The Food Of Downton Abbey

How To Host A Downton Abbey Dinner Party

If you have not yet heard of "Downton Abbey," we want to know: where have you been hiding? This British series period drama has taken television viewers by storm. Originally aired on British TV in September 2010, it has recently gained widespread popularity in the U.S. (we at Kitchen Daily suspect that its recent release on Netflix instant streaming has something to do with that). Nearly everyone we talk to has just finished or is nearly done with Season One, and we are all excited about the release of Season Two on PBS.

There is a lot to love about the show. The characters are all compelling in their own way, and it is fascinating to watch a household that functions as a tiny town. But what we particularly love is how much cooking and eating takes place during each episode. Meals were a big part of life during the Edwardian period. The noble class used it as a way to, quite literally, taste their social status. They ate four times a day -- breakfast, lunch, teatime and dinner. And the dinners were particularly elaborate, ranging from six to 22 courses!

While we can't say for sure how big their portions were (we hope not too big), we do know that meat and poultry was heavily featured. Click through the gallery below to see what you might be served at a dinner party for eight during this time period. While the recipes offered below are not exactly the same dishes as those from the Edwardian era, they provide an idea of what one could expect. And if you should choose to host your own "Downton Abbey" dinner party, feel free to leave out a couple of dishes -- or five or six. (I mean, really, who needs to eat chicken, lamb, filet mignon, and quail all in one dinner?)

What is your favorite British food? Leave a comment below!

The First Course

Downton Abbey Dinner Party

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