What about Downton Abbey’s kitchen would you most like to duplicate at home? The rack of copper pots? The sturdy work table filled with farm-fresh ingredients? The wall of sieves and molds? The shelves lined with crockery? Maybe the cook herself, plus her staff of maids and servers?
What I REALLY like most about the Downton kitchen is the humor Mrs. Patmore brings to her job. She’s the “downstairs dowager” of sarcasm, though we seldom see her rest and sip tea like her upstairs alter ego. She has no time to stop for humor, but it always finds its way to her, then routes itself back out her mouth, quite unconsciously.
In fact, Beryl Patmore has had some great one-liners in the show’s five-year history. To ramp up for Downton Abbey’s sixth and final season, I thought it would be fun to pair up some of Mrs. Patmore’s sayings with appropriate kitchens and/or kitchen accessories.
“Anyone who has use of their limbs can make a salmon mousse.”
The cloud art in the dining nook establishes a theme that appears throughout the house in various formats. To go along with the clouds, my accessory of choice would be the framed “Cook up a Storm” print, available from Visual Philosophy on Etsy.
“I said you could go for a drink of water, not a trip up the Nile.”
Designer and HGTV host Emily Henderson put the pizzazz in Country Living’s 2013 home of the year—a Breezy Point, N. Y., beach house battered by Hurricane Sandy. The backsplash only looks like shiplap; it’s faux bois tile that will weather most any storm a kitchen could cook up.
The rope light arranged over the beams, from Atelier 688, is a fixture Mrs. Patmore would go for—as a tool of threat anyway.
“If you must pay money, better to a doctor than to an undertaker.”
|Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly|
I love how he repeated the bubbles in the brightly painted wicker balls filling the bowl on the table. But the cookie jar is the accessory to die for. Designed by Erika Oller, it’s titled “Happily Dying of Chocolate,” an end few of us would pay the doctor to delay.
“Oh, heavens, girl! You’re building a fire, not inventing it.”
“Take those kidneys up to the server before I knock you down and serve your brains as fritters.”
I’ve no kitchen to match up to this Beryl-ism, but I did find a plethora of threateningly tongue-in-cheek accessories I know she would enjoy. Follow the links to find each product:
- “Hit me with your best pot” tea towel from Lisa B. Bowman on Etsy.
- “The Ex” knife-holder and knives set, by TKS International, available in eight finishes. A similar pen set and appetizer skewer/bowl set are also available.
- “Don’t make me cut you” pattern or kit from Subversive Cross Stitch.
“Judas was only trying to help, I suppose, when he brought the Roman soldiers to the Garden.”
|Johnny Grey Studios|
If this were MY kitchen, I know I wouldn’t want Judas or the meddlers that hang about Downton downstairs bothering me. Donning this apron, available here, says all that needs said.
“Nothing’s as changeable as a young man’s heart. Take hope and a warning from that.”
“The trouble with you lot? You are all in love with the wrong people.”
|Fresh Home Design & Architecture|
And pick up these cute little kitchen helpers—the “right people” for the job—at Amazon. Head Chef manufactures them as professional-grade kitchen utensils for children. But don’t let the kids have ALL the fun.
“Sympathy buttered no parsnips.”
|Found on Home Portfolio|
But since there is such a thing as too much butter (rare!), so keep something on hand to collect the drips. I have this same Fishs Eddy spoon rest on duty beside my cooktop. Find yours at West Elm.
“There will be a glorious revolution down here if you don’t watch it.”
And since this Berylism was almost certainly meant as a threat to the younger staff to get busy, a slap with this tea towel might send them on their way.
“Oh dear, have you swallowed a dictionary?”
No kitchen to go along with this one either, unless you choose to add to yours. These cute prints on old dictionary pages are available in so many images from so many sources it will make your head spin. Search “dictionary prints” on Etsy and start your wade through the deluge. I used some of the anthropomorphic animal dictionary prints to decorate my guest bath because I heard it’s good to be able to chuckle when you’re standing in front of a big mirror with no clothes. It helps.
“Sometimes you spend too long on a one-sided love.”
“Do I look like a frolicker?”
|Found on I See Cubed|
“Oh, get off with you, you cheeky devil.”
|Found on I See Cubed|
“Cheeky” is an understatement for this madcap mosaic island of Legos. The all-white kitchen makes the work of art pop, and the red stools and “atomic” wall rack add just the right touch of counterpoint, even if it all is way too modern for Mrs. Patmore.
“Nothing makes you hungrier or more tired than grief. When my sister died, God rest her soul, I ate my way through four plates of sandwiches at one sitting and slept round the clock.”
|Found on Interior City|
This final witticism has multiple parts…
Mrs. Patmore, regarding the cottage she wants to invest in:
“What’s the kitchen like?”
“Oh, not quite the scale you’re used to.”
The illusion was nice while it lasted. Oh well, just don’t tell Carson.