Come and Dine
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Dine in Highclere’s famous State Dining Room, looking up at the magnificent painting of Charles I on Horseback by Sir Anthony van Dyck. The “Downton” set is actually a real home, my home – Highclere Castle – just as you see it on TV.
Highclere Castle enjoy sharing the success of “Downton Abbey”. We would be delighted to welcome four lucky couples to come and stay here with me and my husband, to have dinner in the Dining Room, and breakfast the following morning. Many thanks go to Viking Cruises who have kindly offered return flights from the US/Canada for the winning couples so that you can enjoy the experience in the utmost comfort.
To take part, I would love for you to host a dinner party or a gala in February 2018, using recipes from my book “At Home at Highclere, Entertaining at the Real Downton Abbey”. (Available in North America from Rizzoli, Amazon, and all good bookshops.) The choice of recipes is entirely up to you but we will provide some inspiration with menu suggestions, created by our wonderful chef, Paul!
We will be posting videos showing how we set the table here and how to cook some of the recipes. In addition, we are creating some items from our gift shop especially for this event.
For all involved in “Downton Abbey”, from Highclere Castle to PBS, and indeed its sponsors Viking Cruises, it has been a most fortunate partnership, engaging people in history, heritage, and great stories.
Great idea! When more details come out, I’ll mention this to my prayer group to see if they want to try this. In Florida we may substitute some sub-tropical dishes to this dinner.
Thank you – I could also send you more recipes from here- the 5th Countess’s recipe for gnocchi? Or an orange pudding?!
Love…love…love this idea! In June, five of my friends and I attended a high tea at a Lavender Farm here in Iowa. I know a dinner party would be so much fun. Not sure if we will invite the spouses, though.
It is whatever makes you happy!
This sounds fabulous! We so loved Downton Abbey and miss tuning in weekly.
The sweeping views and beautiful music just transformed me.
Thank you for this possible opportunity of visiting your home.
You offered recipes to the poster above…I would be thrilled.
I am just thinking I would like to propose recipes and then put them on menu cards – really smart!
Lovely idea for our anniversary in February! Thank-you.
Wonderful idea. I will be hosting a dinner party for 12 of my dear friends in December. Perhaps I can use some of your recipes. Hilary Mahon
I would love you to – I am going to share some cooking videos over the next few weeks and I have some recipes I can share through PDF’s too
Wonderful idea. I will be hosting a dinner party for 12 of my dear friends in December. Perhaps I can use some of your recipes. We all loved Downton Abbey. Thank you. Hilary Mahon
Marvellous – here is to PBS – great channel!
Thank you for the first-rate inspiration. My Downton Abbey class and I will most likely fill the bill with food, drink and Downton abbey attire.
I love this idea. In 2015, several of my friends and I went to Biltmore House in Asheville, NC to see the Downton Abbey costumes on display there. Then lst year we had a Downton Abbey fundraiser formal dinner at the Anderson County (SC) Womans Club. We all dressed in our best costumes and were entertained by a 2 ladies that let us ‘eavesdrop’ on a Downton Abbey ‘conversation ! It was so much fun. I look forward to more information about this. I have SO missed DA and would love to tour your home. I know you are proud of the beautiful job these actors did in portraying life as it was in your castle home. Connie Briggs
Will we get points off for simplifying recipes? Love the idea of dressing up and all but the drudgery of preparing anyone’s great grandmother recipes sounds dismal and time consuming. And of course few of us in America, as in Modern Day England, have the requisite staff, to quite pull this off with panache and grace!
Dear Lady Carnarvon, my friends and I are Downton Abbey fans and so love learning about your country’s history. I have not been to Highclere Castle yet, but it is on my list to visit when I am in England next. I have decided I would love to do a dinner party on Jupiter Island, Florida and look forward to what instructions, etc you will send us. I am ordering the book now and look forward to your videos. I am loving your blogs…………. Warm Regards,
I love a reason to gather my friends together for good food and wine. Thank you, Lady Carnarvon, for suggesting this. Now to begin the creative juices and start cooking a delicious meal using the recipes from your book and blog. Just finished reading Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey. Great read.
Thank you – Almina appears in At Home as well – and her marriage contract!
Great idea. I proposed to my fiancé at Highclere in 2016 on the stop where Matthew proposed to lady Mary. Would love to do this for her.
I think it is a fun thing to do – PBS is a great station from Downton Abbey to David Attenborough
Lord and Lady Carnarvon, thank you for providing this opportunity. Such a celebration of grace and beauty would be a dream come true!
Thank you – please tell your friends – it is a way of saying thank you to PBS and all of you
Lady Carnavon, I would be honored to be chosen to attend a dinner and breakfast at Highclere. Your competition is such a lovely idea. Downton was such a delight and I already do everything I can to make it last longer: tea by the fire, making scones, formal dinner parties. My friend visited Highclere last summer and said she thought of me the whole time as I would have loved it so much. You can be sure I will enter your competition. Thank you for keeping Downton alive.
