Top critical review
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NOT FIT FOR ANYONE AS SOPHISTICATED AS THE RESIDENTS OF DOWNTON ABBEY
on 17 July 2013
I got this book as I love period recipes and I thought that, as this is inspired by Downton Abbey, it would have some interesting Edwardian recipes. However, sadly although most recipes appear to be authentic or at least inspired by the period, they are actually modernised, without any historical accuracy. For instance, "Classic Cucumber Sandwich" is made with cream cheese and mayonnaise; need I say more?
The book is divided into two parts; "Dining with the Crawleys" and "Sustenance for the Staff", and includes a great number of recipes from hors d'oeuvres and main courses to desserts and tea accompaniments. Each recipe is accompanied either by a historical note or an etiquette lesson, however not all historical notes are accurate and most etiquette lessons are so basic, that are obviously intended for completely uncivilised individuals without any manners whatsoever. Also, if you expect any kind or pictures, either of the dishes or related to Downton Abbey and the Edwardian era, you will be very disappointed, as there are no pictures at all.
I suppose that this book is intended for Downton Abbey fans, but I am afraid the only connection to the show are the brief, uninspired introductions to the recipes. Although the author seems to be in awe of the sophisticated and poised Edwardian society, she is also quite sarcastic and condescending towards a well mannered and elegant world she clearly doesn't understand.