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At Home at Highclere: Entertaining at the Real Downton Abbey

Saturday 25 March 2017

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Lady Fiona Carnarvon looks back at 300 years of family archives to tell the story of entertaining at Highclere Castle – the setting for the hugely popular television series Downton Abbey – and reveals what it is like entertaining at the ancestral home today.

Highclere has welcomed royalty, statesmen, Egyptologists and pioneers of technology. Carnarvon tells the real story of four weekends between 1866 and 1936, the etiquette of the invitation, placement at dinners, organisation of entertainment and domestic management, what should be served for dinner and the hot topics of gossip and conversation. And she includes some of the recipes that can be cooked in kitchens today.

Fiona, 8th Countess of Carnarvon, is the wife of Geordie, 8th Earl of Carnarvon. She created her own clothes brand in the 1990s and is also author of the bestselling Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere and Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey. The Carnarvons manage a range of businesses at Highclere.

Here she talks to BBC news presenter and journalist Gwenan Edwards, whose credits include the BBC Proms, Wales at Six on ITV, and Newsroom South East and Watchdog on BBC1.