My talented friend Holly Holden has launched an incredible new Public Television program, You Are Cordially Invited, and she invites you to explore masterpiece homes as her guest. First up… England’s renowned Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey) and Blenheim Palace! Each 30-minute episode allows viewers to stroll the gardens, discover a folly on horseback or a secret door, walk the distinctive halls, and sip tea in the Music Room.
Drawing on over 25 years of experience as a professional designer of classic, high-end interiors, Holly will select examples within each house to demonstrate fundamental aspects of classic interior design while sharing her personal secrets for creating rooms of distinction. Viewers will learn interior design tips that are applicable to cottages and castles and everything in between! Additionally, she will chat with the hosts of each residence to learn firsthand what it is like to live in, maintain and entertain within these magnificent country houses.
Highclere Castle is perhaps best known as the filming location of the television series Downton Abbey, though the castle is an architectural landmark in its own right. Highclere presides over more than 1,000 acres of manicured parkland designed by renowned landscape architect Capability Brown. Holly is joined by Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the Eighth Countess of Carnarvon, a best-selling author, seasoned hostess, and chatelaine of Highclere. Holly and Lady Carnarvon explore the extensive grounds on horseback before returning to the castle for afternoon tea. This captivating episode focuses on the design of the castle and how it is used for entertaining. A video preview may be viewed here and here.
Blenheim Palace is a privately owned palace in England, and its private apartments have never before been shown on television. Blenheim was the birthplace of Winston Churchill. It is an important national monument in England and the home of the Twelfth Duke of Marlborough. Holly is joined by Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, a world-renowned interior designer, the author of twelve interior design books, and the proprietor of two interior design shops. Lady Henrietta’s father was the Eleventh Duke of Marlborough and she spent time living at Blenheim when she was a child. Holly and Lady Henrietta discuss how, despite Blenheim’s massive size, its interior design makes it feel warm and inviting. Video previews may be viewed here and here.
Like a trip to the museum, You Are Cordially Invited endeavors to be a source of inspiration and education, transporting viewers to a world of stunning excellence and polite, dignified charm.
PBS will air You Are Cordially Invited across the U.S. beginning February 11 through June 2018. Click here to view the schedule. If you do not see your city listed, please check back as new programming information will be posted as it becomes available. PBS will also be offering the episodes on DVD. Additional information will be posted online via You Are Cordially Invited.
For more of Holly’s expertise, I highly recommend her Classic Design YouTube channel and her book, The Pretty and Proper Living Room, which I reviewed here. I have also featured Holly here, here, and here. For daily inspiration and continual updates on You Are Cordially Invited, please follow Holly via Instagram. More fabulous episodes will be announced soon!