Things to Do

There Are a Bunch of Downton Abbey-Themed Events in DC This Month

Here's where you can celebrate the return of the Crawleys.

The cast of Downton Abbey at the DC premiere. Photograph by Evy Mages

Grab your tails and evening dresses: Downton Abbey is coming to DC. Last week, the movie version of the beloved British show premiered at the AMC Uptown theater in Cleveland Park—complete with Crawley cast members (and US Attorney General Bill Barr). Now, ahead of the movie’s official release this Friday, September 20, there are a bunch of Downton-themed events happening all around DC.

A Very English Happy Hour at The Fairmont
2401 M St., NW
The Fairmont hotel in Georgetown hosts a happy hour fit for the Earl of Grantham on Friday, September 20. Attendees can head to the hotel’s garden courtyard and sip $10 British tipples like Pimm’s Cups and a specially-crafted Downton MarTEAni with Earl Grey-infused gin. They’ll also serve snacks like mini pork pies and sticky toffee pudding. Downton-era garb is encouraged, and the best-dressed guest will take home a prize.

High Tea at Juniper
2401 M St., NW
The Fairmont’s restaurant, Juniper, will offer a relaxed Downton-style tea every Friday and Saturday afternoon through September from 2:30 to 4 PM. Think English Breakfast and fancy little tea sandwiches.

The Music of the Abbey
4373 Mason Pond Dr., Fairfax
The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra will bring the show’s soundtrack stateside this weekend with a special concert at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Saturday, September 21. The ensemble will play other quintessentially British tunes from composers like Ralph Vaughan Williams and Sir Edward Elgar, all evoking the sensibility of the era.

A Downton Party at the Lee-Fendall House
614 Oronoco St., Alexandria
Lord Carnarvon, the current owner of the real-life Highclere Castle that doubles as Downton on the show, has local ties. He’s a direct descendant of the original owner of the Lee-Fendall House in Alexandria, which is now a museum. Some of the characters in Downton Abbey are reportedly based on their family members—find out which ones during a celebration on the grounds on Saturday, September 28 featuring Downton trivia, scavenger hunts, and lessons on antique tableware. The house is also hosting weekly Downton Abbey tours every Sunday in September and October that details the surprising link between a Northern Virginia family and the fictional Yorkshire aristocrats. Lee-Fendall House Museum, Sept. 28

Dessert Fit for Royals at Magnolia Bakery
50 Massachusetts Ave., NE
Stop by NYC-based Magnolia Bakery in Union Station for a special Downton-inspired cupcake made using loose-leaf tea.

Nathan Diller
Editorial Fellow

Nathan Diller has also written for DCist, Vulture, and Bustle. On Twitter, he’s @nateclaydiller.