Highclere Castle has achieved fame the world over as the setting for television's award-winning ratings juggernaut Downton Abbey. Built for entertainment and pleasure with grounds designed by Capability Brown, Highclere is featured here for the first time as itself (rather than as its television alter ego) in a detailed exploration of its history and inner workings complete with mouth-watering recipes, eye-catching photographs, never before seen facsimiles of documents from the archives, and fascinating stories about the remarkable people -- from the worlds of royalty, politics, business, and the arts -- who have enjoyed its hospitality over the centuries.
Written by the current lady of the manor, this book gives complete access to the world-renowned historic country house and showcases the art of entertaining, past and present.
Highclere Castle, famed as the setting for Downton Abbey, is the epitome of how we imagine the perfect English country house. Long the Carnarvon family’s ancestral country seat, Highclere has welcomed royalty, statesmen, and notables from the worlds of business, academia, and the arts for shooting parties, elegant fêtes, and celebrations in the grand style.
Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the current chatelaine, invites readers inside Highclere, past and present, as she describes how to entertain in the style of a stately English country house: the etiquette of the invitation, multi-course meals, correct seating arrangements, proper attire, setting the table. She delves into family archives to highlight four real-life historic weekend parties over a seventy-year period during which Highclere hosted an ever-changing cast of notable figures—including Benjamin Disraeli and the Prince of Wales—exploring how society and entertaining changed decade by decade. Complete with gorgeous full-color photography of Highclere’s rooms and punctuated by charming archival images, the book explores changing menus, fashionable cocktails of the day, and includes, where practical, adaptations for recipes which can be used for entertaining in the present day.