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The Table at "Downton Abbey"

Weekend Program with Refreshments

Sunday, September 8, 2019 - 2:00 p.m.
Code: 1H0443

The End of Dinner, 1913, by Jules-Alexandre Grün

The beloved, sumptuously produced TV series “Downton Abbey” was always a feast for the eyes. In anticipation of the forthcoming movie based on the series, author and food historian Francine Segan invites you to vicariously pull up a chair to the Crawley family’s table and experience a feast the likes of which few others could deliver.

It took stamina for those Edwardians to get through such a meal: more than 20 courses including a variety of wines, dessert, and aperitifs. Segan shares stories of the elaborate etiquette, the entertainments, and the specialty dishes a cook like Mrs. Patmore would have been proud to send upstairs. She highlights Lord Grantham-esque dinner parties, cotillions, and elegant picnics.

Then, push away from the table as Segan describes what Downton Abbey’s denizens understood about the proper decorum of their class, from giving a lady a tulip instead of a rose to the proper time to remove your gloves or tip your hat and how one employed the calling card to “unfriend” someone.

The evening includes a trivia contest on the uses of various objects, now obsolete (which would scandalize poor Mr. Carson, no doubt.)

Tea courtesy Harney & Sons Tea; scones courtesy Buttercream Bakery; cookies courtesy Falanga; chocolate courtesy Venchi.

S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)