When I heard that Downton Abbey – The Exhibition was coming to West Palm Beach, FL, I was elated! I’m truly a diehard fan of the PBS, award-winning Masterpiece series and have been since the very first season aired. What can I say, I’m a sucker for time-period pieces. I’ve always considered myself an old soul. If given the choice to be born in a different time, I would hands down say 1909. Haha! That way I could really enjoy the 1920s-1960s. 🙂
Anyways, if you’re not familiar with Downton Abbey, please check it out – you won’t be disappointed! The show takes place in Britain and is a historical period drama series beginning in 1912 and ending in 1926. The Crawley’s are the aristocratic family the show focuses on and we learn all about their lives as well as the lives of their help (butlers, cooks, footmen, lady’s maid, etc). The acting is excellent and the set, location, props, and costumes are spot on! I could seriously go on and on about this show and gush over every detail because that’s how obsessed I am!
For my birthday in December, my hubby surprised me with tickets to see the exhibition, which is here in Florida in West Palm Beach until April 22, 2019. If you’re on the fence about going, rest assured you’ll love your experience! I’ll be perfectly honest, I teared up with excitement when I entered the first part of the exhibition. Like any good drama series, I became attached to the characters and their story, so it didn’t surprise me that I was a smidge emotional. Lol!
The exhibition is basically a museum filled with stories of the characters in the show and other, real-life people who lived in the post-Edwardian England era. Being able to experience the history and culture, the house (including Mrs. Patmore’s kitchen, Mr. Carson’s office, the servant’s quarters, and Mary’s bedroom), and the fashion was such a treat! Of course, I found the fashion to be particularly fascinating – I just love all the different types of outfits for every occasion (many of the pieces displayed were actually worn on the show), jewelry pieces, hats, shoes, everything! The wedding dress display, in particular, was just gorgeous. I couldn’t help but to be mesmerized by the beauty of the handiwork. It was truly a pleasure admiring it all!
The exhibit is set up in a way where the characters and the house seem to come to life. The detail and care put into re-creating this iconic house is incredible. You feel like you’re truly stepping back in history and that’s so special. Being able to see “behind-the-scenes” features and get up close and personal was truly a treat. The interactive exhibits are particularly fun (you can pull out drawers, pick up old telephones, “apply for a job”, etc). I would say that at least 3-4 hours is needed to really appreciate the exhibit and to be able to read the plaques and admire all the little details. We went early in the morning on a weekday, and it was perfect because there weren’t too many other guests, so it really felt like we had the whole exhibit to ourselves.
I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to relive the TV show experience. My hubby got an A+ for the sweet gift! Overall, the experience was informative, touching, and a lot of fun. The exhibit itself is clean and not hard to move through. Also, the staff was so kind and they were very knowledgeable as well. As if it was possible, I am even more excited now to see the upcoming movie! I will be pre-ordering tickets if possible that’s for sure. Lol!
Are you a fan of Downton Abbey too?? If you are, let me know in the comments below! 🙂 And be sure to check the Downton Abbey Exhibition website to see if it’s coming to a city near you! Even if you haven’t seen the show, the exhibit has a lot of information and automated videos with background information on the characters and the rooms so that you won’t feel lost. I highly recommend going and enjoying this iconic show in such a tangible way. 🙂