Downton Fever Hits London!
10 September 2019
Visit London gives fans a glimpse into the London life of the Crawley family ahead of the official cinema release of the new Downton Abbey film
Downton Abbey will be released in cinemas across the US on September 20, 2019
The UK capital is getting ready to toast one of England’s most infamous and beloved families as Lord and Lady Grantham invite audiences back into their world of love affairs, blackmail and betrayal with the highly-anticipated Downton Abbey film.
London always played a special part in the lives of the Crawleys, from luxury restaurants, jazz bars and beautiful landscaped parks, to royal appointments and a murder most horrid.
For those yearning to raise a cup of tea with the Dowager Countess, Visit London - the official visitor guide to the city - invites fans to immerse themselves in aristocratic (and not so aristocratic!) life with some of the most authentic Downton-style experiences on offer ahead of the movie release:
Living Life as a Lord or Lady
There are plenty of London-haunts that would have been frequented by the aristocracy and indeed played host to some unforgettable Downton scenes. Luckily for us, they’re very much still accessible to visitors and Londoners alike.
- While Lancaster House was used to depict the interior of Buckingham Palace for Rose MacClare’s debutante ball, the State Rooms of the real Buckingham Palace are open to the public for 10 weeks each summer. Like Mary, Edith and Sybil making their formal curtsies to the Queen at their coming-out balls, visitors can tour the palace and practise their own curtsies from 22 July to 29 September 2019.
- London’s oldest restaurant, Rules, has seen its fair share of history. Located in Covent Garden, Rules was opened 200 years ago and was visited by Charles Dickens, HG Wells, as well as Lady Edith Crawley and her doomed beau, Michael Gregson in Series 3. Edith and Michael also spent quality time in The Criterion Restaurant in Piccadilly Circus as well – the restaurant recently relaunched as the UK’s first Ristorante Granaio.
- Tying in with the royal theme of the movie, the Household Cavalry Museum is located at the official entrance to Buckingham Palace. The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is the Queen’s bodyguard for wedding and State occasions, and we can expect it to make an appearance at Downton Abbey when the monarchs visit the estate in the film. Visit the museum for a behind the scenes look at the Household Cavalry – the highest rank in the British Army.
- For Lord and Lady Grantham, shopping likely required sending a servant to St James’s distinctive shopping district in London to pick up some Downton-quintessential luxuries such as fragrances and hats. Floris London has created bespoke fragrances for almost 300 years and received their first royal warrant as Smooth Pointed Comb Maker to HM The King George IV. Their products would have most likely made their way to Cora’s vanity table. Long-time hat-makers on St. James’s, Lock & Co. Hatters, created the bowler hat in 1849 and still offers styles ranging from Robert’s fancy top hats to the Crawley daughters’ fashionable cloches.
- Chauffeur Tom Branson started off the series as the Crawley’s driver but made his way into the family following his marriage to the rebellious Lady Sybil. Experience Tom’s journey with the Conrad London St. James’ “Back in Time” experience where visitors can take a trip to the countryside in a vintage Rolls-Royce and enjoy lunch onboard a vintage boat en route to Cliveden House for a private butler’s tour and afternoon tea.
Downstairs at Downton
Although life upstairs at Downton Abbey consists of dinner parties and pearls, downstairs at Downton revolves around scrubbing, ironing and cleaning around the estate. But life working at Downton isn’t all about serving the nobility – the servants occasionally take trips to London as well on their days off for a different experience in the city.
- While the lord and ladies are served afternoon tea in the sitting room, the servants downstairs in the kitchen must prepare their own. Learn how to make your own afternoon tea with Cookery School and enjoy your creation afterwards – pinkies up.
- The most famous cricket ground in the world, Lord’s Cricket Ground offers tours for cricket fans outside of match times. Cricket fanatics – Moseley included – can expect to see a collection of art and memorabilia on display at ‘The Home of Cricket’, including the iconic Ashes urn.
- Lord and Lady Grantham had the privilege of being chauffeured wherever they went, but for the servants downstairs, walking would sometimes be their only option. Visit all the London film locations by foot with a Downton Abbey Walking Tour and re-live the London season first-hand.
- With its 175-year history, the London Underground would have already been several decades old during Downton Abbey’s time. Visit the London Transport Museum to learn about what public transport would have been like for Bates and Anna during their London trials and tribulations (and learn more about the vintage bus that ran over Alex Green in Piccadilly Circus).
A tradition that is sacred to the Dowager Countess especially, afternoon tea is a must-do for anyone looking to become an honorary Crawley. From taking tea in a palace to exploring the history of the quintessential British tradition itself, London is the place to be for amazing afternoon tea experiences.
- Take traditional afternoon tea at The Ritz – the site of one of the most beautiful dining rooms in the world and the reason why Downton footman, Alfred Nugent, left Downton in Series 4 in order to pursue his culinary dreams. The Ritz is also the filming location of the final ever scene of Downton Abbey
- Enjoy a spot of tea in one of the riverside rooms in the House of Commons following a tour around UK Parliament. Both Downton Abbey and the houses of Parliament were built by the same person – Sir Charles Barry.
- Attend a Royal Garden Party and have a cuppa with the Queen at Madame Tussauds.
- Sip Earl Grey like an earl in Kensington Palace Pavilion – the only location in London where visitors can enjoy afternoon tea on the grounds of a royal palace.
- Learn about proper afternoon tea etiquette at JW Marriott Grosvenor House from ideal brew times to proper stirring techniques.
- Visit English Tea Room at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair – London’s oldest hotel dating back to 1837 and one that Queen Victoria frequented.
- Be a part of afternoon tea history at The Langham London – the Palm Court is famed as the birthplace of afternoon tea over 150 years ago.
- Treat yourself to treats at The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel – one of the many London filming locations for the series (the Forecourt and Eastern Arch, specifically).
- Tango with an afternoon tea dance at The Waldorf Hilton – the first Tango tea was hosted in 1913 and was seen as quite risqué (as Edwardian society saw Tango as an exotic and promiscuous dance).
For more things to see and do in London, go to www.visitlondon.com