It is a happy new year indeed now that the fourth season of Downton Abbey has returned to PBS. But did you know you can have your own Downton experience right here in LA? Yes, darling. You can take a stroll through English rose gardens finished with a spot of tea or go for a wee bit of shopping at one of the best British clothiers right here in the City of Angels, for starters. Check out this quick guide on how you can live it up Crawley-style around Los Angeles. Pinkies up!
The Huntington – San Marino
This is the kind of place that would impress even the Dowager Countess of Grantham, that sassy septuagenarian who makes old age seem (almost) appealing. There’s the impressive library, notable artwork and gorgeous gardens, including a three-acre rose garden replete with its own tearoom. The afternoon tea buffet is a bit bourgeois, but we are in America, darling. Kind of impossible for us to pass up on the all-you-can-eat-and-drink experience.
Rose Tree Cottage – Pasadena
For the full English afternoon tea experience head over to Rose Tree Cottage, which promises the “best scones in all of teadom!” Along with the familial setting (proprietors Mr. & Mrs. Fry will personally greet you) and white-glove tea service, there is the English Village shop filled with all manner of British imports from food and teas to fine china, AGA cookers and commemorative knick-knacks. And don’t forget the Barbour boutique, the British country and outdoor clothing brand that’s been outfitting ladies, gentlemen and children since 1894. Lord Grantham would approve.
Hotel Bel Air – Bel Air
If Downton Abbey moved to LA, there’s no doubt the Right Honourable Cora Crawley and her daughters would be found at this iconic hotel taking a stroll along the pond to admire the swans or sitting down for a relaxing repast amid the lush setting. And don’t forget the Afternoon Royal Tea offered every Friday and Saturday. Simply delightful.
Big Daddy’s Antiques – Los Angeles
Even if you don’t live on a breathtaking estate like Downton Abbey you can still add a few English flourishes to your own roost. And this best-kept secret near Culver City is where to find them. Big Daddy’s warehouse specializes in vintage and antique garden decor but you can also browse plenty of antique whatnots from owner Shane Brown’s global travels.
ReVamp Vintage – Downtown LA
Love the look of the Downton era but loathe the idea of poring through racks of musty old clothes? Not to worry. Unlike regular vintage shops, ReVamp produces new vintage-inspired reproductions from the 1910-1950 eras for both ladies and gents. All garments are made in-house in Los Angeles in limited runs of 25 garments to create a unique and collectible item that will stand the test of time. So whether you want a simple afternoon cotton dress a la housemaid Anna Bates, a handsome double-breasted vest that cousin Matthew Crowley might sport or a comfy corseted number Lady Mary would love, this place will have you stepping back in time in true era style.
The Langham Huntington – Pasadena
Feeling fancy? Want the creature comforts of a countess? Look no further than the Langham. It’s in Pasadena, but you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Downton Abbey with its 23 lush acres, divine dining, splendid amenities, proper afternoon tea and top-notch service that embraces the traditions of the original Langham grand hotel of 1865.