TO celebrate the motion picture event Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle opened its doors to two guests for a never-before-stay booked through Airbnb.
Two fans stayed overnight and immersed themselves in the traditions of Christmas at Highclere Castle, the home of Downton Abbey.
The guests were treated to afternoon tea in the library, a champagne and canapé reception in the saloon and a three course dinner in the iconic State Dining Room.
Margot Icking and Mascha Mathot from the Netherlands were greeted by Highclere Castle’s butler and introduced to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon.
The Countess of Carnarvon invited the two ladies to join her for afternoon tea in the glow of the library fire before presenting them with their own signed copies of The Countess’ latest book Christmas at Highclere: Recipes and Traditions from the real Downton Abbey.
Margot and Mascha were then shown to the Mercia bedroom, Lord and Lady Grantham’s bedroom in Downton Abbey, where the guests stayed for the night.
The two guests joined the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon in the saloon (or “The Great Hall”) for an exclusive canapé reception beneath the 23ft Christmas tree, with cocktails made from Highclere Castle Gin.
The canapé reception was followed by a traditional three-course dinner in the iconic dining room, waited on by Highclere Castle’s team of butlers in coats and tails. Coffee, liqueurs, and chocolates were then served in the library before the guests retired to the Mercia bedroom with views across the Capability Brown parkland and out to Heaven’s Gate.
The following morning Margot and Mascha enjoyed a full English breakfast with the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon in the dining room followed by a private tour of the castle, Egyptian exhibition, and gardens.
Lady Carnarvon commented: “It’s an absolute privilege to call Highclere Castle my home and I was delighted to host Margot and Mascha for such a special stay. Christmas is the most magical time of the year here and I am delighted to be able to share it with our guests.”
“We were so thrilled driving up to the castle and felt very honoured by the warm welcome at the castle. It was definitely a real Downton Abbey feeling, like walking into a film set. The company was lovely, the food great and an amazing setting – the best Airbnb experience ever.”