Feast at a Downton-Inspired Picnic in Lincoln

The event, hosted by Hearthside House, also features a faux foxhunt.

Photo courtesy of Hearthside House.

A few days after I’d written about a family picnic at Chase Farm, I got a call from Kathy Hartley.

Hartley, whose family owned Chase Farm and serves as president of the nearby Hearthside House Museum, enjoyed that I compared our humble outing to the formal picnics of the turn of the century. (According to Hartley, dog walkers are more prevalent in the park than picnickers these days.) I’ve fallen down the “Downton Abbey” foxhole lately — thanks, Amazon Prime — and referenced the show in the story.

Turns out, Hearthside is hosting a Downton Abbey Foxhunt Luncheon on June 11, not far from the spot where I picnicked with my family. Tickets include a full luncheon beneath a tent — think: roasted turkey and ham, lots of side dishes and sweets — for $45. Museum volunteers will dress in period-inspired attire, and guests are encouraged to wear their best day dresses, too. (Inspiration here and here and here.)

The event also features a lecture and a foxhunt demonstration, complete with mounted men in red coats and a handful of hounds. Members of the Tanheath Hunt Club will organize the hunt.

“They’ll put the scent out there and the hounds will track it,” says Hartley, noting that real foxes are not involved in the hunting demonstration, only enough scent to trigger the hounds.

The public is also invited to watch the foxhunt for free from various vantage points throughout the park.

And a note to all modern-day dog-walkers: On June 11, at least for a few hours, the park is just for picnickers. Dogs will be admitted after the event concludes.

Downton Abbey Foxhunt Luncheon Details: June 11. 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Rain or shine. Luncheon $45. Foxhunt is free. Chase Farm, 677 Great Rd., Lincoln. For tickets, call 401-726-0597 or email info@hearthsidehouse.org.

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