(Warning: this is a long one)
Are you watching "Downton Abbey" on Masterpiece Classics? I have been waiting for it and am absolutely mesmerized now that it is finally on!! I have been recording it and re-watching over and over. There is so much to see! I subscribe to "The English Home" and the February issue has an article on the country house that was used as Downton Abbey. The series reminds me of "Upstairs, Downstairs" from Masterpiece in the '70s. Does anyone remember that one? I did not miss an episode of that series either (actually, more have been made...can't wait for that, as well). Another amazing film that has some gorgeous dinner scenes is "The Age of Innocence" which is one of my favorite movies of all time!
Back to Downton Abbey...the writing is wonderful, the acting fabulous, and the costumes and sets-to die for!! Can you tell I'm smitten? In the first episode, one scene shows the family coming to breakfast. Although there were footmen serving at lunch, tea, and dinner, breakfast was a different thing altogether. The sideboard was set with dishes and food and everyone helped themselves because people started their days at different times depending on what individuals' plans were (of course, some of the ladies had breakfast brought up, which is a whole DIFFERENT thing).
I am fascinated by a life so gracious and privileged (but the life of the staff was something different altogether! That was some hard work!!) There is a wonderful book about life of the upper classes in the 19th Century. It's called "What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew" by Daniel Pool. It's a great read and explains a lot to those of us not born to the upper class. It's a terrific resource when reading british novels of those eras. I don't know if it is still in print, though.
Anyway...you didn't come here for this rambling so here is my "tablescape" for this week. I would say this is a little fantasy (in which I play the upstairs AND downstairs parts). I decided to set breakfast on the sideboard. So here we go!
Our sideboard is not very large and actually didn't accomodate any FOOD!! Just imagine that there are a few extra feet of sideboard on either side!!!
Plates for whatever you choose for breakfast from eggs to toast or maybe scones and jam...
You can have your soft-boiled egg in one of these charming egg cups. My British husband has his childhood "eggs and soldiers" on occasion still...
Toast in the silver toast rack
This is a clever footed butter server.
The dome of this lid slides back and rolls underneath the piece!
Let's see...marmalade in the crystal jam jar and strawberry jam in the china one?
Your choice of tea or coffee...
Milk and sugar, so pick up a cup for the beverage of your choice...
Here is a last look....
I hope you are enjoying "Downton Abbey". There is a VERY good chance that there will be more about it on my blog! Thank you for enduring this long and rambling blog!! Oh, there is the drawing room bell; I'd better run!!
Now for the dish on the dishes:
- All of the china is "Old Country Roses". Much of it was wedding gifts from Peter's family in England (this pattern was not available at the time of Downton Abbey because it wasn't made until 1962)
- The silver plate flatware pieces are Reed and Barton "Rathmore" and a few random patterns of which I have only individual pieces
- The crystal jam jar is an ebay find
I love to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by!!!