An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Dec 25, 2013
08:31 AM
The Connecticut Table

Feast on 'Downton Abbey' Season 4 in Aristocratic Connecticut Events

Feast on 'Downton Abbey' Season 4 in Aristocratic Connecticut Events

A photo of Lady Mary, Tom Branson and children from the PBS "Downton Abbey" website.

The “instant classic" “Downton Abbey” is so "compulsively watchable from the get-go" and "impossible to resist" that the show’s official PBS site has a countdown clock measuring how long fans have to wait for the arrival of Season 4, which premieres Sunday, Jan. 5.

Web pages abound with teasers about what’s next for the aristocratic Crawley family, which is weathering all sorts of changes, from personal to familial to global, from the perch of the grand estate called Downton Abbey, in the first decades of the 20th century.

In Connecticut, at least two gala events will greet the new season of the PBS hit, one staged by Connecticut Public Television (CPTV), which airs “Downton,” and the other by The Silo Cooking School at Hunt Hill Farm in New Milford, which is focusing on the post-Edwardian cuisine that features in “Downton” scripts.

CPTV will offer a preview of the Season 4 opener as part of the Downton Abbey Masterpiece Ball on Friday, Jan. 3, at the Hartford Marriott Downtown.

The ball, at cost of $250 per person, begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour, and includes the one-hour screening and a full sit-down dinner, along with music by Heartbeat Jazz Band and dancing.

Black-tie dress is preferred, and period clothing is encouraged, as prizes will be awarded for best period clothing.

See the website for tickets.

Another option that evening is attending only the complimentary screening, from 5 to 6 p.m., which features complimentary popcorn and refreshments. Seating is limited and registration is required.

Meanwhile, on Jan. 5, the Sunday when TV viewers around the country will gather at 9 p.m. for the first episode of Season 4, The Silo Cooking School is holding a Downtown Abbey Returns event from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., in which Chef Michael Chase of The White Horse Country Pub & Restaurant will offer guests a chance to experience some of the culinary tastes and traditions of the post-Edwardian era depicted in “Downton.”

Chase will be joined by White Horse owner John Harris, an Englishman who will provide commentary and historic insights about "Downton."

“This demonstration class will feature an ‘Upstairs/Downstairs’ menu based on the 'Downton Abbey' series using recipes adapted from Emily Ansara Baines's The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook, which will be available for purchase at The Silo. Participants will dine on all the prepared courses,” a release on the event explains.

The day begins with a “Greeting,” featuring a champagne cocktail and classic smoked salmon sandwiches. The menu includes oxtail soup, lobster Thermador and steak and kidney pie, and concludes with crepe Suzette.

The cost of the class is $90 per person.  For more information and to register for the class, call (860) 355-0300 or visit Registration is also available at The Silo during regular business hours. The Silo gallery and store are open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

The Silo Cooking School was recently named Best Cooking School in Connecticut by Connecticut Magazine. It is the first recreational cooking school in Connecticut, and is located at Hunt Hill Farm, 44 Upland Road, in New Milford. The school is part of the Smithsonian Institution affiliated Hunt Hill Farm Trust, a non-profit organization, which provides the public with diverse opportunities to explore the arts amid historic farm buildings and protected open space in the heart of Connecticut’s northwest corner.

Hunt Hill Farm was the home of New York Pops founder Skitch Henderson and his wife, Ruth, who created The Silo.


Feast on 'Downton Abbey' Season 4 in Aristocratic Connecticut Events

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