A Downton Abbey Inspired Tablesetting

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Let’s face it, as parents we’ve adapted every aspect of our lifestyle to accommodate the kids.  That leaves little time for romantic dinners and long date nights.  I’m a firm believer in family dinner time, but with a two year old on board that sometimes means I’m just sitting down to eat when when we hear, “MAY. BE. EXCUUUUUSED??!!”  {um, at least he’s polite?}

Downton Abbey Tablesetting {#seductivetables}

Enter Moll Anderson’s latest book, Seductive Tables for Two.  TWO, as in my husband and I.  Inside were some great tips, recipes, and beautiful photos to inspire seductive and romantic tablescapes for couples.  I knew immediately what the theme of our seductive table would be, and if you’ve been keeping track of my obsessions lately I bet you can guess it– Downton Abbey!  My husband and I have been watching it every night, trying to catch up to season three.  I decided to surprise him with a Downton Abbey tablesetting for a romantic snack of wine and cheese after we put the kids to bed, and before watching the season two finale.

Downton Abbey Tablesetting {#seductivetables}

After all, Downton Abbey is full of visual inspiration.  With those details in mind I created a version of one of my favorite scenes from season one, when Mary and Matthew sit down for an informal late-night dinner.  Mary wants to ring for a wineglass, and Matthew tells her not to worry and– GASP!– pours wine into a tumbler instead.

Downton Abbey Inspired Tablesetting

Downton Abbey Tablesetting {#seductivetables}

Downton Abbey Tablesetting {#seductivetables}

Moll Anderson reminds us to include decadent details on our tables.  For the Downton Abbey table, I made sure to include references to both the show and British culture.  Plus, I wanted the table to look masculine and feminine to appeal to both my husband and I.  I know Downton is a very formal place, but I took a few liberties since I was inspired by a famous informal moment.  Here’s a few decadent details:

The ceramic teapot is a nod to the daily ritual of tea.

Downton Abbey Tablesetting {#seductivetables}

Crackers on a tray– because everything at Downton is served on a tray.

Downton Abbey Tablesetting {#seductivetables}

A tarnished silver goblet filled with chocolates (Carson would faint in shame, but I love the slightly shabby look).

Downton Abbey Tablesetting {#seductivetables}

Deer napkin holders made from Christmas ornaments to signify both the country setting and their favorite hobby– hunting (I couldn’t find a pheasant, so these deer ornaments would have to do the trick; plus, they’re a masculine touch}.

Downton Abbey Tablesetting {#seductivetables}

Food at Downton come under cloches, so this glass dome protects the cheese (from what, I don’t know… the Spanish Flu?).

Downton Abbey Tablesetting {#seductivetables}

Wine and spirits are always decanted; in lieu of the eight decanters required by Lord Grantham, one would suffice for our meal.

Downton Abbey Tablesetting {#seductivetables}

And while the Dowager Countess would most certainly disapprove, we put Dave Matthews Band on Pandora for our favorite mood music and dined under the stars (that were hanging from the chandelier).

Downton Abbey Tablesetting {#seductivetables}

If you’d like to create your own seductive table, here’s a few tips from Moll:

  • candles (unscented) are a must, and even if you don’t plan to keep them lit be sure to light the wick for a moment because it’s more aesthetically pleasing
  • layer linens for a romantic look
  • flowers bring life to the table and add texture
  • have objects of several heights, such as the cake stands I have on my table
  • think creatively– use what you have on hand in unexpected ways
  • tuck personal mementos in various places as an extra surprise
  • have a focal point (like my bird cage or vase of flowers)

Downton Abbey Tablesetting {#seductivetables}

A seductive table for two, ready for romance with our favorite wine, cheese, and fruit.  A table for both formal & feminine Mary, and informal & masculine Matthew.  If you tilt your head and squint, couldn’t you see this in the Crawley household?

Downton Abbey Tablesetting {#seductivetables}

Downton Abbey Tablesetting {#seductivetables}

Want to learn more?  Moll Anderson has upcoming appearances on Access Hollywood and you can also catch her on her weekly radio show (XM Talk 168 every Saturday at 5:00 pm EST).  Connect with Moll on Twitter or get inspiration and updates by liking her Facebook page.  Seductive Tables for Two is available at many retailers, including Books-A-Million (where I found my copy during a recent shopping trip).

Downton Abbey Tablesetting {#seductivetables}

What’s your idea of a romantic and seductive table?  Can you think of a theme that represents you and your partner?  What would you include as personal mementos or favorite foods?  {and no spoilers, but what would be on the table of your favorite Downton character?}

Downton Abbey Table
Let’s not tell Carson about the wine bottle on the table, okay?

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and Moll Anderson.  As always, opinions are my own and I was not compensated to publish positive feedback.  #cbias #SocialFabric #SeductiveTables

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  1. I love the attention to detail and the descriptions you give. Believe it or not, I’ve never seen the show. I would probably go the route of a pirate because my boyfriend likes gaming. Not sure what else I’d include. =) I need to get my hands on this book!

    1. That’s the best tablesetting idea ever! A pirate themed table would have old maps, gold coins, rustic wood, and lots o’ BOOTY! {tee, hee…} The book has some great recipes too, it’s not just pretty pictures. Let me know if you do a pirate table, I’d love to see it!

  2. DMB!? SMH, Carrie. SMH. (Okay, but seriously, was it new or old DMB and if you were going to recommend something newish of theirs to a once-die-hard fan who stopped listening circa 2001, what would you recommend?)

    1. Okay, it was Adele. But Casey wouldn’t want anyone to know that, so let’s keep it on the downlow, mkay? {and also? If we *were* listening to DMB, it would be totally circa our college days in ’97. Plus, “Crash” is THE most seductive song EVA.}

  3. Oh my goodness! I got goosebumps looking at this! This table is so romantic. Love the personal mementos tucked in. So sweet and romantic!

  4. Beautiful! I love Downton Abbey and thought you layed out an amazing table with great inspiration. Love the deer napkin holders, very resourceful of you!

  5. What a fantastic theme for a couples night in, Carrie! I love how you made the table appealing both to masculine and feminine tastes, and those napkin ring holders are fantastic! I bet it was fun to watch Downton Abbey together among this setting!

    1. Thank you! It did make viewing it even more fun, and we finished watching season two last night. And now, onto season three…

  6. Totally AWESOME Carrie! Love it! Yes! Super cool book…totally agree! XO, Aimee

  7. I NEED to watch this show. I never have, and this post made me want to just dive in and try it! Yay!!

    1. Yes, you must watch it! It’s on DVD and Hulu Plus. Start at the beginning, and the first episode may be a little slow as you meet the characters but it picks up I promise. Let me know if you watch it!

  8. I love how all the many, meaningful details add up to a stunning creation! I’ve never seen the show, but your descriptions so richly explained the nuances that it didn’t matter.

  9. Gosh, I thought most guys would get all misty eyed over a hot pepperoni pizza with two types of beer. Where did my taste go wrong? Love — D

    1. What would Carson say to a hot pepperoni pizza?! Though Casey would definitely agree. 😉

  10. You rocked this one Carrie!!! Love the photos and all the ideas. Can I come for yor next party please?

    1. Thanks Rebecca! And by the way, I sent you an email a few months ago and it bounced back– but I wanted to thank you for being a great campaign lead on the Heinz Cleaning Vinegar campaign. You were so supportive, and I appreciated it!

  11. I LOVE this! Super cute and classic! I love Downton Abbey!!!!!

    1. Thank you for your sweet words! We love it to, I have no idea what I’ll watch once this season is over!

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