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Cocktails and Hors d'oeuvres for Your 'Downton Abbey' Viewing Party

After waiting nearly ten months for the next chapter in the Crawley family saga to continue, season six of the hit series Downton Abbey, the final season, airs Sundays at 9:00 p.m. on KCTS 9
As the final season of the popular period drama begins, are you as anxious as we are to discover what's next in the lives of our favorite characters? Upstairs: will Lady Mary finally find a new beau to melt her sarcasm, or will Lady Edith’s epic bout of bad luck run its course? And downstairs: will Bates and Anna finally be free of those pesky legal entanglements, and will Carson and Mrs. Hughes tie the knot? While creator/writer Julian Fellowes has promised a season of resolutions for the series’ many fans, he has also hinted at many twists and turns along the way.
Now that we are down to the wire, Downtonites, it’s time to break out your grandmother’s best china and crystal and get ready for the big night. Whether you are watching on your own, with your nearest and dearest, or celebrating with friends, we have assembled our top three Downton Abbey-inspired recipes for your viewing party. Cajoled from experts and insiders, these recipes should be on every ardent fan's party menu. Enjoy!
“I love cocktail parties.” — Lady Rose

In 2011, actor Dan Stevens, who played Matthew Crawley, was touring with fellow Downton Abbey cast members Michelle Dockery and Elizabeth McGovern to promote the second season of the series. One of their stops on their junket was Seattle, where they stayed at the historic Mayflower Park Hotel. One night, as the story goes, Stevens made friends with the bartender at the hotel’s famous Oliver’s Lounge, home to the renowned International Martini Classic Challenge. What resulted was a new cocktail inspired by Downton Abbey, which Stevens then tweeted about to his fans all over the world. We happened to be at the Mayflower Park Hotel for another event the following week and ordered one for ourselves. It is delicious!

The Downton Abbey Cocktail
In an ice-filled mixing glass add:
2 ounces Hendricks Gin
1 ounce St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 fresh squeezed lime
Shake vigorously and strain into chilled martini glass 3/4 full. Top with one ounce Champagne or sparkling wine and garnish with a lime twist.
Dungeness Crab Cakes From Oliver’s Lounge at the Mayflower Park Hotel
2 1/2 pounds crab meat
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 1/2 cups red bell pepper, finely diced
2 1/2 cups onion, finely diced
1 cup green onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
Additional panko as needed to roll cakes
Olive oil for frying
Break up crabmeat and remove any shell fragments or cartilage. Squeeze by hand to remove excess moisture.
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using wet hands, shape crab mixture into 1.5-oz. balls. Roll each ball in additional panko and gently flatten to form three-inch patties.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl oil to coat the pan. Add patties and cook three minutes on each side or until golden. Serve with lemon wedges. 
Parmesan Straws From Jessica FellowesPhoto courtesy of St. Martin’s Press © 2014
This recipe is from the fabulous book, A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey, compliments of author Jessica Fellowes. These delectably rich and savory biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to crab cakes, a green salad and the Downton Abbey cocktail. 
Fellowes’ sumptuous coffee table book includes gorgeous images from the show, wonderful insider stories (she is Julian Fellowes’ niece) and authentic recipes. Be sure to read our interview with Jessica Fellowes in which she shares her insights on season six of Downton Abbey.  
“These irresistible biscuits were a popular savoury (the final course after pudding, which has sadly fallen out of fashion). They can also be presented as canapes with drinks in the more contemporary style.” — Jessica Fellowes
Makes about 25:
1 cup Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3 1/2  tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
1 egg yolk
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
Grate 3/4 cup of the cheese into a mixing bowl. Sift in the flour and add the salt and cayenne pepper. Crumble in the butter and rub in with your fingertips until you have a breadcrumb texture. Stir in the egg yolk and form the dough into a ball with your hands.
Dust the worktop and a rolling pin with a little flour. Roll the dough out into a rough square, to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Cut into strips about 1/2 an inch wide and four inches long and gently transfer to the baking sheet. Finely grate the remaining Parmesan over the top of the straws.
Bake in the oven for 10–15 minutes until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Bon appétit, Downtonites, and happy viewing! 



Laurel Ann Nattress

Writer, blogger, and editor of Jane Austen Made Me Do It, Laurel Ann Nattress is a champion of Georgian civility, British culture and Masterpiece PBS. Visit her at and follow her on twitter as @Austenprose

More stories by Laurel Ann Nattress

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