|Silk Coat Dress (Valentino Roma, Butterfly Consignment); Scarf (purchased at a market in Mumbai, India while traveling); Bag (Burberry Prorsum); Shoes (Bandolino); Sunglasses (Cole Haan); Bracelet (Nadri, Nordstrom); Smoky Quartz and Diamond Ring (David Yurman, G. Thrapp Jewelers); Mandarin Garnet and Diamond Ring (Aronstam Fine Jewelers)|
As a result, I have never seen a single episode of Downton Abbey. Despite regular exaltations and lamentations about the exploits of its characters in my Facebook news feed, the series sounded (to me) like little more than a soap opera with a historical setting and a British accent. Not that I'm knocking soap operas -I still like to catch the occasional Days of Our Lives if I happen to be home alone on a weekday, and I once recorded an episode and saved it for weeks because Kate DiMera was wearing a suit I own. But,I assumed my husband would never be interested in a British period drama so, while I added it to our Netflix queue, it never bubbled to the top of the "must watch" list.
Then, last month I was invited by a friend to participate in an afternoon tea and fundraiser featuring Jessica Fellowes. Jessica is the niece of Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, and is the author of the best-selling Chronicles of Downton Abbey books (she also has a fun blog). Jessica is a dynamic speaker with a dry British wit, and we bonded instantly over footwear and handbags when introduced after her speech (She was wearing fantastic black crystal studded booties from Zara). During our chat, I did not confess my ignorance of the award winning series that has brought acclaim to both her and her uncle, but I did enjoy hearing more about the real-life family members that inspired the Downton cast of characters. I also heard from several women in attendance that the show was worth watching for the wardrobe alone....
I came away from afternoon tea with three new convictions. One, I needed to learn more about the Women Like Us Foundation, which the event benefited. Two, I needed to move Downton Abbey up in the Netflix queue. And three, hot tea should not feature catnip as an ingredient. Yep - I drank catnip.
Season One of Downton Abbey is now at the top of the Netflix queue, though I haven't had an opportunity to actually start watching it yet. As it turns out, a surprising number of male friends whose taste I consider to be similar to my husband's have told us they really enjoy the series. I hope he likes it, too, so that we can watch together!
Are you a Downton Abbey fan?
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