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Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Saturday 12 March 2016

Farewell to Downton Abbey

Hello friends and welcome to my Downton Abbey Tea. This is a rather long post, so I invite you to grab your favourite cuppa and join me.

Courtesy of Pinterest 

Last Sunday night the world bid farewell to the much loved Downton Abbey TV series. 

It took my hubby and me some time to appreciate this British historical drama series. We actually didn't start watching it until sometime during the fifth season. Once we became familiar with the colourful characters we were hooked. We then spent a couple of months watching DVDs to get caught up on all the seasons.

Now here we are, our bellies full of British history, costumes, and characters we have come to love. The trouble with having one's appetite sated is that sooner or later we want more. We enjoy that butterscotch cream pie but not long after, we long for more of it. 

Alas, the show is indeed over and we will have to be content with memories or watching it on DVDs. 

Who could forget those sumptuous dinner tables set with fine china, flowers and candle light? And one never knew what way the conversation was going to go.

Courtesy of Pinterest 

I will surely miss the scenery of the English countryside.

 Courtesy of Pinterest

And those special moments like Lady Mary with her son George.

Courtesy of Pinterest 

"I am not a romantic, but even I concede that the heart does not exist soley for the purpose of pumping blood." - Lady Violet

Can one ever forget those lovely tea times and witty bits of conversation exchanged between Lady Violet and Lady Isobel? Oftentimes I found their banter a highlight of the show.

"You're only saying that to sound clever." - Isobel
"Yes, you should try it!" - Lady Violet

I think I shall miss them most of all. Maggie Smith was superb and no one could play the Dowager as well, me thinks. Although Lady Violet is the complete opposite from me, her quick wit I found very amusing.

I loved Penelope Wilton's character too. She was such a lovely and compassionate woman who demonstrated all the qualities of a true lady but she still knew how to take care of herself. She really was my favourite.  

Courtesy of Pinterest

The Dowager had the most fantastic lines. Take this conversation between her granddaughter Sybil and herself.

Sybil Crawley: "No one ever learned anything from a governess except for French, and how to curtsy." Lady Violet: "What more do you need?"

Lady Violet always made me smile.

Of course one must mention Robert played by Hugh Bonneville and his gentle wife, Lady Cora played by Elizabeth McGovern. They brought such warmth and grace to the home. Isn't her hat fabulous!

Courtesy of Pinterest

Ah, dear Matthew played by Dan Stevens! My heart was broken when he was killed off. He was such a gentleman and a perfect compliment to Lady Mary. I missed him throughout the remainder of the series.

Courtesy of Pinterest

I think a good cat fight every now and then clears the air such as those between Lady Mary played by Michelle Dockery and sister Lady Edith played by Laura Carmichael. Deep down they really do love each other and will one day be grand friends. 

I admire Lady Edith a great deal because she overcame many heartaches in her life and grew from them, making her stronger and more resilient. I think she will make Bertie a splendid wife.

Both sisters adored their youngest sister Lady Sybil who sadly died during childbirth. Aren't their hats lovely!

Courtesy of Pinterest 

We all loved the story between Lady Sybil and Tom Branson played by Jessica Brown-Findlay and Allen Leech. Poor boy falls in love with the little rich girl. 

Courtesy of Pinterest  

Tom Branson, was the peacemaker. He just needs to find another lady worthy of him.

Courtesy of Pinterest 

Downstairs Mrs. Patmore played by Lesley Nichol ruled her kitchen. 

Courtesy of Pinterest 

"You couldn't be harder on those potatoes if you wanted them to confess to spying." - Mrs. Patmore

She could certainly hold her own against the stiff upper lip of Mr. Carson played by Jim Carter too. And his dear wife Elsie does indeed have her hands full.

Courtesy of Pinterest 

Everyone loves a good love story like that between sweet and gentle Anna played by Joanne Froggat and Mr. Bates played by Brendan Coyle. They were so cute together, weren't they?

Courtesy of Pinterest 

I'm glad gentle Mr. Mosley played by Kevin Doyle finally got his chance to make a difference in the lives of the younger generation. He will make a marvellous teacher. And maybe there will be a little romance blossom between him and Baxter?

