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Officially Season 4 of Downton hasn't started yet on PBS Masterpiece, but I must confess I've seen the whole darn thing already. I'm so excited for the Christmas special! Hopefully no deadly car crashed this year. And hopefully lots of fabulous outfits and sets and jewelry.

But what I'm really here to tell you about is that you should follow the official Downton Instagram feed here

There aren't too many posts up yet, but it's pretty yummy!

Like many I marvel at the dinner scenes, which obviously take quite a whiile to film. I just die for the stemware. How amazing to get a close-up peak at a table setting. 

...and of course the stunning teacups and saucers and spoons.

The caption doesn't say, but I wonder if this tea setting might be at Crawley House or the Dowager Countess's home, since the china pattern is different from above. I might have to rewatch to see if I can spot this set. #nerdalert.

It's full-on 1920s style in the costumes for Season 4 and the colours and beading are magnificent. I especially love how the beaded dresses catch the light. And Lady Mary dons a couple of stunning purple velvet frocks. It's fascinating to see how her wardrobe evolves as she comes out of her all-black morning. Keep an eye for it.

Another favourite part of Season 4 is how Lady Edith really blossoms. Watch for her in some truly stunning — and even sexy — ensembles. This olive green colour is so interesting and it looks fantastic on her. Love the hair ornament and her waves are perfection.

Here's another closeup vignette. No idea where this is but that painting is the bomb, as is the brass box!

And speaking of hair ornaments — hello incredible headband! And look at the mastery of her makeup: blushy cheeks and stained lips and those brows, and little else. Happy Birthday Michelle Dockery! She and her perfect eyebrows are celebrating a birthday today. In honour, I shall post my first gif -- look for the most subtle raise of the brow. Remember this: "I wouldn't want to push in."

And you can see a few more here.

And lastly, also speaking of that scene. Here's a screen cap of a wide shot:

Check out that pretty little piece of furniture, which I crushed on since first laying eyes on it. 

Mr. A just go this look-a-like in over at his shop. Check it out at the Vintage Fine Objects blog. 

buddy, can you spare $49.5mil?

This, my excellent blog reading friends, can be yours or mine for the cool listing price of $49.5million. It is the extraordinary Water Mill, NY house of Nine West founders and gajillionaires Vince and Louise Camuto. Despite it's insane size (22,000 sq ft) I find it to be a total dream. The interiors are by Louise Camuto and Carol Egan. Nicely done. The house has heaps of grandeur yet still manages to look relaxed and inviting — that's no mean feat.

Enjoy this tour...

Super dreamy kitchen!

Just take a gander at the detail of the edge profile of the marble counters...amaze.

Blueberry waffles and mimosas anyone?

A little bit of Canada representin' in the media room as the sofas are by our very own Montauk sofa (don't be fooled by the New Yorky name, Montauk is Canuck).

The formal dining room has a decidedly Gustavian feel, perhaps because the lady of the manor is an ex-Miss Sweden. Also, masterful photo styling here by Howard Christian - hat tip to you, sir. That tree branch in the background...makes the shot.

Aaaaaaaah. Cashmere robe, a must.

oh. my. heart.

The story of the full renovation was published in the July 2013 issue of Architectural Digest, with these stunning photos by Scott Frances and styling by the aforementioned Mr. Christian.

Check out more deets on the real estate listing at Curbed Hamptons and Sotheby's 

PS, this marks my return to the blog...I hope.

skyfall date night

Mr. A and I enjoyed a fun date night to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. It was a date of the classic dinner-and-a-movie variety. Dinner: Lovely atmosphere, killer glass of big red, but the pizza? Meh. I believe Queen Margherita pizza to be a victim of too much hype. Didn't live up. Mr. A agrees.

Then it was onto the next item on the night's agenda: Bond, James Bond. Skyfall, I assure you, lives up to the hype. It's fantastic fun. Here is my small tribute to some of the details that made it for me.

First, the star of the movie...Mr. Craig? No. That suit. Yes! God bless Tom Ford for that dinner suit. First of all it's midnight blue rather than black -- a stroke of genius on the blue-eyed Mr. Craig. Skinny fit, silk shawl lapel, piqué shirt (the texture of the shirt cloth reads beautifully on the closeups on the big screen). Some people appreciate the big screen for the sound, the special effects yada yada. Me, I relish how it reveals the fabric of a tuxedo shirt.

This is the real moment of glory for that tux. Choreographed like a fashion runway presentation. Methinks the Tom Ford team might have had a hand in that...ps remember how we first saw Mr. C in the suit in this vid (ah, bless):

Generally Bond women are clad in all sorts of trampy nonsense. So this was a refreshing sight. Silk blouse, camel belt, pencil skirt, and done. Beautiful and sexy and tasteful. This is Naomie Harris. 

If you ask me the J. Crew No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Dark Poppy is a dead ringer. 

The carpets in the market in Turkey: to die for! It's so hard to browse the merch when there's a motorcycle chase scene in he way. Oh well. Still, keep your eyes peeled. 

And please join me to appreciate Judi Dench as M. The character is as icy and powerful as they come. It's so brilliant to have an older woman in this part. I just love Judi Dench - weirdly, she kind of reminds me of my Mom (who I assure you is not the least icy). It's the stature, short white hair, kind eyes (even when she's playing a cool character, Dame Judi cannot erase the softness and kindness of her eyes). Also, the role I most associate her with is Iris Murdoch, in the biopic Iris. It was a heart-wrenching movie about a brilliant mind destroyed by the ravages of dementia. In real life, Dame Judi is losing her sight to macular degeneration, my Mom is too. My Mom is also an M - Margaret Bernadette. This Bond pic is a great one for Judi Dench and for M. 

Can you spot that little dude on M's desk?

You also might know I have a thing for bulldogs. Sure, my main occupation is with the French variety, but I pretty much love all the smooshy faced K9s. And I've been known to display a bulldog figurine or two...This dude is named Jack and he's made by the good people at Royal Doulton. I'll include the link, but don't bother, they are sold out, of course.

This is the new blood. He's all Jimmy-from-Quadrophenia-meets-Matthew Broderick-from-War Games and I think he's a doll. He also happens to drink Earl Grey tea and play Scrabble...This is Ben Whishaw.

A Black Watch tartan blanket plays a supporting role alongside, or on the lap of, M. Love it. Already own it.

...And then there's this. Aanother killer stone house, Duntrune Castle (known as Skyfall in the movie), dropped in front of my eyes - and this one nestled in the misty rolling hills of Scotland. Gorgeous.

I'm pretty sure there's a law in Britain that everyone must own a Barbour coat. Bond's Barbour fits just as snuggly as his dinner suit jacket. Perfect.