8 delicious ways to make your dinner party more ‘Downton’

Give your table a taste of the 1920s with this roaring menu

8 delicious ways to make your dinner party more ‘Downton’

You might not live in a stately home or have a butler on hand, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a bit of Downton to your dinner table and put on a 1920s supper spread. 

The wild and wonderful twenties saw huge changes in the social scene. War was over, art and culture were booming, and the canned and frozen food that had seen the country through the war stood aside to make way for decadent dining, sumptuous puddings and classy cocktails.
To celebrate the release of the Downton Abbey film, set in 1927, we've gathered some of our favourite 20s-inspired recipes so you can hold your own party that would make even Lady Grantham proud.

So, dig your white tablecloths out and scroll on for our best Downton Abbey movie-inspired dishes. 

Glazed ham

What could be more decadent than a baked ham as the centrepiece of a dinner party? Made popular in the twenties, a ham would be glazed and studded with maraschino cherries (introduced in the decade) and strips of kumquats.
Cooking a ham looks impressive but is surprisingly easy. Plus, even if you invite a crowd, you can (nearly) always count on there being leftovers, which means juicy cold cuts with salad the following day.

Roasted duck

Roasted duck first became widely popular in the UK in the 1920s and its crispy skin and succulent meat make it an ideal choice for the main event.
With a sticky orange and honey glaze, this sumptuous dish is delicious served with simple greens.

Waldorf salad

Salads were really popular in the 1920s. Molded salads encased in gelatine – true story - and Caesar salads were often found on dinner tables but the creamy, crunchy Waldorf salad is said to have been created in the heart of the roaring twenties, by the maître d'hôtel of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York.
Originally the salad comprised of just three ingredients: apples, celery and mayo with no walnuts to be found. But as the years have passed, more ingredients have been added to this fancy salad, that works well as a main or a side.

Pastry pigs

A buffet table laden with nibbly bits is the best way to channel 1920’s socialising and at the heart of this you’d often find a pile of pastry pigs (posh sausage rolls, to you!) Gatsby himself served these little pigs in pastry blankets alongside his roasted hams and turkeys.

Bite-sized sausage rolls are perfect served as an appetizer or a starter with a mustardy dip. Or go the whole hog and have a couple with a salad for lunch.


Italian-Americans opened up thousands of speakeasies during the1920s and the exposure to basic Italian ingredients had a huge impact on the way Americans started – and have continued - eating food.
Bruschetta is 1920’s eating at its best: sumptuous Italian tomatoes and basil, piled on top of an easy-to-eat-whilst-mingling toasted round.

chocolate mousse

Also known as the 'roaring twenties' thanks to the number of glamorous parties and dinner parties that look place, entertaining reached a new level in this era. Cocktails and decadent (but tiny) desserts were all the rage - and fancy individual desserts served in small cocktail glasses were just the thing to chase a rich 1920s feast.
A dark chocolate mousse, topped with seasonal fruit, is the perfect way to end a meal - and leaves absolutely no room for sharing!

Pineapple upside down cake

In the nineteenth century, Downton would have grown its own pineapples in heated greenhouses with the fruit carrying a certain cachet as it was unaffordable for most, except for the rich.

This syrupy upside down cake makes a great centrepiece as it looks fun and frivolous but the light, fluffy cake and sweet, sticky topping is the height of decadence.

Have our Downton-inspired recipes got you dreaming about cooking up a 1920s feast? Make sure to stock up on everything you need online or pop into your local store.