A British Kind of Day: Downton Abbey


Living out my hope to someday be a Brit (Dual Citizenship), I decided to have an afternoon like one. I was at my local library this weekend, looking for a Christmasy movie since it was Christmas in July on Saturday, and lo and behold I came across the first 4 seasons of Downton Abbey. Hearing about this series from a number of folks, I have always wanted to experience it for myself however, neither Netflix or Xfinity onDemand were streaming the show. What a surprise it was to find these sitting in the DVD bins at the library, not even on hold!

With my afternoon tea and homemade lemon poppy-seed scones, I watched a couple episodes of Downton and was transported back to the beautiful countryside. Even though a different time during World War I, I couldn’t help but also think about the next time I am fortunate enough to go back to England and explore. The storyline does follow the lives of both the upper-class and those that serve them, though I feel as if I am learning a bunch of the English culture and history as the show starts off right after the sinking of the Titanic in April 1912. Most of my historical context for Britain came from watching The Tudors. Mainly a dramatic series, Downton provides tons of intrigue and entertainment as we see class from two sides as well as manipulation, secrets, and loyalty.

Along the lines of feeling British, I found online the other day the Top 22 places in the UK for Jane Austen fans and was again inspired to go to the place where some of the world’s most famous writers wrote their masterpieces. Additionally, another time in history, but to be in the presence of where they have been will be overwhelmingly motivational. I remember my mom bought me this past Christmas a set of Pride and Prejudice cookie cutters from the Jane Austen Centre. I’ll add that to my list of tourist attractions to check out hopefully in the summer of 2016 with one of my best friends.

As I wrapped up watching Downton, I was curious to see what kinds of British food I could attempt to make in the coming weeks, just for the heck of it – but also hoping to make a smoother transition for if and/or when I move there (fingers crossed). Being a vegetarian, my options are somewhat limited as beef stew and shepherd’s pie look like staples in a Brit’s diet. It looks like fish and chips it will be until I dive more into the British cuisine. The pastries and desserts I will have no problem with, unfortunately that cannot make up one’s meal.

And so ends a perfect British Sunday afternoon in the MidWest. I look forward to other similar ventures and seeking out other British-themed locations and events as I am unable to cross the ocean to experience it live. For now, let’s see what the Crawleys are in for!

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