Thank you, everyone, for weighing in with your choices for the Come and Dine at Highclere dinner party. You were all most eloquent in expressing your choices, and I very much appreciate the input. 

The most popular choice by far was Cobalt #2.

Cobalt Service Plates by Royal Doulton; Soup Bowl by Minton; Soup Cup Royal Gold by Royal Doulton


It’s shown with the Royal Doulton dinner late on the left, plus fairly elaborate cobalt Venetian goblets.

The soup cup in the Gold and White combination also had some fans, and I may well use it for the soup course, rather than the plainer Royal Gold one from the cobalt combination . The dinner plate in Gold and White is actually the same pattern as the cobalt one. I bought them at two completely separate times, but it just worked out that way. The little Royal Stafford side plate shown above lis the perfect size to hold a champagne cup and it will be used for the dessert course, which will feature a parfait.

Speaking of which, after much debate, I’ve also settled on a  menu  which features some of the recipes from At Home at Highclere (the ones in italics) and some from my own repertoire. The choices reflect traditional formal dinner items, with a local ingredient twist. What do you think? 

Pre-dinner Canapés with Champagne & Cocktails: Sour Cream & Caviar in Pastry Cups
Soup Course: Celeriac Soup Garnished with Confit of Brome Lake Duck Leg
Fish Course: Crab Cake on Petit-Pea Risotto
Intermezzo: Lime Sorbet
Entrée: Ontario Rack of Lamb, Seasonal Vegetables in Parmesan Baskets has been most helpful in providing Downton Abbey worthy attire. I had some challenge figuring out which vendors shipped to Canada, but with luck, will have some options from which to choose by mid-week. Interest in Downton Abbey seems to have spawned an entire industry in period-wear and there was an astonishingly large collection from which to choose. I went back and forth between images of Cora (the most age-appropriate character for me) and the rather dashing options available. Also, I’m going to be cooking while wearing the thing, so that should provide some humorous moments as the apron is donned in the kitchen and tossed off before I once again take my place at the table. A formal dinner party in a “servantless household” as Julia Child described it is not quite the same thing as the Crawley’s experience!

Thank you again for all your help. It’s going to be a busy week! I look forward to sharing some pictures as I get the flowers chosen and arranged, the food preparations underway and the table set.  Exciting!

I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.