10Best Ways to Experience England Like a Modern Day Crawley

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    The Crawley Family

    Oh, how we love PBS's Downton Abbey and yearn to be adopted by the Crawley family. Until that happens, though, we've figured out how to travel around England just like we imagine they would -- in grand style.

    Photo courtesy of Carnival Film & Television

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    Air New Zealand Business Premier

    You certainly wouldn't find the Dowager Countess holding court in some middle seat in Economy. Air New Zealand's Business Premier cabin offers flat beds that enable you to arrive "London ready," and personal service that rivals that of Mr. Carson. In fact, you get a whole staff making sure you're well-fed and comfortable. Traveling non-stop from LAX to Heathrow without feeling jet-lagged is a traveler's most coveted luxury. 

    Photo courtesy of Air New Zealand

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    The Apartment at the Connaught Hotel

    It's hard to beat Highclere Castle when it comes to accommodations but the Apartment at the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair comes close. This penthouse suite includes 24-hour butler service, a wraparound balcony and panoramic views. If you reserve the entire floor, the stunning space transforms to a nine-bedroom suite.

    Photo courtesy of Maybourne Hotel Group

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    Harrod's Legendary Department Store

    Having suffered her own tragic loss, Lady Mary would want to take a moment to commemorate the love between Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed, represented by this shrine in the basement of Harrods, the most famous - and possibly most luxurious - department store in the world. She might then meet with a Personal Shopper to select a couture gown or piece of bespoke luggage to carry home all her sorrow-drowning purchases.

    Photo courtesy of Lois Alter Mark

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    Pret-A-Portea at The Berkeley Hotel

    Afternoon tea is an English staple but who says it has to be stuffy? Fun-loving young Lady Rose would be all over the delightful Pret-a-Portea at the Berkeley Hotel, where pastries are inspired by the runway's most sophisticated and chic styles, and include Christian Louboutin’s Pigalle Spike heel biscuit and this chocolate Miu Miu exotic-skin tote bag. The menu changes along with the fashion season.

    Photo courtesy of Lois Alter Mark

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    Persephone Books

    There's so much culture in London but rather than visit a museum, Edith is most likely to want to spend the afternoon at Persephone Books in Bloomsbury. This tiny, painstakingly-curated collection consists of reprints of forgotten works by 20th century women writers - one of which she may still become. The 107 titles come in Persephone's signature grey jacket and feature gorgeous endpapers inspired by fabrics of the time. They make a great addition to any personal library.

    Photo courtesy of Helene Cohen Bludman

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    Kensington Palace

    Kensington Palace is one of the most popular attractions in London and the one Lady Mary may have had her eye on. Not only is it full of royal history and fashion (be sure to check out the lovely Princess exhibit) but can't you see Mary and Kate becoming BFFs and arranging play dates for the two little Georges? And just imagine if Princess Kate introduced Mary to her bachelor brother-in-law ...

    Photo courtesy of Royal Historic Palaces

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    Neal's Yard Remedies

    To stay in step with her daughters, Cora might want to stop in at Neal's Yard Remedies to pick up a jar of their bestselling Frankincense Intense, an age-defying cream that's one of the company's top products. Their flagship store in Covent Garden is posh but charming and is filled with natural concoctions that keep skin dewy and encourage that English Rose complexion we all covet. 

    Photo courtesy of Neal's Yard Remedies

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    Fera at Claridge's Hotel

    Dinner at Fera at Claridge's Hotel is one of the most memorable meals you'll ever experience. Chef Simon Rogan's tasting menu -- an eclectic array of more than a dozen innovative, unique and utterly delicious courses -- is fit for a king. Or a Crawley. The presentation is breathtaking, and the combinations are so unexpected and flavorful, even Lord Grantham would agree this meal is absolutely worth the splurge.

    Photo courtesy of Lois Alter Mark

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    Highclere Castle

    If you really want to see how the Crawleys -- and the real-life Earl and Countess of Carnarvon -- live, a visit to Highclere Castle is a must. Here's where the show is filmed, and, despite the splendor, it will all feel comfortably familiar as you peek into Mary's bedroom, envision the family around the dining room table and walk leisurely around the 5000 magnificent acres. As you gasp at the first glimpse of the Crawleys' home sweet home, all that's missing is that iconic wagging tail.

    Photo courtesy of Lois Alter Mark

About Lois Alter Mark

When she's not traveling around the world - and even when she is - Lois blogs at Midlife at the Oasis. An empty nester, she can now be found surrounded by elephants in Africa rather than little kids in the school drop-off lane.   The reigning champion of Blogger Idol, she is the winner of three BlogHer Voices of the Year Awards and was named Humor Writer of the Month by Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop. A former New Yorker, Lois now lives in San Diego where she's turned into a weather wimp and is still searching for a good slice of pizza. 

Read more about Lois Alter Mark here.

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