Did you know that there’s a strong connection between Downton Abbey and Canadian history? The hit British television series was filmed at Highclere Castle, where Canadian officials stayed during the 1866 London Conference, in the final push towards Confederation.
In the mid-1800’s the Fourth Earl of Carnarvon was the British Secretary of State for the colonies. In December 1866, Sir John A Macdonald was seeking nationhood for the British Province of Canada when he arrived in England with two colleagues. The Earl was eager to ensure that the colony wouldn’t be absorbed into the U.S. The Canadians were invited to stay at the castle where Macdonald and the Earl worked toward the creation of the British North America Act.
The current owner of Highclere Castle, the 8th Countess of Carnarvon, said her research showed that Canada’s future Prime Minister, who was known to imbibe, enjoyed his stays and the refreshments – to the point where the Earl had to instruct the butler not to rush to keep refilling Macdonald’s glass.
Lady Carnarvon will be on this side of the pond to discusses Canadian connections to the real Downton Abbey, along with the art of hosting and entertaining at her lavish home. That will happen on Saturday, April 27 at 1:30 p.m. Canadian Museum of History, Grand Hall. Tickets: $95. You can buy them online here: https://billets-tickets
Following the talk, guests will be treated to an authentic afternoon tea with Lady Carnarvon.
Afternoon Tea Menu
- Finger Sandwiches
- Cucumber and radish with herb-and-lemon cream
- Curried chicken salad with apricots
- Smoked salmon on pumpernickel with dill
- Classic egg salad with chives
- Homemade Lady Carnarvon scones with whipped butter, clotted cream and assorted jams
- Assorted Petits Fours
- Tea Selections
Loose-leaf Orange Pekoe, Earl Grey and Herbal Safari
Image source: https://www.netflix.com/ca/title/80003153