Downton Abbey Shares the Love of Food Both Upstairs and Down

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Titanic delights enjoyed in the Servant’s Hall

A record 10 million viewers across the UK enjoyed another great episode of Downton Abbey last night (S3E3), and has quickly become one of my favorites, particularly since food gets specific mention.

In this episode our favorite Downton servants are treated to an extravagant meal of Edwardian classics, many of which were dishes served in 1st Class on Titanic.  I cooked through that ambitious menu (menu and recipe links here) in honor of the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking. I hope that these menu choices on Downton Abbey were reflective of Julian Fellowes keen interest in Titanic, and not foreshadowing any tragic events on Downton Abbey (like the estate burning down).

Here are links to the dishes mentioned:  scroll down to the bottom of the page to get the recipe.

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Tea Tuesday: Downton Abbey Season 3 Launched with Treacle Tart

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Award Winning Tea at the Chesterfield Hotel in London

Welcome to Tea Tuesday, my weekly tribute to the art of having tea. “A Proper Tea is Much Nicer than a Nearly Nice Tea“- A.A. Milne.  Life is grand in the UK now that Season 3 is well under way, sad in the US as PBS won’t be broadcasting the new season until January. Americans however did get a glimpse of their favorite stars at the Emmys this past Sunday.

The British may have historically failed in other culinary areas*, but excel in the tea ritual. Join me every Tuesday as I dish on Downton Abbey, the Royal Family, UK tourism and other topical tea issues one might discuss at tea, served up with a tea treat recipe with a history. Today’s treat is Treacle Tart, the first dish mentioned by name by Mrs. Patmore in Season 3.   It has long been a favorite sweet treat in English households: Harry Potter fans know that it was Harry’s favorite.

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Celebrating Downton Abbey Emmy Win with Yorkshire Pudding Canapés

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Downton Abbey Cast at the Emmys

It was an emotional night for Downton Abbey fans yesterday.  In the UK, fans soaked up another hour of Season 3; the trials and tribulations at the grand house in the country.  Meanwhile, American fans watched and cheered Maggie Smith’s only major win* for Downton Abbey at the 64th Annual Emmys. She was not present to accept the award.  It brought to mind her character’s quip from E2: “Curious. He hates to leave America.  I should hate to go there.”

Still, a win for one is a win for all, and much to celebrate all things considered.  Other period dramas-Mad Men (which had 17 nominations), Boardwalk Empire and Sherlock-came away empty-handed.  It would appear that in an election year,  Americans are more drawn to political drama; Homeland won three awards.

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Tea Tuesday: Bakewell Tart to Celebrate & Console Downton Abbey Fans

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Award winning Park Room at Grosenvor   House in London offers an Afternoon tea to celebrate S3 & the 1920s when they opened.

Welcome to Tea Tuesday, my weekly tribute to the art of having tea. “A Proper Tea is Much Nicer than a Nearly Nice Tea“- A.A. Milne.  Life is grand in the UK with the launch of Season 3, sad in the US as PBS won’t be broadcasting the new season until January.  However, there are the Emmys to look forward to this weekend.

Tea Tuesday was inspired by Christine, a young woman living in France who was curious about English tea traditions after watching a few episodes of Downton Abbey. The British may have failed miserably in other culinary areas, but they excel in the tea ritual. Join me every Tuesday as I dish on Downton Abbey, the Royal Family, UK tourism and other topical tea issues one might discuss at tea, served up with a tea treat recipe with a history. Today’s treat is Bakewell Tarts, an English tea favorite. Originally known as Bakewell Pudding, this confection dates back to the Tudor era.  Mrs. Beeton, the Victorian domestic goddess, even published a lovely version.

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Downton Abbey S3 UK Debut, Served With Lavender Crusted Halibut

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Anglo American relations are strained both on  and off screen.

The world seems far more jolly today, the morning after nearly 9 million viewers watched the debut of Season 3 of Downton Abbey on ITV1, Downton’s home in the UK. It has been a long wait since the Christmas episode was broadcast, but at last the beloved country home of the Crawley family has re-opened its doors for a new season.

