Downton Abbey Style

For everyone who feels bereft waiting for the next season of PBS’s runaway Masterpiece Classic hit DowntonAbbey, perhaps a great comfort over the coming months would be laying in a little Downton style for the home in time for the next season. Imagine throwing a dinner party Downton-style for the premiere episode of Season 3, set to premiere on the BBC in the UK in September, and on PBS in America in January 2013.

You might want to pare down the Edwardian tradition of serving eight to nine courses, and you may not measure the distance between forks as the long-suffering butlers do at Downton, but you can still set a magnificent table. For your “upstairs” fine china, you need look no further than America’s iconic name in tabletop, Lenox. Many patterns from America’s leading dinnerware brand would be right at home in Downton, but perhaps none so much as Autumn, which was actually designed in the period.

Originally introduced in 1918, Autumn could well have been gifted by their American relations to Matthew and Mary Crawley, who in the Downton saga (finally!) became engaged on Christmas 1919. It is still one of the most popular patterns in America today. The Autumn collection of fine china combines beautiful floral motifs and the jeweled colors of autumn flowers. More than 400 enamel "dots" are hand applied to form the floral and fruit basket design. The ivory fine china, enriched with a gold band, is wrought in the classic Lenox tradition that continues to appeal to every generation, but is perhaps no more in vogue than right now, with the world caught up in Downton fever.

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