As day dawned on April 10th, 2015, the sun warmed the Shenandoah Valley, and the weeping cherry on Rosemont’s lower lawn bloomed as though on cue. The staff at the abbey, er, I mean at Rosemont began the happy, busy bustle that is, as we call it, “Downton Day”.
Whether it’s a Downton Abbey Tea or in this case, a Dinner at Downton and Overnight Stay, there is a special kind of energy that takes over at Rosemont. Maybe it’s because we start playing the Downton soundtrack to accompany our preparations. Maybe it’s because we can already smell the English-inspired delicacies being prepared by Chef Tona and Chef Ed in the kitchen. Or maybe it’s because of how fabulous Michael’s table looks as we add the finishing touches in the dining room. Whatever the reason, “Downton Day” is as special for us as it is for our guests, who book up these events to capacity just as fast as we can plan them.
Our second “Dinner at Downton and Overnight Stay” was held on Friday, April 10th, 2015 and what a lovely, festive evening it was! Our guests came dressed in their elegant finery, ready to enjoy the experience and make new friends. Some had attended our first Downton Dinner back in January, and couldn’t wait to come back again. Others have been at Rosemont for teas or other events, while still others graced the manor for their inaugural visit. Everyone was welcome and it seemed a lovely time was had by all!
Chef Tona and Chef Ed (aka Mrs. Patmore and Alfred?) planned and executed an amazing menu which included starter courses of waverly roots mushroom soup and smoked haddock cakes
with saffron aioli over mixed greens. The entree course consisted of lamb chops with mint demi-glace, garlic mashed potatoes, and sautéed brussel sprouts with bacon. The crowning touch, as always was the dessert: Rosemont’s own lavender ice cream with lady fingers.
After dinner, the guests, as well as our official hosts, “Lord and Lady Genda” (aka Biff and Barb!), retired to the lounge and foyer to enjoy cordials and conversation. The evening air was still warm enough for the guests to relax in the rocking chairs on the Portico before retiring to their rooms in the manor for the night. Despite the revelry from the night before, everyone made it to the Rosemont Room for breakfast the next day, and many guests remarked that they plan to come back the next time.
So when will the next Dinner at Downton and Overnight Stay be? We aren’t sure yet, but we are hoping for sometime in September 2015. We will keep you posted! If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our email newsletter (the entry form is on most any webpage of our site in the upper right hand corner) and follow us on Facebook so you’ll be the first to know!
Special thanks to Snap Dragon Photography for the photos!