Courtesy of Pinterest 

"I believe that education is the gate that leads to any future worth having."

The villain, Thomas Barrow played by Robert James-Collier, I did not much care for in the beginning but then I began to see a very wounded young man emerge. What is it they say about hurting people? Hurting people hurt people and he certainly proved that to be so. By the middle of the fifth season, my heart had softened considerably towards him and I was routing for him by the end of the series.

"And you're wrong about me. I mind what people say." 

The children certainly loved Mr. Barrow and how touching the scene as they hugged him good-bye in the finale! I am thrilled that he was appointed butler of the great house. I think he will do a smashing job!

Courtesy of Pinterest 

There were so many fantastic characters in the story but I cannot cover them all. These are just some of my favourites.

One reason I enjoyed Downton Abbey so much is because it transported me back to a different time and place. There was a little bit of something for everyone to enjoy. Love, scandal, joy, secrets, triumph, and we all felt a certain rapport with the characters.

It was a lovely escape from the horror of today's news of terrorism, corruption and the like, to a time of lavish lifestyle, lovely fashions and a day when good manners were still in vogue. I believe our world could use a large dose of good manners, don't you?

Sometimes I wonder if I was born in the wrong century. I am very much a 'hat' person so I thoroughly enjoyed seeing those lovely hats gracing the ladies' heads and who wouldn't love to take a stroll through the countryside carrying a parasol? 

Courtesy of the Internet -

I admit that I didn't much care for the hair styles of that day. 

Courtesy of Pinterest 

Having been trained as a cosmetologist, I learned how to do pin curls that produced finger waves, among many other styles. I found the hair styles on Downton interesting but I'm glad today we can wear our hair sleek and bobbed, like I do, or shaggy, short or long and swept up in a French chignon if we wish. It was great fun to see Daisy cut her hair at the end of the sixth season and what a difference it made in her appearance.

My hubby and I adore antique cars. The automobiles used in Downton Abbey were amazing!  Such as this 1910 Rolls-Royce "Silver Ghost." She's a beauty!

Courtesy of the Internet-

We actually have a friend who collects antique cars, keeps them for a while and then sells them. One of these days I may do a post about them.

Now, would you like some tea?

Taking tea at a table set with fine china and flowers appeals to me very much. How about you?

Royal Albert Lavender Rose

Today I have set my table with my best china, flowers and candlelight. 

White roses and yellow tulips.

The teapot is Royal Albert New Country Roses.

RA Lady Carlyle

RA Serena


I am using an ivory damask floral table cloth. My hat and clutch are also part of the setting. 

There are cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches as well as some sweets to nibble on. 

Chocolate hazelnut raspberry tarts are easy to make.

Please join me and tell me who your favourite Downton character was. What did you most enjoy about the series?

Tea is Twinings English Breakfast tea.

A cup of tea warms the soul like a good friend. ~ unknown

Thank you to Julian Fellowes and all the fine actors for an incredible six seasons of Downton Abbey. It has been one of the most enjoyable series my hubby and I have ever had the pleasure to watch. 

And thank you my lovely friends for joining me today. I hope you all have a delightful weekend.

I am sharing this post with the following parties ~

 Tuesday Cuppa Tea
 Bernideen's TTCG Blog Party
 Tea Cup Tuesday
 Share Your Cup Thursday
 Home Sweet Home

 Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi


  1. Lovely post and photos ! Yes I had been watching Downtown Abby from the start and am sad that it is over , I watch a lot of these type of British shows and series have done for many years . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !


  2. I will miss it terribly since my lonely Sunday evenings was always looking forward to Downton Abbey

    How can we fill in that hour on Sunday evenings?

    You paid a fine tribute to all the characters of the show

    I was just notified through ancestry my DNA is 62 percent British

  3. This is a great post and I liked reading your comments and seeing the photos. So many of the characters were good people, I was cheering for most of them. Next I aim to see Julian Fellowes' current project, "Dr. Thorne" which is running in England now.

