Michelle Dockery stars as Lady Mary and Matthew Goode as Henry Talbot in DOWNTON ABBEY, a Focus Features release. Credit: Jaap Buitendijk / Focus Features
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Awaited film inspires local Downton-Abbey experiences, fun buys

Fans have waited years for another glimpse inside the lives of the Crawleys, the elite British clan in the Lord Julian Fellowes period drama “Downton Abbey.” On Sept. 20, the film version picks up in 1927, just over a year after the series finale takes place when royal mania hits the Crawley estate as the king and queen of England come for a visit. Preparations involve all of the expected drama sending Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) running to retired butler Carson (Jim Carter) for help. All of the old rivalries (and some new ones) keep things lively as the Crawley crew pulls together to pull off the event of the year.

“I am genuinely excited. I think it is going to be great to catch up on all the characters,” said entrepreneur Samantha Garmon, who opened the Queen’s Pantry in 2012 in part to stock up on her favorite items from her native country. Garmon has already seen an uptick in local interest from shoppers looking to score Downton Abbey branded merchandise before the movie release. Here some other ways local fans can get their fill of Downton before the film’s debut.

THINGS TO DO

Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea at the Waldorf-Astoria

Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead is hosting a special tea experience to celebrate the return of Downton Abbey. The themed menu includes Downton branded tea from The Republic of Tea. Guests can win free screening cards to the film’s Atlanta premiere on September 18. Dress up for the era and you may be one of two daily “best dressed” guests to win a free treatment at the Waldorf Astoria Spa. $68, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., Sept. 14-15. Waldorf Astoria Atlanta, 3376 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta. 404-995-7500. Advance reservations required.

Downton Abbey World at Cost Plus World Market, Buckhead,

Samples of Downton Abbey Tea and the Downton Abbey food assortment and costumed characters will entertain guests at this special event. Enter the raffle for a chance to win Downton Abbey product or a $25 World Market gift card. Free, 1-4 p.m., Sept. 14, Cost Plus World Market, 3495 Buckhead Loop NE, Atlanta. 470-447-5788. stores.worldmarket.com

Tipple + Rose celebrates Downton Abbey

Join this eclectic celebration featuring tea events, a best-dressed contest, best British accent contest, Downton trivia and more. Guests have the chance to win passes to the Sept. 18 screening, high tea for two, Downtown Abbey Signature Limited Release Tea Tins, Mrs. Patmore tea for two and a fall/winter tea sampler pack. The menu includes amuse-bouche, salad (evening times only), soup, savories, scones, sweets and digestiv. The fee includes a pre or post champagne toast at Atkins Park nextdoor. $50 (afternoon), $65 (evening). 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 7;30 p.m. on Sept. 14 and 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 15. 806 N. Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta. 678-705-7995. Visit tippleandrose.com to fill out the reservation request form.

Photo: The Virginia Highland tea parlor hosts a special event heralding the return of Downton Abbey. (Photo Chris Hunt/Special)

“Return to Downton Abbey: A Grand Event,” on NBC

NBC takes viewers on a visit to Highclere Castle, the English manor that doubles as Downton Abbey, with Derek Hough of “Dancing with the Stars” serving as host of the one hour special at 8 p.m. on Sept. 19.

BILTMORE - DOWNTON EXHIBITION

Catch this exhibit when it comes to the Biltmore Guests will get a look at the world of the Crawleys and their servants through set recreations, costumes and exclusive multimedia elements from Downton Abbey. Nov. 8-April 7. For information, visit biltmore.com.

In November, a Downton Abbey exhibition opens at the Biltmore. Guests will get a look at the world of the Crawleys and their servants through set recreations, costumes and exclusive multimedia elements from Downton Abbey. IMAGE CREDIT: The Biltmore
Photo: In November, a Downton Abbey exhibition opens at the Biltmore. IMAGE CREDIT: The Biltmore

THING TO BUY

The Downton Abbey Collection from Art of Shaving

Guys can get in on the fun with a shave fit for a gentleman. The Downton Abbey Collection includes pre-shave oil, shaving cream, after-shave balm, a shaving brush and a safety razor priced from $30-$160. theartofshaving.com.

Downton Abbey Movie Teas at The Republic of Tea

With the Crawleys and company back at Downton, The Republic of Tea has released three special edition teas to commemorate the event. A collector’s set features Lord & Lady Grantham’s Tea, a traditional black tea with rich spices and The Bates’ Tea with traditional flavors of plum pudding and vanilla in a black tea base. The set costs $27.50 for the two tins with 36 tea bags each.
MORE ON AJC.COM: First trailer for new ‘Downton Abbey’ movie released: ‘You’re cordially invited…’

The Queen’s Pantry

This seven-year-old store has a range of British goods including Downton Abbey teas and merchandise selected by owner Samantha Garmon who wanted to share with locals all of her favorite products from home. The Queens Pantry, 4235 Merchants Walk Drive, Marietta. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Mon-Sat. 678-483-0900. stores.thequeenspantry.com.

Taste of Britain

For 30 years, Taste of Britain has served up British goods in Historic Norcross. The shop’s British owner travels to the UK to source items ranging from teas, gift wear, Steak and Kidney pies, English style bangers and more. Taste of Britain, 73 South Peachtree St., Norcross. 10 a.m.-6 p.m, Mon.-Sat. 770-242-8585. tasteofbritain.com.

Photo: Sophie McShera stars as Daisy and Lesley Nicol as Mrs. Patmore in DOWNTON ABBEY, a Focus Features release. Credit: Jaap Buitendijk/© 2019 Focus Features, LLC

“The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook,” (Annie Gray, $35) 

Dine like the Crawleys with this historically accurate cookbook featuring more than 100 recipes that represent the era in British dining. Available for $35 at shop.pbs.org.

“The Official Downton Abbey Cocktail Book,” (forward by Julian Fellowes, $16) 

A curated collection of 70 cocktail recipes ranging from classic (Mint Julep) to character inspired (Turkish Attache) are accompanied by photographs from the series in this new book available for $16 on amazon.com.

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