Fron Downton to Harewood

Have been enjoying Julian Fellowes’s wonderful new itv drama about life in a grand Edwardian house, the servants’ hall rife with the personality clashes of any modern office! I went and had a taster myself the other day of what it would be like to be a butler today, and was deeply struck by how many of the bits of advice for butlers found in Mrs Beeton, are still current today (see my article in the Daily Telegraph, Saturday Weekend section, 9 October).

Several more lectures on Up and Down Stairs: the history of the country house servant, and also have been on the road inspecting houses for my book, including Harewood House in Yorkshire and Syon House in Middlesex, both with interiors by the great Robert Adam, the most glittering and glamorous mind of the late 18th century – the restored state bed at Harewood, made by Chippendale, and the entrance hall at Syon are some of the finest interior moments in the nation.

Miranda and I have been making bread and we have all been down to London to my sister’s 40th – my baby sister’s 40th!!

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