I thought it would be fun – I am grateful for PBS and think it has been a good partnership! Please spread the word!
My husband gave me the book (in German) for Christmas. I will definitely be interested in more details of the competition. 🙂 It is a lovely book I can highly recommend!
Thank you ! We will bring it all together in the NEw Year!
My husband and I are delighted to read about this unique opportunity to experience for a short time the life at your wonderful residence.
He gifted me last July with a super surprise visit to Highclare Castle.
It has been one of his wedding presents to me to recall the very english style of our wedding (we married the previous October).
We would be immensely happy to have the chance to be among the lucky 8 so we will participate for sure to the competition.
Thank you for the opportunity!
Dear Mrs. Carnavon,
we visited your home in June 2016 because we love Downton Abbey. My husband gave me your latest book in German with the recipes. Some of them are familiar to me because my mother cooked them. I will be pleased to give a dinner at the occasion of my birthday on 26 January 2018 and cook some recipes of this lovely book. Would it be possible to send me the conditions of this competition, so I can prepare myself.
I wish you and everybody at Highclere Castle all the best and a happy New Year.
How marvellous – we will in the New Year
Ich habe einige Monate in Aschaffenburg gewohnt – um deutsche zu lernen – und noch lese ich gerne auf deutsch – ich finde es ganz wunderbar, dass
“Zu Gast” übersetzt worden ist! Probably many mistakes forgive me
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
is the competion also open to people from Europe?
We are from Belgium and are also very interested in organizing a Downton-style dinner to participate in the competition… I hope it is possible.
Thank you for your reply!
Hello Luc – yes it is open to all!
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read your generous and lovely contest! As a superfan across the pond, I fangirl everything Highclere!!! I am savoring EVERY page of At Home at Highclere and am so excited to try the recipes which are beautifully laid out and made very simple to understand! My daughter threw me a Downton Birthday party a few years ago and it was one of my most favorite birthday to date! SO of course I can’t wait to host a dinner party in my home with my of superfan friends! Thank you sooo sooo much Lady Carnarvon for this wonderful idea and opportunity to support PBS and have fun!
Then you are en route for another birthday dinner Downton party!!! You have had some practice.I have just been making a little video about making chocolate post as one idea (they can be done a couple of days in advance).. PBS is a unique platform. Equally I am hoping we will ave some participants from Germany or the UK too!!!
What a fantastic idea! This combines three of my favorite things…friends, food, and “Downton Abbey!” My husband and I are currently housesitting our way through Europe, so our dinner party might take a little more ingenuity, but I am looking forward to the challenge. Thank you for your spirit of generosity and hospitality!
Oh, My Goodness!!! This is a generous offer from you and your husband and an exciting opportunity for a few lucky Downton Abbey Fans!!! I love how you have paired this competition with a fundraising effort for PBS! I keep waiting for Queen Victoria from PBS’ “Victoria” to show up for a visit to Highclere Castle!!! EXCITING!!! Thanks!
The 4th Earl of Carnarvon’s youngest daughter was named Victoria for the Queen who stood as her godmother. I think she came here once
My husband and I often hold dinner parties with our friends in our oak
panelled dinning room. What fun we shall have dressing up and having a jolly evening, even if we don’t win!
How lovely it sounds beautiful – I love oak!
do you have a recipe for victoria sponge
I do – it is in the “At Home” book and I can retrieve it from there – where are you in the World – the US version has “cups” ectc!!
I am having so much fun – creating my guest list, then using your invitation templates, and watching the videos. I am choosing recipes from your “At Home at Highclere” book now. You graciously signed the books for my mother and myself when we were guests on the Special Tour of Highclere – June 3, 2017. It was such a marvelous day – a day we will never forget.
Would it be possible to combine a Viking Cruise to either end of the trip understanding that the cost would be ours? If we won, the travel time from/to NW Montana would make it advantageous to extend the visit…..and what a truly great time would be had! I’m already having a fine time planning our feast.
This is what you were telling me about when I met you in December when you hosted the Christmas Fair, this is fabulous, and for a great cause, we love PBS. I am sure we can drum up something in Naples. My friends loved their books, thank you so much my dear. Happy Dining !!!
You should open this up to dinner parties not just from the month of February, I have incredible photos from a Downton Themed dinner party I did to watch the finale. My friends and family even dressed up and my son played footman!
This would definitely be a bucket list item for my husband and I! We have dreamed of visiting Highclere and England ever since we fell in love with Downton Abbey, I think it was Series 1, Episode 2!! So much pressure now to try and do something fancy enough to catch your eye!
