Celebrate 'Downton Abbey's Season 4 Premiere With These 9 Divine Party Tips

Welp, it looks like Brooklyn is about to get a whole lot more crowded. Actor Dan Stevens, aka Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey, plans on watching the Season 4 premiere of the PBS Masterpiece from his digs in Brooklyn. We’ve all been wracking our brains since Season 3 ended wondering HOW WILL LADY MARY GO ON? And apparently, so has Stevens. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Stevens noted, "I have absolutely no idea what becomes of Mary ….I want to watch it with the American audience -- it will be fun*. After all, I live in Brooklyn now." Have you all picked yourselves up from the floor yet? Come on, get up. Do I need to call Mr. Carson?

And as magical/heartbreaking it would be to actually watch the Downton premiere with the former Matthew Crawley and have him gently caress the tears streaming from your face (that would totally happen)... well, let’s be real… our reality is closer to Daisy’s than of Mary’s. Since we can’t hang with Stevens and watch the premiere in Brooklyn and have all the feels together, we CAN throw a fabulous Downton Abbey viewing party of our own. Hold on to your knickers, it’s about to get posh up in here.


Image: PBS

The Decor

Lush, darlings, ever so lush. Since Downton seems to be in a constant state of Christmas, the Season 4 premiere is the perfect reason to keep up your holiday decorations just a bit longer. There simply cannot be enough lace, silver, and a second television screen streaming a yule log. And what would an English party of any sorts be without BUNTING. There’s even a store on Etsy that sells printable Downton bunting for a mere $5 if you’re only kinda sorta into DIY.

Image: PaperGravyStore/Etsy


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Let’s start with the appetizers. It’s all about dainty (and easy-to-make) finger foods: cucumber sandwiches, these smoked salmon crostinis, and pigs in a blanket. Because seriously everyone hates party hosts who don’t serve pigs in a blanket.

Main Course

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Full-on British Sunday roast, here, people. I mean chicken. Roast beef. Earthy root vegetables. Gravy. Potatoes. Yorkshire pudding. You must have Yorkshire pudding.

Cheese Course

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Yes, YESSSSSS. The cheese course, if you are doing this properly, will come AFTER the main course and BEFORE dessert (are you drooling yet?). Now this is where you’ve got to pull out all the stops to really impress your guests. There are a few simple rules for putting together a cheese plate: Different textures, styles, milks, and accompaniments will make your cheese plate well-rounded. Since we’re sticking to the British isles here to make it easy, some classic crowd-pleasers: a true aged cheddar (no orange block allowed!), a hunk of silton, a dreamy creamy washed rind, and a supple young goat’s cheese. Serve with a crusty baguette, figs, and honey.


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Cakes! Cakes! Ever so many cakes! Feel free to express your Dowager Countess levels of sass on cupcake toppers. Or dazzle everyone with your Victoria Sponge cake. And, well, you know, a carrot cake with some tea? Well is there anything better? No. There is not.


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It’s time to up your fancy cocktail game. Step. Away. From. The. Cranberry. Juice. We love these festive cocktails that are perfect for winter. It’s also important to have a few nice wines on hand. Sure, they’re a little more expensive, however, the nicer the wine, the slower people will drink it, as it’s more likely to be savored than chugged. Feel free to whip out those extra champagne bottles left over from New Year’s. Who am I kidding? There are no leftover champagne bottles from New Year’s.


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Do invest in a loose leaf tea strainer. Do invest in a kettle. Do invest in a lovely tea pot. When the (fresh and filtered) water has boiled, give it two minutes to cool down. Then pour the water into the pot. THEN add the tea and allow it to steep for 3-7 minutes, depending on how strong you’d like your tea. If you pour boiling water over tea, it burns the leaves and you lose the integrity of the tea. DARE YOU SERVE A BAD CUP OF TEA TO THE PEOPLE OF DOWNTON? DARE YOU? If you’re serving classic English Breakfast, you must offer milk and sugar. You simply must.

Get Dressed Up!

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Half of the joy of watching Downton Abbey is the absolute stunningly luxurious visuals. The home! The sweeping landscapes! The costumes! Have fun with it. Stick feathers in your hair! Wear a bow-tie! Go military! Wear one of those insane royal hats! Pearls! It’s time to get fancy and period-piece-centric.

Party Favors

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Just give all of your guests a personalized/embroidered hankie. Because everyone will be crying. Everyone.