05 April 2011

165 Eaton Place Style


The Before

The After

all images from the BBC, BBC one, Masterpiece Theatre or the links at the end of this story

the Place-Eaton Place
the Decoration

& decorating by the book, it's almost as if Lady Agnes turned the pages.

for her 165 Eaton Place Style

Dorthy Draper at l. , The Greenbrier Resort decorated by Dorothy Draper, r.

There is undoubtedly something- about it. 

165 makes me think DRAPER.
Oddly there is very little evidence of the British designers of the period like Syrie Maugham at 165. I think it is safe to say, the Lady (Agnes) of the house did the decorating herself.

there's even something like this-there.

Watch the full episode. See more Masterpiece.

another shot of Draper

image: South Florida Sentinel
Mike Stocker

Here we have the cast of the new episodes of Upstairs Downstairs.
I couldn't wait. Should we have to wait? Dreadful that the series doesn't start in the states til mid April. The story begins with the opening up of the old Bellamy Mansion at 165 Eaton Place and the three episodes encompass the death of the King- the coming of King Edward VIII-Wallis Simpson-Abdication- World War II-and all the intrigues of- ups and downs of -those living under the roof of 165.

Happily, Rose- yes, that is the original Rose Burk, played by series creator Jean Marsh, is back at 165 holding it together along with another sort of Original- Lady Holland played by Dame Eileen Atkins.  Eileen Atkins along with Marsh were the creators of the original Upstairs Downstairs. The original produced 68 episodes from 1971-1975 and  it's back and it's good, very good- better than Downton Abbey. Perhaps it is Rose that makes it connect-she was and again is- the heart and soul of the story.

The Cast at 165 Eaton Place
A List from Masterpiece Theatre here

Residing at 165 Upstairs & Down
The Ladies who run the show- Lady Maude l, Rose r

Maud, Lady Holland is the spark that sets fire to Eaton Place. She will be likely-the unforgettable character of the series. Maud returns to England just in time to upset the arrangements her daughter in law- Lady Agnes played by Keeley Hawes  is making  to dazzle her guests and new husband Sir Hallam handsomely played by Ed Stoppard. There is more than meets the eye there I'll tell you!  Lady Holland selects the best rooms with plans to dictate her memoirs of the Raj to her -of course-most elegant Indian secretary Mr Amanjit.  Uptight Lady Agnes is attempting to get the hang of things, while Lady Holland is stealing every scene with quirky -but stylish clothes, having adopted a Lady of the world wardrobe, Indian saris styled as evening clothes.  Be still my heart.

Lady Maud's Wardrobe
(would love to have it)

 South Indian Brocade Sarees  Pre Independence India, c. 1930.
handwoven Indian silk by sophisticated artisans in British services 
(from my collection of textiles)

The Glamour

watch Wallis make an appearance

When she was just Mrs. Simpson

 quote from the blog Beyond the Pale's Miss Nightingale 

"It’s a very particular British kind of glamour – all aristocratic complexions, matte lipstick, clicky heels and that clipped Mitford-esque brittleness which defines the period for me."


  the Mitford Sisters look on 

The Eaton Place Sisters
 Lady Agnes and Lady Persie


 even the hypnotic  'glamour' of the Fascist Oswald Mosley-who Lady Persie becomes infatuated with-

Oswald Mosley

Lady Persie


All up to the minute furniture of the Art Deco period fills the drawing room-and that is full of fret work moldings on the walls. While the paintings remain of another era and sofas are bursting with down, damask patterns of velvet and full tilt brush fringes (the scenes above)

The new episodes- alas there are only THREE- but I hope many more are to come. It is already a feast for the eyes.

devotee of sweet tea,  thick-cut marmalade & the occasional maraschino cherry

all to our particular taste


this is an all encompassing blog about every wonderful Period Film- you need to keep up here
everything about the new Upstairs Downstairs at Enchanted Serenity Period Films here
updown.org here 
Maison Gerard here
prettily put together at Beyond the Pale here  & here
full casts- the first and the second here
BBC talks to production designer Eve Stewart here
 Draper here


  1. The new UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS looks very promising; I can hardly wait!

  2. Devoted Rather than giving away any of the plot-I thought to ripen the palate for the reader. As I said- I could not wait and have view 2 episodes online and have only the 3rd-Too short a season by a long shot but apparently more are in the works.

