Monday, November 17, 2014

Delirious for Downton

by Susanne "Dowager Duchess is #1" Dietze

My friends across the pond are enjoying another season of Downton Abbey (as are some of my American friends, thanks to the internet). The British television series about the fictional Crawley family (the Earl of Grantham, his wife and daughters) and their servants in the early decades of the 20th century is an international hit...and quite addicting. While I'm very, very curious about my friends Bates, Edith, Tom (stay away from that pushy schoolteacher, Tom!), and the rest of the upstairs/downstairs gang, I've held out from peeking online to see episodes.

Still questioning the wisdom of this. I could have answers!

But I wouldn't necessarily be able to speak about them, which is half the fun.

It's already available for preorder on Amazon! Look how big the babies are now!

Meanwhile, I have my Downton Abbey possessions to comfort me (yes, this is a sad joke).

Last year I scored for Christmas. Mom gave my daughter and me D.A. necklaces that are super fancy. Here's my daughter's necklace. (You can buy them on Amazon, Macy's, The PBS Store, or even on the R.M.S. Titanic--they're everywhere!).
$25 can make you look like a million bucks! Now...let's have a ball so we can wear them.

I was also given Downton wine last year (according to the label, it was chosen by butler Carson). I photographed it next to Downton Abbey wrapping paper, which I found at World Market right after Christmas (they also sold D.A. china, white with little gold and black flourishes).
Ooh la la! I'm just like the Crawleys!

Christmas dessert was taken care of, too, since I was given a D.A. plum pudding. It was dense, sweet, and chock full of raisins.
Of course we set it on fire! If you look closely, you can see the blue flames.

And this year my friend gave me some D.A. tea. It's delicious!
Yum! Other flavors are available, too, but this is mine!
Looks like there are lots of new D.A treats for 2014, too.

Scouring Amazon, I found new goodies for this year. Behold, a cd of Lord Grantham's favorite Christmas tunes! Elizabeth McGovern (Cora) sings! The classical pieces look fabulous. Of course, this isn't the first D.A. cd. There's a soundtrack out, too. (I've heard it, and it's great.)
Available here
I think this cookbook may end up on my Christmas list, because I want to eat just like Lady Mary does (assuming she eats chocolate, tea sandwiches, and opera cake).
Yum again!
Want another book with pretty pictures? It includes photos, anecdotes, and recipes for "kedgeree, orange marmalade, asparagus tarts, cream of watercress soup, Irish stew, lemon barley water, meringues with red berries, parmesan straws, Christmas pudding with brandy butter and more." I'm not sure how I feel about lemon barley water, but if Carson serves it, I'll go for it!
Want it under your Christmas tree? Click here.
Looks fun to me. But if your budget is a little tight (and $11 for an ornament isn't ridiculous sounding, which it is to me) why not bring a little D.A. to your tree with this bell pull?
Ring ring!
If only I could ring for Carson.

Speaking of Carson, he's written a book on staff management. It'll be out Nov. 25.

If you're having problems with your footmen, click here.
Is there nothing that man can't do?

Last but not least--because I could go on forever, trust me--is the official board game. This is something I may have to buy so I can play with my local D.A.-fan friends, and haul in a suitcase to next year's ACFW for some cutthroat competition with a few Inkies.
Oh mercy. Guess what I want for Christmas.
Whom shall I be? Why am I even asking this when Tom is an option? If Deb Marvin beats me to that punch, I'll call the Dowager.
Oh wait, looks like our options are Faceless Anna and Faceless Barrow (aka Thomas, not to be confused with Tom, thank you very much). I'll pick the red Anna.

It looks a bit like Clue, but the directions describe tasks to complete.
Squee! Roll the dice and have a sip of D.A. tea while the Christmas cd plays in the background. We're on!

Who's with me?


Susanne Dietze writes historical romance and has a bit of a Downton Abbey addiction. Just a bit. You can visit her on her website,


  1. Ahhh, yes. I agree. Later this month I'll be posting photos to my visit to Winterthur Museum (Delaware) and the official Downton Abbey Costume Exhibit. I admit to spending quite a bit of time in the small gift shop next to the exit. Wanting so many items but not being able to justify any of them! I think all your items here were in the shop, plus clothes and towels and aprons and etc etc etc... I think I'd have to watch all five seasons before our game but certainly we'd have a rousing competition! Thanks for a super fun post, Susie. I'm with you on waiting for January. As much as I want to see it, I like watching it with the rest of the east coast (And then trying not to post spoilers for the west coast's biggest fan!)

    1. What? You need to study before you play the DA board game? Hahahahha

  2. Sounds like we're on for the D.A. board game tournament! ;)

    I know what you mean about justifying purchases. I feel the same way. I didn't buy anything at the Princess Diana exhibit gift shop, even though I wouldn't have minded buying lots of them! Sometimes it's nice to pick up a souvenir, but the items were either really expensive or really not me (and would a tiara key chain really remind me of Diana?).

    Looking forward to your D.A. costume post!

  3. And don't forget going to see the first episode in the theater. Such fun!

    Great article, Susie!

    1. Hi Maquis! I would love to see the first episode in the theater. I think it's fabulous that some local PBS stations sponsor those events. What a treat to enjoy with friends!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Have you checked out the Victorian Trading Co. catalog? For some unknown reason, I got one in the mail. Lots of Downton Abbey stuff in there. What struck me most was the Jane Austen toothpaste - rose flavored!!

    1. Elaine, No! I haven't heard of this fabulous-sounding catalog! I am off to google it right now! Thank you!

      Rose flavored toothpaste, though? Hmm.

    2. I've never heard of this one either! Thanks for the heads' up, Elaine. :)

  5. You make me giggle, Susie. Maybe DA needs to stand for Downton Anonymous? :)

  6. Okay, if it's authentic, I NEED that book of rules for household staff. :D

    Also, as as quilter, I happen to know there is DA FABRIC which you can get and make stuff to your heart's content. :D

    1. Gasp! Fabric?! I'm hyperventilating. Must. Google. DA quilt...

      But before I go....I wonder how authentic it is, DeAnna. The book, that is. Bears checking out. There aren't any reviews up yet since it's not out for another week.

      But the Christmas CD released yesterday and Oh, I like it the samples I heard!

    2. Fabric? Well, yeah, gasp! With fabric, you can make a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g!!!! Pillows...quilts...quillows...aprons...napkins...tablecloths... oh my...scarves!

  7. Like DeAnna, Carson's book caught my eye. I'd love to compare it to Mrs. Beeton's home management book.

  8. Just realized I never answered your question...

    YES! I'll play the DA game with you at ACFW or RWA or anywhere we can get together!

    How droll that we only have Anna and Barrow to choose from though. :/


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