The wait is almost over! Your favorite lords and ladies are returning to the small screen tonight (Sunday, Jan. 4) for the much-anticipated season five premiere of Downton Abbey.
After waiting a year for the Crowley's next chapter, we're especially excited to see what's in store for both Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) and Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery). Will Edith be able to keep her daughter a secret? Will Mary finally choose a suitor? We'll finally know!
In honor of the big night and the exciting drama to come, we culled a few Edwardian essentials to help you host a viewing party full of refinement with Victorian-inspired decor and food ideas that will have your guests putting on their best faux aristocratic airs. Take a look through our gallery and be sure to tune in to PBS on Sunday, January 4 at 9 pm ET to catch the show.
1. Porcelain China Teapot and Teacup
2. ‘Downtown Abbey’ Inspired Fare
Treat your guests with Lady Sybil’s Ginger Nut Biscuits to go with their tea, or Mr. Bates’ Chicken and Mushroom pie for dinner with the help of ‘The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook’ by Emily Ansara Baines. $16; amazon.com.
3. Traditional Cheese
A savory hard blue cheese is the perfect hors d'oeuvre to offer guests, along with a plate of fruit, crackers or bread to accompany it. Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese, $29/pound; murrayscheese.com.
4. Quince Jam
A slice of blue cheese plays nicely off a dollop of fruity puree—we suggest quince, a traditional U.K. sweet. Granny's Secret Quince Home Style Extra Jam, $9.15, plus shipping; sauceworld.com.
5. Fever-Tree Club Soda
Looking for more kick than a cup of Earl Grey? Add a dash of British soda water to whiskey or cognac to enhance the flavor. $20-$33; brandsofbritian.com.
6. Crystal Glasses
Serve your guests whiskey, port, sherry, or wine in Waterford Crystal stemware as a nod to ‘Downton Abbey’s’ classic era. Lismore Tall Stemware, $75-$85; neimanmarcus.com.
7. Floral-Print Cloth Napkins
Become the hostess Dowager Countess would approve of by adding cloth napkins to your dining table set. For an added touch, try folding each napkin in a Bishop’s Mitre style. Provençal Floral Print Napkins Set of Four, $34.95; williams-sonoma.com.
8. Silver Candle Holders
Give your party an air of sophistication with silver aluminum taper holders to set the scene. $10-$12; pier1.com.
9. Playing Cards
It wouldn’t be a complete evening without a deck of playing cards to while away the night. Bicycle Playing Cards, $3; target.com.
10. Embroidered Throw Pillows
Decorate your abode with dainty throw pillows or covers detailed with embroidery in honor of the needlework the ladies of ‘Downton Abbey’ do at their leisure. Rossi Paisley Embroidered Pillow Cover, $59.50; potterybarn.com.