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Back to the Castle: Downton Abbey's Return in Philadelphia

By Kirsten Magas | September 11, 2019 | Lifestyle Feature


Eight years ago, we caught first sight of Downton Abbey: the award-winning period drama by Julian Fellowes on PBS. We fell in love with the British accents, swooned over the complicated Crawley characters, and became heart broken when we found out that there would only be six series. But now, Downton Abbey is back. To be released on September 20, the movie promises to continue the Crawley family saga. But for true die-hard fans, there are plenty of sneak peeks and tea times to take part in. Here, the upcoming schedule with an event for every Lord or Lady.

Ritz 5: Sneak Peak & Tea

Maybe you can’t go to The Ritz Hotel and Restaurant in London like Edith Crawley, but you can sure feel like royalty at the Ritz 5. A hot cup of tea is offered to keep you warm and cozy in your seat while watching the Downton Abbey film before anyone else. Before the advanced viewing, check out the Exclusive Filmmaker Letter from director of Downton Abbey, Michael Engler on the Landmark Theaters website, where he discusses how he made the hit series into a featured film. 7 p.m., tickets $10.50, The Ritz Five, Penn’s Landing,

The Rittenhouse Hotel: Afternoon Tea Special

The Rittenhouse Hotel’s Mary Cassatt Tea Room is famous for its traditional afternoon tea time: think scones with strawberry jam and canapés. Because of this, it is only fitting that they host an afternoon tea themed around the film. Throughout the month of September, you can choose from any of the signature or featured Rittenhouse tea flavors, including “The Rittenhouse Blend” or “Marry Me Again. But in celebration of Downton Abbey, guests can order limited-time desserts: a fondant photo of the Downton Abbey castle, traditional petit-fours and chocolate service bells inspired by the series. Attendees will also receive Downton Abbey weekender bags, umbrellas, cookbooks, cocktail books or vouchers for the exclusive September 16th pre-screening event. 2-5 p.m., tickets from $55, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square, Rittenhouse Square,

Advanced Screening & Radio Times Interview

By popular request, Bryn Mawr Film Institute has created not one, but two advanced screenings of the movie. Courtesy of WHYY, you can watch the film at either 6 or 7 p.m. after an introduction by film critic Patrick Stoner, the voice of WHYY’s podcast Downton Digest where Stoner discusses the successes and downfalls of the Downton Abbey series leading up to the film premiere. Plus, on September 18, catch Marty Moss-Coane’s Radio Times interview with the cast of the series. 6 or 7 p.m., tickets $35, 824 Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr,; 10 a.m., reservations required, 150 N. 6th St.,

Fitler Club: The Downton Abbey Experience

Member of the Fitler Club? Great! You get access to satisfy your desire to live like one of the Crawleys. The Back Bar of the Fitler Club will be transformed into the iconic Downtown castle. Tea will be served from 3:30 p.m. to the start of the first private screening at 4:30 p.m. alongside pastries created by award-winning chef Marc Vetri. If you can’t make the first screening, don’t fret—there’s a second at 7:30 p.m. Plus, enjoy curated cocktails throughout the evening. Take in the 20th century decor and be sure to hold your glass with your pinky out. members only, 24 S. 24th St.,

Photography by: Photograph Courtesy of The Rittenhouse