Monica's favorite
British DVDs
A&E mini series starring Colin Firth. The best of them all!
BBC mini series. Love this version starring Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller (he also stars as Sherlock Holmes in the TV series Elementary)
BBC mini series starring Hattie Morahan and Dan Stevens (he also plays Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey). This version is less well known than the movie, but I prefer this one.
The uncut UK version. I was hooked from the first episode.
The uncut UK version. Even better than Season 1.
The uncut UK version. Can't wait for the next season!

A Taste of Britain Menu

For Downton Abbey, Jane Austen, and all-things-British fans!


Here's a menu that is fun to serve while viewing British favorites like Downton Abbey, Jane Austen movies, Wimbledon, or any other British event or show. Everything can be prepared ahead of time, so you can enjoy the party & viewing, too!


One of my favorite ways to spend a day is watching Pride and Prejudice with friends. I'm a fan of all things Jane Austen, but particularly love the Colin Firth mini-series version of Pride and Prejudice. It's 5 hours long, so it's a commitment to watch it. But, this production best captures the spirit of Jane Austen--great dialogue and a slow, easy pace. It's a love story. A chick flick. A wonderful day of escape with friends.

You may be shocked to learn that King-Man does not share my love of Jane Austen. (He thinks her stories are all alike. And the problem with that is???) King-Man was out-of-town recently, so it was a perfect opportunity to have some neighborhood friends over for a day with Jane Austen. We watched Pride and Prejudice, swooned over Colin Firth (I loved him long before The King's Speech), and we ate. We started watching the DVD at 10 am and were finished around 3 pm. That meant I needed to serve lunch. And, of course, afternoon tea.

Initially, I thought I'd prepare something that the Bennet family would have eaten in P&P, so I consulted The Jane Austen Cookbook. After reading recipes for "Pigeon Pie" and "Chicken With Tongues", I decided that my friends might appreciate it if I used some creative liberties in the kitchen and prepare foods with a "taste of Britain" that weren't necessarily from the Bennet family table. So, here's what I served (with apologies to my British readers for the liberties I've taken with your cuisine).

  • Update: I've also become a big fan of Downton Abbey and have served this same menu for the season premier or finale. The fact that everything can be prepared ahead of time means I don't have to be in the kitchen during showtime. Love that!

Taste of Britain Menu:


Eton Mess Sundae
All of these recipes are shared in separate posts. Click on the links below for detailed recipes & photos.

  • Earl Grey tea (widely available at grocery stores, and on Amazon)

This menu would work well for any Britain themed party--Downton Abbey, Wimbledon, or other British movies or sporting events. It's fun to match the food with the theme of the day. 

Jane Austen DVD recommendations (check Netflix and Amazon for instant streaming options, too):

There are many, many versions and productions of Jane Austen novels. Honestly, I've never watched one I didn't like. But, by far, my favorites are these 3 BBC productions. They also were aired on PBS in the States. In order of my preference:

  • #1: Pride and Prejudice. 5 hours. Starring Colin Firth. This 1996 version is the gold standard, as far as I'm concerned. It's available from Netflix or at Amazon.
  • #2: Emma. Almost 4 hours. Starring Romola Garai. This 2010 version is the absolute best Emma in my opinion. Love it. I couldn't find it at Netflix, but it's available at Amazon.
  • #3: Sense & Sensibility. 3 hours. Starring Hattie Morahan. Made in 2008, but I just saw it recently and really liked it. Also at Amazon.

Pride & Prej.jpg  Emma.jpg  Sense&Sense.jpg

Downton Abbey DVDs, in case you miss viewing it on PBS (some Amazon and Netflix instant streaming options, too)

  • Season 1 Downton Abby, available on Amazon (free instant streaming for members of Amazon Prime or Netflix Streaming)
  • Season 2 Downton Abby, available on Amazon (free instant streaming for members of Amazon Prime)
  • Season 3 Downton Abby, available on Amazon (free instant streaming for members of Amazon Prime)


Are you a Jane Austen or Downton Abbey fan? 

Make it a Yummy day!

This post was updated 2/15/13.

Posted on Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

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