Arts & Entertainment

Hetfield House's Annual Themed Dinner Satisfies Fans of Downton Abbey

Credits: Linda Condrillo
Volunteer Jason Pastore Credits: Linda Condrillo
Fresh floral arrangements adorned side tables with silver trays and tea sets for the evening. Alice Cowell and Ethel Ward (l to r) Credits: Linda Condrillo
Credits: Linda Condrillo
Sandy Vandermeer, Jim Toner, Diane Kontra, Jamie Kontra, Kathy McGlew, Carol Clark, Donna Klein, Ethel Ward, George Urban, Alice Cowell, Scott Daniels, Jason Pastore and Carol Goggi. Credits: Linda Condrillo
Sumptuous appetizers satisfied guests of the Downton Abbey inspired dinner. Credits: Linda Condrillo
"Lord Jamie" and "Lady Diane" Kontra of Mountainsde welcome guests to "Hetfield Manor." Credits: Linda Condrillo
(l to r) George Urban and Scott Daniels of Mountainside are always ready to lend a helping hand. Credits: Linda Condrillo
Credits: Linda Condrillo
Credits: Linda Condrillo
Longtime volunteer and Mountainside resident Carol Clark prepares for the guests' arrival. Credits: Linda Condrillo
George Urban of Mountainside Credits: Linda Condrillo
Surprise gifts were awarded to the winners of the Downton Abbey Trivia Contest. Credits: Linda Condrillo
Jim Toner pours a drink for guest James Chaleff of Cranford, while other guests mingle before being seated. Credits: Linda Condrillo
Westfielders (l to r) Jeanie and Richard Pelikan with friends Beth and Warren Hanscom enjoyed stepping out in style for the evening. Credits: Linda Condrillo
(l to r) James and Candice Chaleff of Cranford with Diane Kontra and Jason Pastore of Mountainside. Credits: Linda Condrillo
Three generations of ladies at the Hetfield House included (l to r) Jean Murdoch of Brooklyn, sister Janice Koszowski of Mountainside, their Mom Ann Corr of Brooklyn, and Nicole Koszowski. Credits: Linda Condrillo
Jason Pastore and Scott Daniels, on duty! Credits: Linda Condrillo
Guests begin to arrive at the Hetfield House enjoy a Pimm's Punch reception. Credits: Linda Condrillo
(l to r) Todd Evans, Jeffery Moran and Alice Cowell of Mountainside enjoy a Pimm's Punch reception, before the formal dinner. Credits: Linda Condrillo
Aside from the above average temps, there was plenty of heat in the kitchen, even without a roaring fire. (l to r) Sandy Vandermeer, Carol Clark and Carol Goggi. Credits: Linda Condrillo
Some of the lovely things you'll see displayed around the Hetfield House. Credits: Linda Condrillo
Boris and Isabella Galinsky of Summit enjoyed their first visit to the Hetfield House. Credits: Linda Condrillo
Santa incognito: George Urban of Mountainside, a fixture at the Hetfield House during Christmastime, serves the first course of Butternut Squash Soup. Credits: Linda Condrillo
Credits: Linda Condrillo
Credits: Linda Condrillo
Credits: Linda Condrillo
Credits: Linda Condrillo
A behind the scenes look in the kitchen of "Hetfield Manor". Credits: Linda Condrillo
A game of Downton Abbey Trivia completed the evening. Credits: Linda Condrillo

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ - The Deacon Andrew Hetfield House was transformed into Highclere Castle on Friday evening, as fans of Downton Abbey dined on sumptuous courses prepared and served by members of the Mountainside Restoration Committee

This year’s annual themed dinner fundraiser was inspired by the popular television series, which to the delight of their audience, featured a generous portion of antics, many of which centered around the cooking and serving of elaborate meals.

At the door of “Hetfield Manor,” Mountainside residents “Lady Diane” and husband “Lord Jamie” Kontra greeted nearly twenty guests most of whom dressed for the occasion in Edwardian-era fashion.  The event attracted residents from the Borough, as well as Westfield, Cranford, Summit, and two from as far away as Brooklyn, NY.

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The local volunteers who cheerfully played out their respective roles as butlers and kitchen maids included Jason Pastore, George Urban, Jim Toner, Scott Daniels, Sandy Vandermeer, Carol Goggi, Carol Clark, Ethel Ward, and Donna Klein.  Alice Cowell and Kathy McGlew did double duty, helping in the kitchen and taking part in the festivities, which also included a Downton Abbey trivia contest. 

Many of the volunteers went so far as to loan white table cloths, candelabras, fine china, crystal and sterling silverware to ensure the place settings were authentic. According to Kathy McGlew, several dishes on the menu were from the Unofficial Downton  Abbey Cookbook (currently free on Kindle), and the blog

While  the familiar theme song ("Did I Make The Most of Loving You?") played softly in the background throughout the night, the staff ensured the entire program ran like clockwork.  And keeping true to the series, if there were mishaps or a frenzy in the kitchen, not one of the guests was made aware of any. 

Carol Goggi noted that proceeds from the event will fund improvements for Mountainside's newest historic property, The Levi Cory House, currently still under renovation.

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