Last Saturday I took the train into New York City and met my daughter, Melissa. We had tickets to see the Downton Abbey Exhibition, and we were looking forward to learning more about the history, fashion, and setting of this world-famous TV series.
The exhibition website promised, “You’ll be transported to post-Edwardian England where the characters and the iconic house come to life. You’ll be immersed in the fascinating social history, culture, and some of the most memorable moments from the show’s six season run. You’ll see Mrs. Patmore’s kitchen and the servant’s hall, Mr. Carson’s butler’s pantry, Lady Mary’s bedroom and much more.
The exhibition is laid out on three floors. The first floor included sets and information about the staff. It was fun to be greeted by Mr. Carson (via multimedia) and see Mrs. Hughes step into a doorway and greet us. The second floor has sets and multimedia displays about the Crawley family and their life “upstairs.” The third floor focuses on the beautiful costumes, hats, and jewelry worn by the cast. I enjoyed seeing Mary’s wedding dress and Edith’s two wedding dresses, plus the outfits worn by Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes on their wedding day. Each outfit was beautiful and many had beading or some special decoration that made it unique.
The designers of the exhibition did an amazing job recreating Downton Abbey. Walking through the sets made you feel like you were at Highclere Castle where Downton was filmed. Scott and I visited Highclere in 2014, so it was a treat to compare the sets to the actual rooms.
If you plan to see the exhibition, I’d suggest going on a weekday, rather than a Saturday, when it might be less crowded. The tickets are timed, but we had to wait in line outside about 20 minutes because they only allow groups of 30 people to go in every few minutes. You can learn more and purchase tickets online at: DowntonExhibition.com.
The wonderful displays made me miss Downton Abbey all the more and wish they would make a Downton Abbey movie. If you live nearby or are traveling to New York City I hope you’ll plan to see the exhibition. It was a wonderful experience and well worth the trip and price of the tickets!
If you live too far away, you might enjoy reading my English historical novels that are set in the same time period as Downton Abbey and include upstairs and downstairs characters, family drama, romance, and inspiration! Just click on the image to learn more and order your copy.
Until next time . . . happy reading!