The Crawleys’ Last Tea

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2016

If you’re an avid “Downton Abbey” fan like myself, you’re eagerly anticipating what will become of the aristocratic Crawley clan and their servants in this Sunday’s finale of the beloved BBC series. Will Edith find her happily ever after? What will Robert’s fate be after that ghastly dining room incident? Or maybe you’ve been following the lives of the downstairs characters more closely – Mr. Bates has always been my favorite. Regardless, it is truly the end of the era. And what better way to celebrate than with a traditional British tea even Violet would approve of!

Don your best early 1900s attire and bring a friend to the Downton Abbey Tea Party on Friday, March 4 at 2 p.m. at the Polk County Public Library in Columbus. Kym Brown, from A Southern Cup tea shop in Hendersonville, will present a brief history of the Edwardian Era as well as review tea traditions popular in Britain during that time. In addition to the tea and scrumptious treats, there will also be a hat contest, Downton trivia, door prizes, and a vintage bookmark craft.

Still yearning for more Downton? All six seasons are available on DVD at the library. Other British dramas that may help you avoid Downton withdrawals include “Gosford Park” and “Upstairs Downstairs.” “Gosford Park” is a 2011 murder mystery film written by Downtown creator Julian Fellowes and starring Maggie Smith as the Countess of Trentham. “Upstairs Downstairs” is a television series similar to Downton that revolves around the wealthy Bellamy family and their household staff.

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If reading is more your thing, Margaret Powell’s classic memoir of her time in service, Below Stairs, will give you a glimpse inside the real life of a kitchen maid in the 1920s (much like Daisy in Downton). The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes (niece of Julian) provides behind-the-scenes photographs and insights from the cast and crew.

Fiction lovers will delight in The House at Riverton by Kate Morton, a thrilling mystery and beautiful love story. It tells the tale of a Grace Bradley, a housemaid who witnessed a shocking tragedy in her youth and is forced to revisit the painful memories many years later.

Look for me at the tea party this Friday! I’ll be the one drowning my sorrows in Earl Grey and cucumber sandwiches.

Jen Pace Dickenson is the Youth Services Librarian at Polk County Public Library. For information about the library’s resources, programs, and other services, visit or call 828-894-8721.