Highclere Castle is throwing open their doors to fans this holiday season for the "Downton Abbey Christmas Experience."
For those longing to travel back to the 1920s for the holidays, Highclere Castle might just have your ticket. Following in the footsteps of the extraordinarily popular "Christmas Dinner at Hogwarts Great Hall" over at the Harry Potter Exhibition at Warner Brothers Studios London, the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon are working with Premium Tours to hold their first "Christmas Ball at Downton Abbey " this year, to be held on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018. Highlights include an exclusive tour of Highclere Castle, plus champagne and canapés, a three-course dinner with wine, and then a very British after-dinner carol singing.
Driving up the long winding entrance, guests will notice the avenue of small Christmas trees ushering us towards the imposing doorway, behind which is a warming open fire and giant decorated tree. Guests will be welcomed into The Saloon at the very heart of the Castle, to enjoy a champagne and canapé reception. The Drawing room, The Music room and The Smoking room will also be open for guests to enjoy with Highclere guides on hand in the main State Rooms to answer any questions regarding the history of the building, artwork, furniture and even the filming of Downton Abbey. Champagne and canapés will be served throughout the reception and then following a short welcome, we will be called into the library for dinner.
There's also a sample menu for those curious what Downton will be serving for dinner:
First Course Options:
- Lady Carnarvon charred salmon and avocado tian leaf salad and Melba toast
- Roasted vegetables terrine with micro cress salad and aioli sauce (vegetarian option)
Second Course Options:
- Roasted turkey breaks, pigs in blankets, roasted fondant potato, Brussel sprouts with chestnuts and carrot Vichy.
- Baked “Goldcross” goat’s cheese, pine kernels and red onion puree wrapped in filo pastry with watercress foam, extra virgin olive (Vegetarian Option)
- Christmas pudding & Brandy cream sauce
Do be advised, unlike some of the Downton tours which travel to and fro from Oxford, which is just over an hour from the estate, this goes directly to and from London, a far longer drive. Also, as befitting the era, suit-and-tie or cocktail dress is required. This is only one of several Christmas-themed events the castle is doing this year, as anticipation for the Downton Abbey movie grows.
Speaking of which, though filming inside the castle is winding down, production on the Downton Abbey movie continues apace. The Daily Mail spotted tons of extras prepping to film crowd scenes in Manchester over the weekend. Feel free to click through to check out the always hilarious images of actors in partial 1920s dress while also sporting puffer coats. The film has been confirmed as set around the year 1927, so the hair and makeup crew are going hard on the pin curl prep for both men and women alike.
The as-yet-untitled Downton Abbey movie is slated to arrive in theaters on Sept. 13, 2019, in both the US and the UK.