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Sharing Valentine’s Themed Tea Party on National TV

From blogging in my home office to appearing on National TV, never underestimate the power of Downton Abbey. Downton’s fan base extends from teenagers to gushing celebrities. I have always said that food brings people together. When fans include TV hosts, amazing things can happen.

I was blessed to have appeared on Valentine’s Day on CanadaAM, Canada’s beloved national morning show. For 40 years, CanadaAM has come into homes across the country, and I have been a devoted fan since the beginning. I was over the moon when producers invited me to visit and share my passion for recreating delicious Downton Abbey recipes.

Downton Abbey has captured the hearts of millions with its magnificent early 20th-century British drama. My blog features recipes inspired by the show’s lavish meals and quaint working-class dishes. I never imagined my nostalgic recipes would capture the interest of a national TV show!

Prepping for the Big Day

While appearing on a national TV show was a thrill, it required extensive preparation! For weeks ahead of my segment, I tested and prepared authentically intricate Downton Abbey recipes to show on air.  I wanted to showcase dishes that the upstairs aristocratic Crawley family would be served at a lavish Valentine’s Day tea.

The extensive menu required over 40 hours of cooking, prepping and decorating to prepare a proper Valentine’s Day Downton Afternoon Tea. It was a labour of love, but the positive reaction from passionate Downton fans during the segment made all those hours of hard work worthwhile. My demonstration embodied the range of sweets and savouries that can be made for your loved ones for Valentine’s Day.

The Big Day Arrived

The early morning call time for a national breakfast show proved a bit of a challenge! I set my alarm for 4 am to arrive at the studio with enough time to prepare for the 7:30 am broadcast. Those pre-dawn hours felt surreal as I carefully loaded my finished recipes into the car, picked up my sister-in-law and friend who prepared the lovely teapot cake and drove the empty streets into the city.

After checking in at the security desk, we were escorted to the backstage studio and received a trolley to display the dishes. We realized it gets wheeled on camera in front of a wall representing a kitchen.  One of the mysteries of television has been revealed. The other illuminating feature was that the whole studio is contained in one room, with backdrops for each of the different segments spread around the room.

The thoughtful producers put me at ease when I arrived at the studio. We discussed my favourite characters, storylines and dishes. The hosts were delightful, asking thoughtful questions and even sampling the recipes on air.

The best part of my experience was the makeup and green room, where they made me feel like a queen. The hosts guided me through the final preshow run-through until the cameras went live at 6:00 am sharp. As the trademark opening music played, I watched the show from the green room, patiently waiting my turn. I was delighted at the opportunity to welcome CanadaAM fans into the world of Downton Abbey cuisine. Although the early call time was a small price, it was worth it for such a memorable experience.  The best part was that once the cameras turned off all the crew descended on the table and tucked in on all the treats. Nothing is more satisfying than happy eating!

What Happened Next

Appearing on television requires stepping outside your comfort zone. When the camera lights flickered on, I was nervous about presenting my recipes to the nation! But the genuine support of the passionate hosts gave me courage. I had a blast sharing my knowledge and engaging with fans live.

The response to my CanadaAM appearance was overwhelming. My site traffic surged, and I connected with Downton fans across Canada. It will always be a career highlight, and a dream realized. I am endlessly grateful for shows like CanadaAM that bring joy and community to so many people. Food and shows like Downton Abbey have a magical way of connecting us across generations and backgrounds.

If someone had told me as I wrote my first blog posts in my small home office that I would appear on national television – I would never have believed it! But never underestimate the power of beloved shows to unite fans. Always take a chance to follow your dreams. With passion and perseverance, support will rise in unexpected places. I cannot wait for the next opportunity to share my love of food, community and Downton Abbey.

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