Saturday, March 31, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Well, not really. But it felt that way as I returned from a week long trip yesterday, eagerly anticipating my Friday night date with the Crawley family. I am totally hooked on the British TV series Downton Abbey. The characters and historic context are compelling, but what really grabs me are the real and imagined similarities with our local "castle," the Biltmore Estate.

I have toured Biltmore many times, and most years maintain an annual pass in order to enjoy the hiking and biking trails, gardens, and restaurants on the property. It's a fascinating place, with both a swimming pool and bowling alley inside the house! Wandering through the servants' quarters and servants' dining room,  I have wondered about the people who lived and worked there in the early 1900s. They say that owner George Vanderbilt cared about his servants, regularly seeing to their needs and buying all the children gifts at Christmas. Downton Abbey brings that world to life.

One of my favorite characters on the show in Season One was the dog Pharaoh (played by Roly). Kit over at Dog Daze posted some interesting trivia a month or two ago - click the link to read her post. Apparently, there was some real life drama happening behind the scenes - dog drama! A family actually lives at this castle, and one of their resident dogs took great exception to the male actor dog being in the house. So, Roly got the boot, and a female Labrador named Ellie joined the cast for Season 2. I miss Roly!

Hugh Bonneville with Roly.
I am already looking forward to Season 3, which is currently in production and set to broadcast in two parts, beginning in September 2012 and continuing in January 2013. Lucy is looking forward to it too.


  1. The Biltmore is on my "Bucket List". I must make that happen. Meanwhile, I need to find out what network shows Downton Abbey, everyone is raving about it & I have not seen an episode. I don't do Netflicks so maybe there is a DVD set floating around.

    Love the picture of Lucy.

  2. I AM JUST AS HOOKED AS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When I'm done catching up on Season two, I don't know what I will do until September!!!

  3. Lucy looks adorable!
    I would love to watch the serie Downton Abbey...
    But I think it is not exhibt in Brazil.

  4. Oh boy my peeps are hooked on Downton Abbey too!! All I want to know is where is the kitty hiding in that house? MOL Mom won a Downton Abbey book from Daily Dose of Jack about a month ago and it is fantastic for addicts. It is available at Barnes and Noble and excellent!!

    My peeps will be in Asheville April 24-26 touring Biltmore for the 2000th time. LOL Mom thinks she was born in Asheville in another life. NC mountains are where she left her heart.
    Hugs Madi and Mom

  5. So excited about Shirley MacLaine joining Downton Abbey next season!

    I haven't been to Biltmore in years, never at Christmas, it's on the Bucket List! Maybe we can all meet there when Ina comes...I met her in Anchorage a couple of years ago, she's great!
    Happy Easter.