The Costumes of Downton Abbey ® and DuPont Estates Tour
Step into the world of the Crawley family and their servants with the "Costumes of Downton Abbey®" exhibit at Winterthur Museum in northern Delaware. From breakfast attire to evening gowns and from aprons to footmen dinner jackets, you'll experience a day in the life at Downton Abbey through these stunning and detailed original costumes. The exhibit will begin in March 2014 and will run through January 4, 2015.
Make your visit to view the “Costumes of Downton Abbey®” a weekend getaway with with stops at the elegant DuPont Mansions and estates in the Brandywine Valley. From staying at a four-diamond hotel to viewing acres of formal and naturalistic gardens, you will truly be whisked into a world of style and grace.
Stay at the Hotel du Pont – Arrive for an afternoon check-in at this legendary hotel which houses a theatre, elegant restaurants, shops, and luxurious meeting space. Over the course of 100 years, the prestigious Hotel du Pont has welcomed future and former Presidents, First Ladies and world leaders earning its reputation as the premiere hotel in the State of Delaware.
Dine at Café Mezzanotte – Located within walking distance (2 blocks) of the Hotel du Pont offering authentic Pan-Mediterranean fare coupled with exceptional service.
Enjoy a show at the Du Pont Theatre or The Grand – Take pleasure in the performing arts at the Du Pont Theatre, the oldest continually operating legitimate theatre in the nation, currently celebrating its 100th anniversary or view a performance at The Grand, an historic beehive of artistic performances ranging from symphony orchestras and ballets to the latest rock and comedy stars, as well as jazz, folk, and family artists.
Indulge in breakfast in The Green Room at the Hotel du Pont – Begin your day with breakfast in one of the most elegant hotel dining rooms in the country, featuring traditional French cuisine, and is the winner of the Four-Diamond AAA Award for 28 consecutive years. A hot buffet can be set up in the Green Room for groups of 15 or more. Private dining rooms are also an option.
View the “Costumes of Downton Abbey®” exhibit and discover Winterthur Museum and Gardens – Winterthur was founded by Henry Francis du Pont and is the premier museum of American decorative arts, reflecting both early America and the du Pont family’s life here. Winterhur is surrounded by 60-acres of naturalistic garden, which are said to be among the country’s best garden landscapes. The Costumes of Downton Abbey® exhibit will run from March 1, 2014, to January 4, 2015. (Please note that Winterthur is closed from the second week in January through February 28. Winterthur opens at 10:00 a.m.)
Dine at Winterthur Garden Cafe for lunch – Located in the Visitor Center, the Garden Café at Winterthur provides an enclosed Pavilion setting and features enticing entrees and extensive salad bar.
Experience Nemours Mansion and Gardens – The Nemours Mansion is the former home of Alfred I. du Pont and is situated on 220 landscaped acres of land in the rolling hills of Wilmington, Delaware. The late-18th-century French style home, surrounding by magnificent sculptured gardens, is decorated with rare rugs, antique tapestries, oil paintings, and decorative arts. (Please note there is a set tour schedule from May-December)
Enjoy High Tea in the Christina Room at the Hotel du Pont – Groups can enjoy a Centennial Tea Celebration featuring three delectable courses (tea sandwiches, scones, and assorted miniature pastries) and a new tea blend, created especially for the Hotel du Pont’s centennial celebration as well as other various blends from the Brandywine Valley. Throughout the year, themed teas will be offered such as Downton Abbey Tea, Patriotic Tea, Halloween Tea and Nutcracker Tea. The walls of the Christina Room are adorned with a nationally recognized art collection showcasing original paintings by three generations of Wyeth. (Typically, high tea is held in the Green Room with large groups accommodated in the Christina Room or a private dining room, dependent upon availability.)
Shop and dine (tax-free!) – Build up an appetite while tax-free shopping at the Christiana Mall. Enjoy an onsite group meal in a private setting at Brio’s Tuscan Grille or eat on your own and take your pick of casual or fine dining options located throughout the mall.
Grab some breakfast – Besides the Green Room and private dining rooms, visitors can enjoy the room service at Hotel du Pont or for a lighter meal to grab and go at Java Corner, a cozy onsite coffee shop offering bagels, pastries, yogurt parfaits, and egg sandwiches. (The Grill is another option but is only open M-F; an informal cafeteria-style restaurant located in the Hotel's lower level serving breakfast and lunch five days a week.)
Visit Hagley Museum and Library – Hagley Museum is where the du Pont story of their American Dream begins. Located on 235-acres along the the Brandywine River, Hagley is the site of the du Pont gunpowder works founded in 1802. Visitors will tour restored mills, a workers' community, and the ancestral home and gardens of the du Pont family. (Please note Hagley Museum opens at 9:30 a.m.)
Enjoy lunch at Hagley – Hagley Museum can arrange delicious catered meals or box lunches for tour groups.
Discover the Delaware Art Museum – Experience exquisite American Art, the magnificent works of the British Pre-Raphaelites, and a tranquil Sculpture Garden at the Delaware Art Museum. Groups can also enjoy themed visits such as “Love, Lies & Oil Paintings” and refreshments such as a Cheese or Chocolate Fondue. (Opens at 10:00 a.m.)