Saturday, January 26, 2013

Breakfast at Downton

   Yes, 8 Million Americans and 120 Million Worldwide watchers are obsessed with Britain's Downton Abbey.
   Why? Because in a PG kind-of way, Downton is the new Sex And The City, hitting a pitch perfect chord with its viewers. Simply put: it is nice TV.
   In this British land of the Landed Gentry, these wealthy characters live by the traditional Noblesse Oblige mantra. They are all well dressed, well mannered, polite people. They respect each other, save the occasional slightly naughty character, and they live their lives as we all live our lives. Same struggles. Same goals. All just trying to do better for themselves, their family, friends, and community.

So, here are a few Breakfast at Downton tips:
  • Married ladies, by tradition, are allowed to have breakfast in bed, thus one does not have to dress to go downstairs for breakfast. (I remember my Mother always mentioning 'Breakfast in Bed' as a luxury to her). A nice perk for a married lady indeed!
  • Breakfast consisted of eggs, ham, bacon, devilled kidneys, tongue, oatmeal and "Post Toasties" (Cornflakes) cereal from America!
  • Morning papers were ironed to dry the ink, so the Lord and Lady would not get ink stains on their fingers.
  • Footmen wore gloves and served all meals A La Russe.
  • The most important person or honored guest always sits to the right of the host, or The Lord, and is served first.
  • Serving "Ladies first" is Continental style used on the continent (as in France, not in England).
  • Wealthy girls were taught how to keep a conversation going even with someone who was completely socially incapable, and even at breakfast with the non-morning person!
Downton Abbey like Breakfast at Tiffany's is a place where nothing bad can happen to you. It is simply lovely and beautiful, soapy and sometimes silly, funny and witty, only a bit naughty, Haute Couture and haughty, and most importantly, happy escapism with grand Manor homes and grand manners. No wonder we all adore Downton. Enjoy!

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