Mrs. Trotter, born Louisa Leyton, has already proven that she can take whatever life dishes out and remain in a class all her own. Having made her reputation as the best cook in London and proprietress of the city?s most e... more »legant and discreet hotel, Louisa now faces even bigger challenges. When World War I breaks out, she opens the Bentinck?s doors to soldiers but never cashes their checks. Driven almost to ruin and facing unbearable loss, she survives to usher in the giddy post-war age. Based on the true story of Rosa Lewis, a culinary genius and owner of London?s 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 Jones?s Diary, Sense and Sensibility) as Louisa, and Christopher Cazenove (A Knight?s Tale, TV?s Dynasty) as Charlie, the dashing love of her life. As seen on Masterpiece Theatre.« less
From the mind of John Hawkesworth, the man behind the original, highly acclaimed "Upstairs, Downstairs". Based on a true story. I remember watching this the first time on VHS. Have been through it 3 times now, and often brought others along for the ride. You'll never want to stop hanging around this bunch of characters, they are so golden. And you'll miss them when they're gone. Louisa is played by Gemma Jones, who was the perfect pick for the central role. This is a woman who stays true to herself and kicks the work out the door every single day. Really impressive what she gets done in the kitchen, and with such archaic methods. She falls in love later on in life and what transpires during this period will stick in your mind forever.
One to revisit
alan george | England | 03/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Excellent chance to watch again a programme that truley shows the 2 tier system of victorian england.It is remarkable the indifference shown to those consisdered to be in the poorer classes and how they were manipluted,but with Louisa Trotter there was a difference,she plays the game to her on benefit,but never dening her past.Inter woven in these video's is a remarkable love story that if it were to happen to day,the ending would have been very different.Louisa Trotter is an example of what makes a hotel/cafe/restaurant a sucess,it is not just the product,but the charactor behind it that makes the difference. I have watched this several times and the attention to detail is excellent,even down to the cooking style that is true Victorian. Enjoy,perfect for a rainy afternoon."
Dr Cathy Goodwin | Seattle, WA USA | 04/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If anything, this second series is even better than the first. You have to own the whole series to get the full effect: each time I watch, I notice something different. Series II brings home the horrors of the World War and the often tragic, often humorous byproducts of the class system. While the lower classes were used and abused, the upper classes too faced restrictions...The closing scene is near-perfect...The only downside to the series is that it's unmatched. Upstairs Downstairs (at least the first season) doesn't move as quickly and the characters seem cardboard in comparison, at least to me. Only Brideshead Revisited comes close and that's a far gloomier story."
Pamela Lindsay | 01/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While not nearly as good as the first series, it still captures you and keeps you hooked all the way through. If you're a lover of such series as Berkely Square and Upstairs Downstairs, you'll love this. It has all the elements that were major issues of the time:Class structure, expected female roles, irony, mystery and so much more. You'll watch it a dozen times!"
Lightspring2000 | Ontario, Canada | 09/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the all-time best television series ever broadcasted! It is based on the true life story of Rosa Lewis, who set out to become the best cook in England. She became the best in all of Europe!
I bought the Rosa Lewis biography book here on Amazon. The title is The Duchess of Jermyn Street. It is truly fascinating. Rosa Lewis was definitely in "a league of her own." I have never seen such a character in real life or in movies. Talk about the liberated woman- she was liberated long before her time.
Every time the doors open at the Bentinck Hotel, we have another story. It never becomes dull or slow. We also get to see just how The Prince of Wales (and most of England's royalty) can influence a commoner's life, "in more ways than one".... thought provoking. The Duchess handles every situation in life with finess, intelligence and downright gall. She was a "stright shooter". In real life as well, Rosa Lewis kept up this unusual personna.
There are some hilarious parts, especially with her family. Her mother and brother had me literally in tears. And the scenes were serious! God forbid anyone to have such biting relatives.
Gemma Jones is a wonderful actress. I totally missed her in Sense & Sensibility. She was very quiet and low-key. I couldn't believe it was her. In Bridget Jones Diary, she was again, completely different. A truly great actress.
We have viewed it with different relatives and everyone agrees on the quality of the acting, the sets, plots and storyline. Superb!
If you like The Duchess of Duke Street, you would no doubt enjoy another BBC series: THE GRAND. (Not the Grand Hotel movie of the 1930s.) It is similar, but completely different. Another hotel setting that is a family business. We have the "upstairs, downstairs" scenario again. Excellent acting, more upscale than The Duchess' hotel. Again, each time the front door opens, another story walks in. It is delicious!
The Grand comes in Series One and Series Two, 5 dvds in all. About 18 parts in all."