marriage (and the money that came with it) saved Highclere just as Cora’s marriage to Robert saved Downton’s.

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