Every year for the past 5 years we have hosted a Downton Style dinner complete with 7-9 courses, sterling, china, dress, the whole thing. This year’s Victoria dinner we had to postpone into March, wouldn’t you know! Alas
Lady Carnarvon, John Baker here from Princeton, NJ. We have corresponded some years ago about your Steinway after I watched your tour of the castle on PBS. The dining invitation is such a fabulous idea! My wife and I recently went to the Downton Abbey exhibit in New York City, where the exhibit’s store sells wonderful books on Highclere. Some day we will come to Highclere for the tour, as I have also realized this past year that my great uncle, “Egyptologist/Acheologist” Theodore M. Davis, had all of his digs in the Valley of the Kings funded through the patronage of Lord Carnarvon (your great grandfather by marriage?) from 1885-1910. I put his title in quotes as some experts in that field have other not so kind descriptions of my great uncle’s efforts! I do hope I will have the honor of meeting you some day.
What a fabulous idea! I live in Fullerton, CA but were lucky enough to attend your special invitation tour and tea last June 3rd with my 18 year old daughter and husband. My daughter loves english history so found the tour so fascinating. You were so gracious, letting us meet your dogs and signing your book. We have tried recreating some of the recipes in the book, but have not mastered the carrot, coriander, ginger & coconut soup that was so amazing on that cold morning. Any recipes you can share to use at our event would be greatly appreciated!
Oh, my! How exciting! We live in Florida, so it will require a different setting for us. Does it matter how many guests we have? We have only lived here a short time and we don’t know very many people. But I am a huge Downton Abbey fan! It would be amazing to win for our 51st Anniversary in March! Thank you so much for doing this. Today is Valentines’ Day. On my Husband’s card I borrowed a line from Matthew…”I will love you until the last breath leaves my body”. I’ve watched the entire 6 seasons at least 20 times!
My wife and I had the privilege of visiting Highclere Castle.
We hope to return at some point in the future. However, we would both love to see a special event with Downton Abbey cast members presence highlighting the event.
What a special treat that would be and what a great way to generate exceptional interest and revenue.
Ronald E. Janus
My wife and I attended a Downton Abbey party in January of 2016 along with 10 others.
We were in period dress, had Downton Abbey pictures streaming, and enjoyed a proper tea.
Later that year I took my wife to England primarily to visit Highclere.
We had a wonderful tea there. Our tour of the castle brought back so many memories of people and events from the series. I do wish, though, that we could have taken photos.
I am glad you had a nice time!
While I have thoroughly enjoyed your website and blogs highlighting life inside Highclere Castle, I was amazed to discover that Highclere is STILL a working farm as well! I very much enjoyed: the Harvester Combine, the barn, the horses and newborn lamb videos!
As a girl growing up in Kansas, I spent many summers on and around our combine; helping my dad harvest wheat. While we never raised lambs, I am very familiar with horses, cows, pigs and chickens.
If I am lucky enough to be chosen as one of the winners of your contest, do you think it might be possible for my guests and myself to see a bit of the farm as well? I live in a condo now, but, I am still a country girl at heart!
I would love to show you the farm!
I live way out in the country but have invited 3 dear friends to a fundraiser luncheon at my home this Saturday at noon. It isn’t much, but our love for all of PBS creations is greater! I look forward to submitting our photos and sharing our little gathering!
Wonderful – I look forward to seeing it!
At the Captiva Island Yacht Club on Captiva Island, Florida we had our very own Downton Abby
Dinner party. Guests arrived by vintage station wagon in impressive Downton Abby attire. The
serving staff was appropriately dressed in black and white, and British memorabilia was tastefully
Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding topped the menu, and after dinner dancing was to tunes heard
in episodes of our beloved Downton Abby series. It was the most successful event of our season!
I have lovely photos which I would be happy to share if I knew ho to do it. I only know how to
e-mail pictures, not insert them into this format.
I was a member of the party from Debonaire Travel that were privileged to have a private tour
at Highclere on May 25 of this year (2018).
You were such a gracious and delightful hostess and we so appreciated the time you took to share
your experiences and plans for keeping Highclere prosperous and relevant.
I have read your book about Lady Allmina, and will soon order the other books. I look forward to
following your blog.
That is wonderful and I hope when we create another Come and Dine you will all join in. Perhaps we can suggest a summer reception for the winning Gala dinner!
Lady Carnarvon, if that is you in the black floor length evening dress. You look stunning. Black is so underrated. I am a blogger and I have recently started following your blog. even though for some reason it wouldn’t let my email go through, but Mercury must be in retrograde. Anyway. I do hope you post more recipes with this bothersome Corvid business all one can do is putter about in the kitchen, and I am going to definitely try your baked eggs. (Sounds delicious). Hope you are enjoying your isolation in that huge house. You should blog on your corvid projects. Hopefully you have some. I keep thinking of your Gin and do want to try it. Do you sell it online, as I couldnt find it it in the local liquor store.
How very kind – – we do sell it online and Texas bought in a good quantity so we love Texas!
I don’t think I have ever worked so hard at many empty desks!