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The Duchess of Duke Street 2 Seasons

Season 1
4.4 out of 5 stars (3,469) IMDb 8.5/10

A drama based on the life of Rosa Lewis of the Cavendish Hotel. Louisa Trotter begins as an assistant cook, becomes Edward VII's mistress and then owner of a fashionable London hotel.

Starring:
Gemma Jones, Victoria Plucknett

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Season 1
1. The Duchess of Duke Street Episode #1.1

At the turn of the twentieth century, Louisa Leyton applies for a post as a cook under Monsieur Alex, a leading chef, in a fashionable house. She proves an apt pupil and successfully deputizes for him at a dinner at which an important personage is present.

TV-PG CC Runtime: 51 minutes Release date: September 3, 1976
2. The Duchess of Duke Street Episode #1.2

Louisa's success as a cook has brought her to the notice of the Prince of Wales and of society. Lord Henry Norton's butler, Augustus Trotter, is also very attracted to her and Louisa is approached from all quarters by potential suitors.

TV-PG CC Runtime: 51 minutes Release date: September 10, 1976
3. The Duchess of Duke Street Episode #1.3

Queen Victoria dies and Edward VII becomes King. Louisa's life changes its pattern. She is much in demand as a society cook and builds up a flourishing business. Augustus is not so lucky and she looks around for a means of getting him employment.

TV-PG CC Runtime: 51 minutes Release date: September 17, 1976
4. The Duchess of Duke Street Episode #1.4

Louisa has thrown her husband, Augustus, and his overbearing sister out of the Bentinck and is determined to settle the hotel's enormous debts without help from anyone.

TV-PG CC Runtime: 52 minutes Release date: September 24, 1976
5. The Duchess of Duke Street Episode #1.5

By the spring of 1902, Louisa's hotel has become the toast of London and she herself is the vital spark which fires the heart of society. Her food is exquisite, her wine superb, and her personality can be matched by none. But can this state of affairs last forever?

TV-PG CC Runtime: 52 minutes Release date: October 1, 1976
6. The Duchess of Duke Street Episode #1.6

The summer of 1904 sees the Bentinck full of visitors. Louisa is delighted with her first rich American guest. She is less delighted when she finds that the three parties are becoming involved with each other in a way that borders on the criminal.

TV-PG CC Runtime: 51 minutes Release date: October 8, 1976
7. The Duchess of Duke Street Episode #1.7

In October 1905 George Duggan, a rising star in the Liberal Party, sweeps to victory. His charm and sincerity seem unquestionable until he meets a beautiful woman at a party in Louisa's hotel.

TV-PG CC Runtime: 52 minutes Release date: October 15, 1976
8. The Duchess of Duke Street Episode #1.8

The Bentinck�۪s hall porter and his dog Fred have become valued members of Louisa�۪s staff and the fact that is little known about Starr�۪s past doesn�۪t seem to trouble anyone. Then one day he receives a visitor��_

TV-PG CC Runtime: 51 minutes Release date: October 22, 1976
9. The Duchess of Duke Street Episode #1.9

Charlie Tyrrell has become disillusioned with his new lifestyle as Lord Haslemere and is beginning to feel rather sorry for himself. However, a guest at the Bentinck brings Charlie to his senses with a horrifying revelation.

TV-PG CC Runtime: 51 minutes Release date: October 29, 1976
10. The Duchess of Duke Street Episode #1.10

Every year at the Bentinck, Louisa gives a Servants' Ball where the guests wait upon the staff and usually the evening is a great success. However, on this occasion, a seemingly personable young man decides to cause trouble...

TV-PG CC Runtime: 51 minutes Release date: November 5, 1976
11. The Duchess of Duke Street Episode #1.11

Louisa is furious to learn that her landlords would like to terminate the lease and are looking for a breach of it on her part. So far there is none, but life at the Bentinck is never dull and seldom free of trouble��_

TV-PG CC Runtime: 51 minutes Release date: November 12, 1976
12. The Duchess of Duke Street Episode #1.12

Major Sir John Farjeon, an old friend of Louisa's, begs her to cook a special dinner on the last night of Royal Ascot. She agrees, but what should have been a gourmet's delight becomes the melting pot for an unpleasant scandal...

TV-PG CC Runtime: 51 minutes Release date: November 19, 1976
13. The Duchess of Duke Street Episode #1.13

One evening a young lady arrives and asks for Lord Haslemere. There is some mystery and Louisa tries to unravel it and discovers why she wants to stay at the Bentinck.

TV-PG CC Runtime: 51 minutes Release date: November 26, 1976
14. The Duchess of Duke Street Episode #1.14

Louisa decides to buy a seaside cottage where she and her friends can relax. Unfortunately her new neighbors, an exclusive Sailing Club, have objections. There is no plain sailing for anyone.

