All things Downton Abbey: Arthur the aardvark, custom wines, costumes

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Downton Abbey (PBS) Season 1,2010. Shown: Shown from left: Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern. FILM STILL CREDIT: ©Carnival Films

The return of Downton Abbey has brought the usual fever and obsession with all things Downton. Here are a few new and unexpected ways for Downton lovers to get their fix:

DOWNTON FOR KIDS

Arthur, the loveable aardvark from PBS Kids, has caught Downton fever. “Fountain Abbey,” a Downton Abbey-inspired episode of Arthur which premiered yesterday, will be available on DVD through PBS Distribution.

In the episode, Arthur and his friends discover the secrets and stories that families hold. Muffy learns her great-great grandmother, Mary Alice, was a maid instead of royalty and discovers an important lesson about humility after reading Mary Alice’s diary and being transported to the English estate where Mary Alice once worked.

DOWNTON FOR OENOPHILES

This month, Downton Abbey Wines announced the launch of the Countess of Grantham Collection, a selection of varietal wines crafted with premium fruit from California.

The new bottling which debuts next week, includes a Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, inspired by Lady Cora Crawley, the American-born wife of British aristocrat Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham. The fruit driven wines feature the scent of ripe red cherries and subtle oak in the Cabernet Sauvignon and tropical fruits and delicate oak in the Chardonnay.

Get the new Downton Abbey Wines at select grocery stores and wine retailers for $14.99 per 750-ml bottle. Visit www.downtonabbeywine.com to inquire about local retailers.

DOWNTON FOR FASHIONISTAS

The “Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times” exhibition at the Biltmore opens on  Feb. 5.

Downton Abbey (PBS) Season 1,2010. Shown: Shown from left: Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern. FILM STILL CREDIT: ©Carnival Films

Downton Abbey (PBS) Season 1,2010. Shown: Shown from left: Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern. FILM STILL CREDIT: ©Carnival Films

The exhibition runs through Memorial Day, May 25 and features more than 40 costumes from the popular PBS series. Displayed in rooms throughout the Biltmore, the exhibition incorporates elements of the fictional TV series and the real lives of the Vanderbilts who lived in Biltmore House during the same early 20th century era.

Admission to the exhibition is included in the price of a regular estate ticket (Adult, $49, youth 10-16, $24.50).

There are a variety of packages, themed events, add-ons and specials available. For more information visit www.biltmore.com. Biltmore, One Lodge Street, Asheville, NC.


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