How can we carry on now that Downton Abbey is off our screens until the autumn? I have found some solace in the Past Times sale, which is offering a range of official Downton Abbey soft furnishings. The mugs and cushions are emblazoned with the waspy and witty remarks of the Dowager Countess of Grantham, the star of the series. I bought four cushions (two smaller-sized and the other two large) and they are a big hit. Firm, full-bodied and with high quality needlework, they stand up to everyday use without any problems. Their design is also a delightful mix of retro and modern: while their style and stitching is very contemporary in feel and will no doubt look at home in a modern household, the mottoes they proclaim are the relics of a bygone era. It’s like having a bit of Downton Abbey in the sitting room all year round, but without the stress of having the Dowager Countess herself present in person.