  4. Dear Sandi:
    I love this post. What great fun. Glad you were able to "jump in" during season 5 and then catch up with DVD's. You should take the test "What Downton Character am I" as many have:

    I think there might be multible ones out there.

    Ruth at Antiques and Teacups and I both took the test last year and we were both Isabel Crawley! Isn't that funny.
    I was sad when Sybil Branson died and also Matthew Crawley but I guess that's all part of the drama.

  5. Sandi: What a report you made on that English series. I can't imagine how you could remember the names of each character and who they represented. It sounds like it was an interesting story. Brings me back to my visits to good old England with my English born husband. We had the privilege of staying in a country home that was surrounded with flowers and bushes. It was a dream come true. And so peaceful.Auntie P

  6. What a beautiful post dear Sandi. I am sad it's gonna be over too, as I have become to love this series and make believe I too was leaving such a life. I always said I was meant to have lived then and not now. I adore tea parties, beautiful china and tablescapes.
    Your setting with your RA pieces is gorgeous and the food looks just so very perfect. Wish I could join you for tea sweet lady.
    Thanks for sharing. Hope you're enjoying your weekend.

  7. Dear Sandi, This is a lovely post. I enjoyed all the photos and commentary about the show. I really enjoyed the Dowager Duchess and her witty comments. But I felt for Mary the most - she seemed so confused much of the time and hurt the people she loved. In the end, arranging for Edith and her love to meet at the restaurant was such a sweet thing to do.
    A beautiful tea setting in honour of this wonderful show.

  8. It really was the best TV in many, many years. I saw every episode and am collecting the seasons on DVD. I think I liked Mrs Patmore and Anna best of all. They were such sympathetic characters.

  9. I love this post because it contains two of my favourite things: Downton Abbey and tea! The character arcs were especially satisfying for Lady Edith and Thomas who had made many baaaaaad decisions over the course of 6 seasons. My favourite couple on the show is Lady Violet and Lady Isobel so I was happy that the show ended on with the two besties. Of course, Lady Violet got to have the last word! Now are what we going to do with ourselves on Sunday night?!?

  10. Indeed we are going to miss Downton Abbey, the characters became like friends over the seasons. I felt the same way about Barrow and was happy to see him invited back in the last episode. A few of the unmatched pairs I think we can imagine for ourselves such as Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Mason becoming better acquainted.
    It was nice to visit your tea table as we all chat about our favourite show.

  11. Hi Sandi, I never watched DA but I know some people who love it and are going to miss the show. Great post showcasing the scenes. Hope you guys are getting the spring like weather like we are. Hugs and wishes for a beautiful day out there.

  12. Looks like quite a proper Downton tea to me! I am having withdrawal as well!

  13. Congratulations for capturing so beautifully the essence of Downton Abbey in your blog post.
    We are all going to be sad tonight without it. I was especially happy that Julian Fellowes ended with Thomas Barrow in a good spot as butler, where he can be in charge when Master George comes of age to inherit. Master George so loves Mr. Barrow. I, also, am glad that Tom and Henry are friends and partners, so good for the entire family. But, i have to say, my favorite has been a character who has evolved through trials and tribulations as a very strong and compassionate woman, Lady Edith. I would have loved to watch her and Bertie raise a family in a loving home, full of siblings for Marigold.
    Thank you for ending with the lovely, proper tea! Just Brilliant.....Tea and Downton Abbey.

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment. I agree with you about Lady Edith. She has indeed overcome much and I like to think that she and Bertie would be very happy together should the series have continued. The show was a joy to watch and it is sad that it's over.

  14. A beautiful wrap up of the Downton story and what a way to celebrate ... with an elegant tea party. Thank you!

    Wishing you a beautiful week ahead...

