An inspiring story of triumph and loss, love and laughter
Born into the servant class, Louisa Leyton rises from the scullery to become the best chef in Edwardian London and manager of the most elegant -- and discreet -- hotel in town. She learns the rules of high society from powerful men captivated by her beauty, but she never sheds her Cockney accent or attitude. Even in the throes of World War I, Louisa proves she can take whatever life dishes out and remain in a class all her own.
Based on the true story of Rosa Lewis, a culinary genius and owner of Londons venerable Cavendish Hotel, this acclaimed BBC series dramatizes the life of an indomitable woman in stories full of humor and heart. Created by John Hawkesworth (Upstairs, Downstairs) and starring Gemma Jones (Bridget Joness Diary, Sense and Sensibility) as Louisa and Christopher Cazenove (A Knights Tale, TVs Dynasty) as Charlie, the dashing love of her life.
As seen on Masterpiece Theatre
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE a biography of Rosa Lewis, Edwardian period background, photo gallery, and cast filmographies.
From the golden age of Masterpiece Theatre comes this beloved 1976 British miniseries by the creators of Upstairs, Downstairs. Gemma Jones gives a performance for the ages in this rags-to-riches saga that charts the ascendancy of the indomitable Louisa Trotter, who rose from scullery maid to become "the finest cook in London" and Edwardian society's premier hostess. Inspired by the true story of Rosa Lewis, who held court at her renowned Cavendish Hotel, The Duchess of Duke Street is the video equivalent of a good read. Immerse yourself in this lavishly mounted BBC production that impeccably re-creates a bygone era at the turn of the century and captivates viewers with the tragedies and triumphs of Louisa's story, which includes an ill-fated affair with the Prince of Wales, an unhappy marriage, and struggles with bankruptcy and ill health. But Louisa, Cockney accent intact, prevails as the reigning mistress of Hotel Bentinck. --Donald Liebenson
For devotees left hungry for more at the conclusion of The Duchess of Duke Street, Gemma Jones re-creates her signature role as the indomitable Louisa Trotter, the former scullery maid who left her mark on turn-of-the-century England as "the finest cook in London" and the reigning mistress of Hotel Bentinck, in the second set of this series. As her own mother remarks, Louisa "has done very well. She's moved up in the world." The Bentinck is no Fawlty Towers. Louisa, based on the real-life Rosa Lewis, the proprietor of the fashionable Cavendish Hotel, presides over her domain with a stiff-backed iron rule. She is, as one of her staff remarks, "a tough customer ... a woman with spirit." Throughout these 16 episodes, packaged in six volumes, both she and her employees will be severely tested. Louisa's troublemaking brother inspires mutiny among the devoted staff, and Louisa is besieged by mysterious love letters. Darkening the horizon is the deepening shadow of World War I. This long-sought sequel to one of Masterpiece Theatre's finest hours boasts the same impeccable production values and peerless ensemble acting. Make your reservation. --Donald Liebenson