Calling all Downton Abbey super fans – the estate where much of the popular show was filmed is opening its doors for a Christmas dinner on 15 December.
Highclere Castle, a 5,000-acre country estate in Hampshire that provided the backdrop to many of Downton’s iconic scenes, will be offering the experience on just one date during the festive season.
The excursion includes coach travel to and from London, champagne and canapes on arrival, a three-course Christmas dinner and access to the Victorian property’s library, saloon, smoking room, drawing room and Egyptian exhibition.
The experience, run by Premium Tours, costs £490, according to TripAdvisor, but is currently selling for £119pp.
The dinner will include charred salmon and avocado salad to start, roast turkey, fondant potatoes, sprouts with chestnuts and Vichy carrots for the main and Christmas pudding with brandy cream sauce to finish.
The dinner will be followed by the ultimate festive activity – listening to a troupe of choristers belting out carols around the Christmas tree (“sing along if you wish” reads the website).
The whole experience lasts eight and a half hours, with at least four of those spent at the castle.
Attendees are expected to look the part, fit for a dinner party with the Crawleys – the official dress code is “formal” according to the booking page: “men should wear suits and tie and ladies should wear cocktail dresses”.
For those who miss out on the festive feast, the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, who live at the castle, are opening it for Christmas tours.
There’s still availability for the Winter Castle Opening on Saturday 8 December and a Castle Tour, Carols and Magic event on Tuesday 18 December. Tickets cost £23pp for the opening, while the latter is priced at £120pp for an evening that includes champagne, canapes, a tour of the property and carolling, and will raise money for RAF100 Appeal.
Fans won’t have long to wait for another slice of Downton action, as a film has been slated for release in September 2019.