It’s the end of the world as we know it. No, I’m not talking about the GOP after Super Tuesday, although that statement would be an accurate description of what happened yesterday. I’m speaking of the end of Downton Abbey this Sunday night.
I’m finding it hard to forgive Julian Fellowes for this devastating loss. I have faithfully watched this show and fallen in love with its characters and witty conversation ever since my first blissful introduction to (and subsequent binge-watching of) the first season on Netflix. But alas, all good things must come to an end.
If you’re still reading along, I’ll assume you’re a fan, too; otherwise, I can think of no good reason for you to still be reading. And so, dear reader, I offer you my sincerest condolences, as you will, no doubt, be feeling the loss as strongly as I.
My mom, sisters and I will be watching the the series finale (sob!) together this Sunday night, so I thought, why not throw a mini party to really live it up one more time?! On a side note, if you’re local, the Tennessee Theatre will be showing the finale; it’s free, you just have to wait in line the night of. For my family and I, there will be one too many tears shed for us to be comfortable viewing it in public.
With the impending finale, I’d like to suggest a few activities to get us in the early 20th century aristocracy mindset to really prepare us for this final viewing of our beloved show.
First off, I would suggest that we invest in a little bell, and do a little role-playing. Let’s pretend that our spouses/significant others are the butler, Carson, and be sure to ring our bells when we need something. We might even suggest that they dress up a little when they serve us dinner. Of course, we’ll never mention exactly what’s going on, just be sure to let them know, in great detail, what our expectations are. Secondly, I would suggest, for those of us who have children, that we dress them up in black, using our handy little bells once again, and let them know how we expect the house to be run, clean, dinner prepared, etc. During both of these activities, never, EVER, say thank you. Aristocrats do not thank the hired help. Will our spouses/offspring catch on to this little game? Maybe not, but if they do, hey, we could make this a thing!
Now that we’ve done these things to get us in the spirit, I’ll share a few things I’m making for our Farewell Party. As usual, I didn’t have a lot to spend, so I hit up the Dollar Tree and Aldis to see what I could find that I thought would work for a proper English tea party. The early century aristocracy may have shopped at Dollar Tree, I don’t know. I found tea biscuits, melba toast, silver plasticware, plastic champagne glasses and candlesticks at the Dollar Tree. Then at Aldis, I found some really good cheeses (including a delicious goat cheese with honey), assorted cookies, and some chocolates to round out the menu with tea and sparkling juice. I also found ingredients at Aldi’s to make these little blackberry brie tarts, lemon curd and these simple scones, and cupcakes.
Then, to make things really interesting, I made these little cupcake toppers with some of the best insults and zingers from everyone’s favorite, the Dowager Countess.
I even made a printable so you could make your own. Just do one thing for me if you print off your own set and add them to your store-bought WalMart cupcakes (that should really make Lady Violet roll over in her well-appointed if somewhat fictional grave). Before you shove the entire cupcake in your mouth, arch your finely sculpted aristocratic brow (all pretend, of course; we all know most of us haven’t plucked our non-titled brows in two months), tilt your nose up a few inches in the air so that you are firmly looking down on your companion watchers, muster your most haughty and indignant British voice, and give your best Cousin Violet impression. Make us all proud.
You can download the printables here. Happy watching! May the finale be everything you hoped it would be!