GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The BBC has just answered the questions we who watch Downton Abbey have been asking – where and what exactly is the real thing? It turns out to be a Highclere Castle, which has a real butler and real residents
But the “rose-tinted” Victorian world and drama we love to watch unfolding before us are a little different from daily life there in the 21st century.
And for that, assuming you are watching it after dinner, you really must have a fine glass of Port and a bit of Stilton, the classic and still perfect marriage. Port is Portugal’s pride and joy, but the country has much to thank the English for, when it comes to making this rich wine known to the world.
More on that later. For now, before I turn on the TV, let me raise a glass to that bygone era, where those who could afford to drink it knew a few things about their wine.
The Port: a 10-year-old Quinta de Val da Figueira port, made by artisan Alfredo Cálem Holzer, a deep rich and elegantly velvety wine that is enhanced by the sharpness of the British cheese. They’ve been doing this for 250 years, so it’s possible that a bottle was or will yet be served at Downton Abbey.
The Stilton: a fine little gift pot of it, not too-too blue, creamy and perfect on crackers, mmmmm.