A Downton Abbey Dinner Party

Downtown Abbey dinner table
No one does a dinner party like my good friend Dustin of Dustin Rennells Design. An amazing cook and splendid host with a flair for event planning, he’s held some of the most unique parties I’ve ever attended. When he commits to a theme he follows through on every detail. This old-world styled potluck dinner & cocktail party in the vein of Downton Abbey was above and beyond!

Downton decor
From the hand addressed invitations to the candlelit dining room, everything was true to the turn of the century style of Downton. Dustin’s Jamaica Plain apartment was completely transformed to become “Chateau D’ustin” for the evening.

Chateau D'ustinEven lighting fixtures got an upgrade with the addition of draped chandelier crystals. To keep costs for the party low, Dustin got creative with the decor and hand made many of the decorative touches himself, incorporating elements that already existed in the apartment.

candelabra transformation

I was blown away to learn that Dustin created the candelabra centerpieces from scratch. He bought lamps at Goodwill, dismantling them to just the bases and then adding dollar tree accessories to build the tops. With the final additions of flowers and candles, the candelabras look just like the $150 versions available at the flower market (and he spent just $18 for 3!)

Downton Abbey dinner table
For the fete, Dustin’s living room became an elegant banquet space and his bedroom a sitting parlor. The table was set for fifteen with beautiful Wedgwood china. We were treated to a sumptuous nine course meal. AND there was a BUTLER (hired through Task Rabbit) to re-fill wine glasses and clear plates. He was incredible and stayed in perfect character the entire time.

place setting
Dustin gave careful consideration to the menu, making sure it was true to the period. Several of the dishes served were taken straight from the menu of the last dinner on the Titanic. Drink was just as plenty as food, and each course had a wine or spirits pairing.

lords and ladies
Guests were encouraged to dress in white tie attire of the period. Everyone looked fantastic and it was fun to be in character as “lords and ladies.” Ladies wore strands of pearls, gloves and lipstick and the men wore bow ties and cumber buns. Dustin looked especially dapper in a white bow tie.

Downton dinner table
It was so nice to slow down and take the time to really enjoy a meal and everyone’s company. (Ok it was fun to pretend to be royal for a night too). I feel so fortunate I was able to attend last night’s event and I can’t thank Dustin enough. I think this should become a tradition!


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