Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea, that ubiquitous British ritual, was invented by Anna, Duchess of Bedford, in the early 19th century. Tea had long been established as a fashionable drink for the British upper classes (its popularity began when Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II, brought it over with her from Portugal, where it was a popular beverage at the Portuguese court), but it was customarily drunk … Continue reading Afternoon Tea

The Duchess of Duke Street: A Present Sovereign

Ok, I’m going to be totally honest with you: I didn’t care for Upstairs, Downstairs (at least, not the two first episodes I watched). I can’t say why, because it should have been right up my alley. I think it was because one of the main characters, Sarah, was so damn annoying that I couldn’t stand to watch another minute of her acting like a moron. I’ll go back to it someday and give it another go, and I am genuinely excited about the new U-D episodes coming out in the spring, but right now, I actually prefer the Duchess of Duke Street, which was BBC’s answer to U-D. There’s something about the gruff, up-by-her-bootstraps Louisa Leyton that I find interesting and entertaining. Season two, in my opinion, wasn’t as good as season one, but I still loved it, and I figured it’ll help get me in the Edwardian frame of mind ahead of the premiere of Downton Abbey on PBS in January. So, here we go…

London 1900. A nice looking young woman with reddish hair emerges from a brick rowhouse, pinning her hat into place as a horse-drawn bus rumbles past. She flags it down and climbs inside, where she pulls out a letter and starts reading it, smiling and looking excited and a little nervous.

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Sherlock Holmes

A few years ago, word got out that the guy who directed Momento was turning his hand to the Batman franchise, an idea that perplexed some people, because we already had a couple of nice, atmospheric Batman movies (and a few Godawful crimes against nature, but we won’t talk about those.) And then, Batman Begins came out, and suddenly it became very popular to reboot classics that we hadn’t realized needed a reboot in the first place. We got another Batman movie, and Star Trek, and, of course, Sherlock Holmes.

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