Downton-inspired tea for “Downton Day”.

1920s silver teapot and cup and saucer on display at the Ainsley House in Campbell, CA.

1920s silver teapot and cup and saucer on display at the Ainsley House in Campbell, CA. Photo: Elizabeth Urbach.

Today is the last “Downton Day” of the year  – the final episode of Downton Abbey Season 5 airs tonight on KQED/PBS at 9 p.m. Pacific time. This season’s plot has brought the Crawleys and their servants into the mid-1920s, and nobody’s lives are settled and secure, as usual.  What better way to catch up on the doings and happenings in this fictional world than with a cup of tea and some treats at the ready?  Look in the tea party pantry for some English tea-time favorites, like scones (you can use a mix or buy them ready-made), cream, jam, and cakes.  You can make an elaborate spread suitable for the Dowager Countess, or a simple tea table that would make Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughes, or Lady Rose’s Russian refugees comfortable.

Club sandwiches from a 1920s recipe -- perfect for a picnic or afternoon tea.  Photo: Elizabeth Urbach.

Club sandwiches from a 1920s recipe — perfect for a picnic or afternoon tea. Photo: Elizabeth Urbach.

By the 1920s, tea was beginning to be enjoyed out in public more and more as tea shops and cafes proliferated in most towns, offering quick meals in clean, respectable surroundings to women on the go, who felt uncomfortable going into pubs for a meal.  To go with your tea and scones, make some sandwiches – they were at their height of popularity for both casual occasions like picnics, and semi-formal occasions such as afternoon teas – in the 1920s; even Club sandwiches had the bread crusts cut off, and could be served when gentlemen, or people with hearty appetites, were around the tea table.  As for tea, The Republic of Tea has an exclusive line of Downton Abbey-inspired tea blends, some of which are only available at Cost Plus World Markets.  Luckily, the Cost Plus in San Jose carries a few of those blends, either in the familiar Republic of Tea canisters, or in a gift set with a mug decorated with a still photo from the Downton Abbey series.  The Downton Estate Blend, an earl grey black tea with vanilla, would be a perfect choice to fill your teapot, for any time you’re watching an episode of “Downton Abbey.”  What will happen in this last episode?  Will Lady Rose’s mother ever stop acting out, and will her father-in-law ever accept her marriage?  What will happen with Lady Edith and Marigold?  Will Tom take Sibby to America?  Will Daisy really go to London?  Only time will tell!  Curl up with some tea tonight and find out!

Copyright 2015, Elizabeth Urbach.

Like what you read?  Leave a comment below, click on “Subscribe” above, visit the San Jose Tea Examiner page on Facebook, read my other blog, The Cup That Cheers, or follow me on Twitter @SanJoseTea or Pinterest!

For more information: 
“Curl up with a cup of tea: Downton Abbey Season 2 comes to San Jose”
“ ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 3 celebrated with tea in the Bay Area”
“Bring a tea picnic to the Bay Area-local Mostly British Film Festival”
“Have an English tea and Royal Wedding-viewing party”
“Stay up with tea and watch the Royal Wedding”
“San Jose’s British population celebrates the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with tea” 
“Review: The Republic of Tea Downton Estate Blend” 

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