I won this in a GR giveaway for my mother. She loves anything Victorian. I'm a lot like her, I love Victorian items, themes, and programing as well. I haven't actually watched a single episode of Downton Abbey, but hoped that this cookbook would inspired me to start because I'm not really one for watching TV shows once I'm behind everyone else. I expected to see mostly dishes from the series with an occasional extra traditional Victorian recipes thrown in. Unfortunately this wasn't the case at all.
Baines doesn't appear to have many recipes from the actual tv show. Rather, she says a lot of "*Downton Abbey character* might like this". On a few occasions she even goes out of the era entirely and travels as far as the 1950s. If I were a fan of the series this would irritate me to no end. Almost every recipe has a tidbit of information about traditions and etiquette accustom to the Victorian era. She always finds a way to seek in a little bit of information from the show as well. It was enough to whet my appetite for more of the series. I'm currently in the process of finding a site that I can watch episodes for free.
All in all I feel like this failed a little as a cookbook and would have been better as a "World of Downton Abbey" book with a FEW recipes thrown in. Instead of recipes being the main focus, manners, customs, etiquette, and dress would take center stage. In my opinion that would have made for a far better book.