  3. I have seen all three episodes of Upstairs Downstairs when it aired on the BBC over the Christmas period, it was much appreciated as everyone was mourning the loss of Downton Abbey.

    The decor and Eileen Atkins were the highlights for me.

    Comparisons are always going to be made about the two programs, especially after a very interesting article was published in the Sunday Times, I knew Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins had created the original Upstairs Downstairs but I did not know they had been approached to work on Gosford Park, because of other commitments they could not oblige, hence the job went to Julian Fellowes, which spawned Downton Abbey.
    According to the British press there have been a few spats:

    Healthy competition sets the bar high for both of these excellent period dramas, all the more for us to enjoy!

  4. Dash, So glad you sent this article. I do not know if it is because the original in 1970 was such a unique series at the time and far and few were like it that I have a soft spot for it in general. There is something here that is more compelling to me than DA,though Maggie Smith is superb in the role she plays-I don't find the characters as interesting. Especially after the 2nd episode the characters came to life Upstairs Downstairs. Oddly-I can not imagine it is ending so soon-meanwhile back at Downton I was just warming to some of those characters and poof they were gone. pgt

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Creative and insightful. Thank you!
    I think Draper's bold and defiant color schemes gave the public a fresh point of view,
    she was a glamorous person.

  6. Wonderful wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing this.

  7. You've outdone yourself here...if that's even possible! Looking forward to watching this...somehow. I'm reading about the Mitford sisters now and this will be a wonderful addition to keeping myself in the era.
    xo J~

  8. I've got to start watching this...

  9. You have definitely whetted my appetite for this series. It is a favorite period and that is an excellent quote from Miss Nightingale. She captures the essence of that era. It is very tempting to head there now. Great post little a

  10. The sets, furniture, textiles--to say nothing of the actors--I'm definitely in sensual heaven. Thanks for this superb post.

  11. Good morning Gaye that was Great fun to see it again and happily it wasnt a disappointment after the original.I used to see "Rose " shopping in Chelsea which amused me
    I lived at 90 Eaton place but it wasnt like that ! Thankyou for aa lovely start to the day Im humming the theme tune already Fay xx

  12. PGT how do you do it? I've watched so wont say a word...x colette

  13. Such fun! I am so looking forward to seeing it on the telly when it airs. I am sure I shall be shrieking with laughter!

  14. I am looking forward to Sunday evenings this month. I agree with you about "just warming up to the DA characters, and then they were gone". I'm pleased to hear that will not be the case with UD per your online view review.....beautiful post..k

  15. Oh dear, what a time not to be a TV watcher. I shall have to make an exception for this (while PBS is still around...) I remember watching the original broadcasts of Upstairs, Downstairs in the 70's (when I was a tv watcher) and crying when Rose's fiance died in the war. Gaye, have you seen Eileen Atkins in Cold Comfort Farm? If you haven't you MUST! It's another divine, and divinely hilarious, period piece (also starring Kate Beckinsale and Joanna Lumley). Please rent the video forthwith, and thanks for this post, it will be wonderful seeing Jean Marsh rule!

  16. Can't wait for the show. Looks like the Belgravia section of London. And, you get an A+ for the work that went into this post.

  17. Can't wait until this starts! My sister and I have been talking about it constantly with great anticipation. I have VERY fond memories of the series. It was a family ritual with us to sit down every Sunday for Masterpiece Theater-Lord Peter Wimsey, Upstairs/Downstairs, Danger UXB-with an extremely young Anthony Andrews (I was madly in love), Pride and Prejudice (madly in love with Darcy, of course).

    The blue in the foyer is perfection. The side chairs with the stylized wheat-sheaf motif (I'm guessing) need to be mine as well as the vase on the left in that picture. What is it with monkeys and the 30's? That must have been a stylish pet to have. Have you ever noticed there are always pet monkeys in movies from that era. I also love that they just use their furniture, no worries about coasters!

  18. Oh, what fun! THe color! The drama!

  19. Mrs. Draper is so amazing! It is so refreshing to see her work again!



Related Posts with Thumbnails