TV-PG CC Runtime: 51 minutes Release date: December 3, 1976
15. The Duchess of Duke Street Episode #1.15

Charlie Haslemere decides that it is time he married and settled down! Louisa approves of his choice, but an old flame of Charlie's feels that she has a prior claim.

TV-PG CC Runtime: 54 minutes Release date: December 10, 1976

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Produced and co-written by John Hawkesworth (best known for his role as producer and co-writer of Upstairs Downstairs), The Duchess of Duke Street (which was produced between 1978 and 1980) tells the story of Louisa Leyton Trotter, a young Cockney woman from a working-class background with aspirations of becoming the finest cook in London. The series open in 1900, with Louisa landing a job as a cooking assistant to one of London's finest chefs. It's the chance of a lifetime for her, but her outspokenness threatens to be her downfall.

Nevertheless, she indeed rises to become a first-rate and much-sought-after cook and the proprietor of London's exclusive and very expensive Bentinck Hotel on Duke Street. Louisa owes much to Bertie, the Prince of Wales, with whom she has a brief affair. But she owes the bulk of her success to her own hard work and determination. The series spans some 30 years, throughout which we are privy to everything the hotel has to offer--from encounters involving aristocrats to the personal problems of the servants. Of course, it is Louisa's life that is at the forefront, and she must make some tough choices as she deals with crises of her own at both a professional and a personal level.

A feisty and independent young woman, Louisa is more than capable of taking care of herself, and she's played to absolute perfection by Gemma Jones. So convincing is she as Louisa Trotter that it's impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. As a point of interest, the character was based on a real-life individual named Rosa Lewis, a mistress of the Prince of Wales who set up a London hotel called the Cavendish. She died in 1952 and was personally known to John Hawkesworth.

Louisa is joined by a motley group at the hotel. The oldest servant, a butler named Mr.
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Format: DVD
After I spied this series on my local library's shelves & saw that it was about a female aspiring chef set in 1900-1910 London, I scooped up all the volumes.
This series really surprised me: It has strong writing and attention to setting. Louisa Trotter is a outspoken, cockney chef who works her way up in her profession and British society with lots of elbow grease, an understanding of human nature, and some luck. Gemma Jones is great as Louisa Trotter and the supporting cast is very solid as well.
I wasn't sure at first if this series was a miniseries or a TV series (It's TV), but it is rather Dickensian in that each episode builds on the previous. And I can pay a series no higher complement than to say that the conflict resolutions are neither trite nor perfunctory. Many allusions to historically accurate events, politicians, and contemporary culture are weaved into the storylines. I feel that I learned more about English classism and social mores from the "Duchess" & the Bentinck Hotel than from my semester abroad in London.
If you like period drama (and comedy) & strong, nuanced heroines with many battles to fight, then you will like "The Duchess of Duke Street." This series stands the test of time. My only complaint is that I did not learn much about the culinary arts, but the writing is so above standard that my complaint is rendered inconsequential.
Although this series began filming in 1976 the production values make it difficult to place. The Duchess of Duke Street is comparable in quality to BBC's 1979 Pride and Prejudice.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"The Duchess of Duke Street" is the first series I remember watching on Masterpiece Theater, on PBS. Considering I was 8 or 9 at the time it aired, I think that's pretty fantastic. My mom and step-dad regularly watched programs on PBS, but nothing up to that point interested me. Perhaps it was the budding Anglophile which drew me to the series. I think a large part of what kept me interested was the strong performance by Gemma Jones as Louisa Trotter, a woman in Victorian England, who works very hard to make a living, dealing with many difficulties as she builds an exclusive hotel from the ground up.

The series, originally shown in 1976, was recently released on DVD and it is a welcome addition. Involving stories, great acting, attention to period detail and a story spanning decades helped to create one of the most memorable British television series ever. Watching it again on DVD, I was struck by a number of things. The first is the series is very long. Long for British Television. When the creator of a British television series goes to work, they generally create 6 or 8, maybe 10, infrequently as many as 12 episodes at a time. Each time they go in front of the cameras, they are creating a new "Series"; British shows are measured in terms of series, some add new series every year, some do a couple of series, take some time off and then return a few years later, presumably after some fresh inspiration. Some shows, like "Fawlty Towers" run for 12 episodes and that's it. So watching "The Duchess of Duke Street" again, I was struck that the series includes 31 episodes, more than a traditional "season" on U. S. television. Also, they only did one series. Perhaps Gemma Jones was exhausted.

The series begins with Louisa interviewing with a famous French chef in a large household.
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