Wilshire Meets Yorkshire: “Downton Abbey” High Tea

Pick out your Mary-iest frock and make for Whimsic Alley.

The whimsical joys of living in Southern California are positively plentiful if occasionally daft.

Our Bird of Paradise plants look like honest-to-goodness birds, our theme parks hire thousands of monster'd-up actors each fall, and it can be difficult to discern whether the person you just passed on the street is in costume for a role or if that is indeed how they actually dress.

But adoring "Downton Abbey" and the 1920s styles the public television powerhouse is known for can send an old-fashioned SoCaler into a tizzy. You could swan about like Lady Mary while walking The Grove or Third Street Promenade, but the posher look is rather formal for sunnier LA days.

Whimsic Alley is here to lend a gloved hand. The Wilshire Boulevard one-stop-genre-shop, known for its bevy of Harry Potter and Doctor Who items, caters to a large "Downton Abbey" fandom looking for products summoning the show's velvety vibe. And that fandom will gather at the store on Sunday, Feb. 15 for a proper high tea that's rife with a Downton-esque demeanor. 

Among the highbrow happenings? "Tea & Food" and "Games & Prizes" and "Entertainment." Price: Forty dollars (that's dollars, not pounds, do note).

We imagine that the day may hold some gentle gossiping (like Cora might participate in), some spirited back-and-forth (think Lord Grantham and pretty much any of his disagreeing guests), and a few hilarious, pointed asides (if The Dowager Countess can sling 'em, so can you).

Naturally, you will want to wear an outfit that is drop-waisted or big-hatted or evening-gloved or sparkly-of-necklace. Gentlemen, think seriously about borrowing a formal suit, complete with white tie and vest.

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As for wearing that look out onto the streets of Los Angeles? Whimsy is rife here, for sure, though a lady's arms might perspire a bit much on an 80-degree day should they be encased in sateen evening gloves. Just keep that in mind, '20s-loving SoCalers.

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