Downton Abbey Hat Party at Grosvenor House

The popularity of Downton Abbey has to be applauded for its single-handed influence on the return of ‘Aristocratic chic’ to our style vocabulary. Fur capes and pearls along with elbow length gloves and cloche hats are fashionable again.

For further Downton indulgence, award-winning milliner Katherine Elizabeth is now offering Mad Hatter Couture parties at the Grosvenor House Marriott Hotel, which gives you and I a chance to create our own Downton inspired headwear whilst enjoying champagne afternoon tea at this delectable Mayfair hotel.

Katherine Elizabeth has had the opportunity to create for John Galliano, House of Dior and Asudari shows at Paris Fashion Week, whilst her past clients include Dita Von Teese, Lily Allen and Henry Holland.

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a Mad Hatter Couture event, which was located in one of the hotel’s private dining rooms.

As we were served afternoon tea, which began with champagne and a fruit cocktail for starters, we were treated to a millinery lesson from Katherine Elizabeth herself as she demonstrated cutting, shaping and decorating techniques when making a bespoke hat.
Once the demonstration ended the afternoon was handed over to us, a table full of women who were initially stumped for creative inspiration. But as soon as Katherine Elizabeth and her milliners approached us individually and guided us through some images from the second series of Downton Abbey, it was not long before the needles and threads were making their way through various pieces of fabric.

For someone who regards herself as an observer rather than a creator of fashion, this particular afternoon was plenty of fun. It is perfect for hen parties, birthday treats, in fact any reason to indulge in a few hours of girly bonding.

As for my hat, I think it was a success. It was designed for daywear because if Downton has reminded me anything about fashion, it’s how women didn’t need a special occasion to look elegant back then.

For more information on Katherine Elizabeth, or to try your hand at hat-making go to

An overnight stay package in a Park View Suite, Breakfast, Afternoon Tea and personal consultation and bespoke hat would be priced at £2400(plus VAT). Additional nights are priced at £1200 per suite (inclusive of VAT) for suite and breakfast only. The package is subject to availability, and terms and conditions apply. For booking enquiries, please contact Jessica Carey on 020 7399 8009 or email

Downton Abbey Series 2 and the Downton Abbey Series 1 & 2 box set are available on Blu-ray and DVD from 7th November, courtesy of Universal Playback.

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