  15. Hi Sandi, that was fun to hear your perspective of the show, who your favorites were and why. I feel the same way you do about many of the characters, exactly the same about Barrow, I did not care for him at all in the beginning but I too was feeling sorry for him in the end and rooting for him. My favorite is Anna, such a gentle, kind, caring and beautiful person and character. I started watching Downton at the beginning of this last season and like you had to go borrow the other seasons to get caught up. It was a lot of fun doing that.
    That is fun to learn of you being a hairstylist, as I was too, only for a few years until my son was born and then staying home and being his mom was more important then any job. I remember those pin curls and fingerwaves too! Oh my! The hairstyles of the 20's were not my favorite either.
    Your Downton tea is delightful with so many beautiful teacups and teapot!
    Have a wonderful week Sandi!

  16. Ooh Sandi, thank you for the recap of our favorite series. Wasn't the last episode just perfect? I have to say, I have several favorite characters. I loved Isobel so very much, and Anna and Mrs, Hughes. I know Violet was acted superbly by Maggie Smith, but she was too brash for me. The series had the best acting, as I find most British shows to have.
    Thank you for the fabulous tea you've set at the end for us to continue our delight! I have my eye on those chocolate raspberry tarts!

  17. Oh my, what a beautiful way to bid to farewell to Downtown Abbey! Love love love the elegant tea setting! Every detail is exquisite, from the gorgeous tea pot, the dainty tea cups to the delicious cucumber sandwiches...beautiful! Thanks for sharing! Hugs, Poppy

  18. We love Downton Abbey as well! What a great post about it. I think it ended on a happy note for all.

    Your tea table is beautiful and its fun to celebrate with a tea party!

    ps - I loved all the hats too!

  19. Oh Sandi, I am missing Downton so very much! You described my feelings about every character to a Tee! Just bought me a new hat to wear on my two week vacation to the Carolinas. Coming up right after Easter. Sometimes I feel a little silly wearing hats, but who cares? I'm going for it! Love your beautiful tea and sweet treats! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  20. everything looks delicious..i have always loved tea sandwiches...

  21. I have not had the pleasure of watching Downtown Abbey at all, but you have certainly whet my appetite for this show! We don't have TV in our homes, but if it ever comes out on DVD, I would probably buy it, especially after reading your recommendation! And the lovely tea you set out was simply magnificent! The raspberry tarts looked amazing, paired with the cheese, olives, and cucumber sandwiches! I love the Royal Albert tea set, my mom has the whole set, and it is so beautiful. Your pictures of your tea setting are beautiful too. Hope you are having a wonderful week! :)

    1. I am really please to be able to say that it is available on DVD. It is well worth buying.

  22. I loved this post. I am behind because we don't have cable and I haven't bothered to buy season 6 on iTunes. I really need to see how it all ends.

    I both hated Tom at the beginning, but I also saw a hurting person who couldn't seem to get a break. I am glad to know that he ended up in a good spot and look forward to seeing the finale.

    thanks for sharing at SYC.

  23. Love this post Sandy...unfortunately haven't yet watched, but I am waiting with bated breath for it not to be as expensive (last I checked, over $100). You've given such insight here. I adore antique cars too...when I first started blogging (on my Marvelous Maison blog), I wrote a post about the antique Rolls, too. Isn't it a fantastic car!? Thank you for sharing!

  24. What a lovely and uplifting post. I adore your beautiful china and it would be a real treat to enjoy afternoon tea with friends if it was served that way. Downton was a firm favourite of my hubby and I and it will be sorely missed.

  25. Sandi,
    I enjoyed this post even though I have not watched the show.I watched the first season and could not get into it but I do have DVD's of all the Seasons so I will start to watch then when I have the time to devote to them.
    Thanks so much for stopping by!!

  26. Sandi, we enjoyed it as well. So sad to see it end, but at least they wrote us a happy ending. I was glad to see Edith happy in a love match as well as one that makes her outrank Mary! And Isobel and Dickie together and away from his horrid son and DIL. No one loves afternoon tea more than I, and I'd love to sit down and enjoy your lovely table with you.

  27. Beautiful farewell tea Sandi! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!


I am delighted to have you visit me and I read every comment. Please forgive me for not being able to visit you all as there are so many of you lovely bloggy friends now. I will visit as much as possible. I wish you a day filled with JOY!

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