The traditions and rules of Downton Abbey that are still relevant today


Who doesn’t love Downton Abbey? This period drama is not only amazing to watch, but also takes us back to a time that seems to be all too long forgotten. Recently, I had the chance to visit the Downton Abbey Exhibition in New York. It was spectacular!

Here are some of the traditions and rules of Downton Abbey that are still relevant today!


Outside view of the exhibit, Manhattan New York


 There were 3 floors full of discoveries and behind the scenes elements. Several paintings were turning into projections and the characters such as Mr Carson were speaking directly at us. I was absolutely I awe of everything I saw and so happy to relive moments of the PBS show.


Welcome to Downton Abbey

While it may seem that Downton Abbey is from another age, you may be surprised to learn that some of the traditions and event hosting rules that applied back then, still apply now. Particularly when it comes to special occasions and events.

              Mrs Patmore's kitchen

             Mrs Patmore's kitchen


But what are these traditions and rules that are sticking around? Is there any place for them in our modern lives?

Table Settings

            Downton Abbey Dining Room

           Downton Abbey Dining Room

Whilst at home the last thing you are likely to do is set the table for dinner. However, when you are in a formal situation or an event, you may need to bring out the good cutlery. It is incredibly commonplace that formal events and in particular weddings, have a table setting just like you would see on the series. The main reason for this is because it sets the scene for the evening (or the daytime) it ensures that the guests understand that this is a time to have good manners and to sit and enjoy delicious food.

Dinner Etiquette

Talking of manners, it is always said that it doesn’t cost anything to showcase some good manners. Back in the Downton Abbey times, you are likely to see that plenty of the characters are well mannered, particularly when it comes to dinner etiquette. Whilst some of the ideas may seem a little old-fashioned, they still are relevant. You should never talk with your mouth full.  You should never leave your bag on the table whilst you eat and you should always be polite and thankful to your host. They are all things that we all expect to see when it comes to eating at weddings and other events.


How can you get excited about what you are eating if you don’t know what you are eating? It seems that many event planners all too easily forget to provide their guests with a menu, particularly prior to the event. Having a menu allows you to plan what you would like to eat, and also allows you to notify the planners of any dietary concerns or requirements that you may have. Menu’s also set somewhat of a feel for the event too. Particularly it comes with a certain theme.


Menus and Place Settings

Cocktail Hour

Who doesn’t love a good cocktail? This is one Downton tradition that we can really get on board with. We particularly like this idea at an event, whereby you all come together to enjoy a delicious cocktail, or two. After all, who said that you have to limit it to just an hour?



An Iconic location within the estate: The servants' bells

As you can see, our modern day lives may just be a little more Downton then you may realize. While we are not all about to dress just like the Dowager, we can still give our special events a touch of Downton charm!  In fact, you could even take it one step further and bring out the flapper dresses and the pearls!!

If you are in New York city, stop by to see the exhibition and get transported back to fascinating period of history.

                                                                                                                                    Written by Olivia Djibo