Not unlike our first days back at school after the long summer break, the first episode takes time to reacquaint viewers with where we left off, and where we may be headed this season.  The  time stamp is Spring 1920, the opening shot a blessed relief.  Season 1 opened with a telegraph operator relaying news of Titanic, and Season 2 with a battle fields.  Season 3 opens with Daisy, our favorite Kitchen Maid, riding her bicycle. It seems all things will work out for Downton this year. I will not spoil the rest of it for you.

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Tea Tuesday: Make Quick and Elegant Low Fat Tarts

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One of Churchill Salon’s award winning Afternoon  Teas at the Hyatt Regency London

Welcome to Tea Tuesday, my weekly tribute to the art of having tea. As Henry James once said: “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea”.  It is a sad day as we remember and reflect on families torn apart eleven years ago today in the 9/11 attacks.

Tea Tuesday was inspired by Christine, a young woman living in France who was curious about English tea traditions after watching a few episodes of Downton Abbey. The British may have failed miserably in other culinary areas, but they excel in the tea ritual. Join me every Tuesday as I dish on Downton Abbey, the Royal Family, UK tourism and other topical tea issues one might discuss at tea, served up with a tea treat recipe with a history. Today’s treat is a simple and elegant way to vamp up your tea or dessert tray.

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A Quick English Chicken Banana Curry for Maggie Smith

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Maggie Smith in Toronto   Source: Jag Gundu/Getty Images North America

While Downton Abbey fans in the UK are counting down the hours until Season 3 debuts this Sunday night on ITV1, Downton fans in Toronto can take comfort that the Dowager is currently in Toronto promoting her new film, “Quartet” at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival).  I feel myself already correcting my posture.

Tonight she accepts a special award as the 2012 recipient of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s Legacy Award.  The Stratford Shakespeare Festival is an internationally recognized annual celebration of theatre running from April to November in the Canadian city of Stratford, Ontario.  It attracts some of the best dramatic actors in the world. Last year’s winner of this award was Christopher Plummer.

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Tea Tuesday: Can you Serve Angel Food Cake After Labour Day?

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Royal Garden Hotel (Kensington) serves award winning Afternoon Tea

The US and Canada celebrated Labour Day yesterday. The long weekend marks the unofficial end of Summer and the last day of freedom for many children who are back to school today. Labour Day dates back to 1882 and I like to believe the story that it was inspired by Toronto’s Labour Festival.

Welcome to Tea Tuesday, my weekly tribute to the art of having tea. As Henry James once said: “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.

I host Tea Tuesday each week, a virtual tea party which was inspired by Christine, a follower who lives in France, who was curious about English tea traditions after watching a few episodes of Downton Abbey. The British may have failed miserably in other culinary areas, but they excel in the tea ritual. Join me every Tuesday as I dish on Downton Abbey, the Royal Family, UK tourism and other topical tea issues one might discuss at tea, served up with a tea treat recipe with a history. Today’s treat is Angel Food cake, begging the question, can I still serve this low fat treat after Labour Day?

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Tea Tuesday: Easy Smoked Salmon Pinwheels

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Anthenaeum Hotel won Tea Guild’s prestigious award for “Top London Afternoon Tea 2012”.

Welcome to Tea Tuesday, my weekly tribute to the art of having tea. As Henry James once said: “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.

I host Tea Tuesday each week, a virtual tea party which was inspired by Christine, a follower who lives in France, who was curious about English tea traditions after watching a few episodes of Downton Abbey. The British may have failed miserably in other culinary areas, but they excel in the tea ritual. Join me every Tuesday as I dish on Downton Abbey, the Royal Family, UK tourism and other topical tea issues one might discuss at tea, served up with a tea treat recipe with a history.  Today’s treat is smoked Salmon Pinwheels.

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Downton Downtime: Pudding for Breakfast or Brunch

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What will Daisy be cooking in Season 3?

It’s the last week of August and time when many of us begin to mentally prepare for the end of the lazy days of Summer and the return to busy schedules of the Fall and Winter season, when the kids are in school and superiors/co-workers are back from holiday with lots of great ideas to implement.  For Downton Abbey fans in the UK, the end of Summer brings a new Season of their favorite period drama. Continue reading