February 2020 restaurant inspections in Livingston County

February 2020 restaurant inspections in Livingston County

Jennifer Timar
Livingston Daily
Published 6:30 AM EST Mar 3, 2020

Of the Livingston County restaurants inspected in February 2020, priority and priority foundation violations were found at 29 locations. 

Each month, the Livingston County Health Department inspects some businesses and schools that serve food. 

The Livingston Daily publishes reports on the most serious violations — ones that could lead to contamination of food or increase the risk of transmitting a foodborne illness — as well as corrective measures taken.

Four priority violations were found at:

Hartland Sports Center

2755 Arena Drive, Hartland Township

There were three spray bottles not labeled as to their contents. The person in charge labeled the bottles properly at the time of the inspection. There was no soap at the hand sink. Soap was available upon the inspector’s return. There were no paper towels at the hand sink. A new shelf was not allowing staff to open the dispenser and refill. Upon the inspector’s return, there was a dispenser available and paper towels were stocked in the dispenser. There was no chlorine test kit available. The facility decided to use quaternary sanitizer instead.

Horseshoe Lounge

10100 W. Grand River Ave., Fowlerville

The dish machine was not dispensing the proper amount of sanitizer. It was suspected that the product was expired. A new container of sanitizer was added and proper sanitizer concentrations were restored. The hand sink in the main kitchen was soiled with food residue. Coleslaw and ranch dressing prepared on Feb. 3 were labeled with a discard date of Feb. 20. Foods that are time and temperature controlled for safety cannot be held more than seven days. A proper discard date label was attached at the time of the inspection. No detergent was being dispensed in the dish machine because the container was empty. A new detergent container was added at the time of the inspection.

RELATED: 15 most common restaurant violations in Livingston County

Three priority violations were found at:

440 W. Main Street, Brighton

A pan of cooked chicken wings was holding at 50 degrees in the grill line prep cooler. A container of coleslaw was holding at 46 degrees. Upon further investigation, other items were also holding in the 41-to-50 degree range. All refrigeration equipment was working properly. It was suspected that the food items were left out at room temperature during the prep process. Some of the items are transferred from the basement walk-in unit on rolling carts. Those items may have been sitting on the cart for an extended period of time at room temperature. A tall plastic container of grits was cooling in an ice bath. The product was placed into an ice bath approximately 20 minutes earlier and was still approximately 200 degrees. The grits were transferred to a large shallow metal pan for proper cooling. Short ribs prepared two days prior to the inspection were cooled in a deep pan. No temperature violations were confirmed, but this method will not likely ensure proper cooling. Two refillable spray bottles containing cleaning chemicals were not labeled. The bottles were labeled at the time of inspection.

An infographic shows proper temperatures food should be held at to minimize the risk of foodborne illness.
Livingston County Health Department

Great Lakes Family Restaurant

963 S. Grand Ave., Fowlerville

Home-prepared foods were being stored in the walk-in cooler. The items included several 5-gallon buckets of cut tomatoes in a vinegar solution, which were prepared by a family member. The items were removed at the time of inspection. A pie cooler was holding food at 50 degrees. Cream pies and cheesecake were discarded. The pie cooler has been taken out of service and a new unit was ordered. Cream pies are now stored in another unit. A refillable spray bottle containing a chemical degreasing solution did not have a label. Proper chemical labeling was observed upon the inspector’s return.

Jimmy John’s

1504 Lawson Drive, Howell

An employee touched the computer ordering screen while wearing food handling gloves. They returned to prep food without changing the glove. Several employees did not wash their hands before wearing new food handling gloves. Both hand sinks were blocked by equipment. One hand sink was being used to store a water pitcher for the bread-making equipment. The other hand sink contained a sanitizer bottle.  The items were removed at the time of the inspection.

8515 W. Grand River Ave., Brighton

There were multiple employees improperly washing their hands. One employee washed their hands less than the required time and proceeded to use their pants to dry their hands. Another employee washed their hands less than the required time and did not dry their hands. Multiple employees changed soiled gloves but did not wash their hands properly as there were no paper towels to be found at any of the hand sinks in the kitchen. There was shredded lettuce on the line without time stamps. There were no paper towels at either hand sink in the kitchen. An employee was sent to the store during the inspection.

Mimi’s Diner

5589 E. M-36, Pinckney

There was rice in the steam table that had been placed there about an hour and 45 minutes prior. It was at 120 degrees. The steam table should not be used to reheat foods because it takes too long. It was reheated properly to over 165 degrees in the microwave oven and placed back into the steam table. The chlorine sanitizer concentration in the dish machine was too high. It was adjusted. Foods were being improperly cooled in the walk-in cooler. Mashed potatoes and rice were in containers 6-to-8 inches deep with the plastic wrap slightly uncovered on the edge. The rice was already cold, but the potatoes had been placed there an hour and half before and were at 100 degrees. They were moved to uncovered shallow pans. Sausage patties were being cooled in a covered shallow pan and were at 67 degrees. The cover was removed so that the heat was not trapped in. 

Old Hickory Bar

7071 Bennett Lake Road, Fenton

The cooler next to the fryer was holding food at 49 degrees. Deli meat, sliced tomatoes, burger patties and dressing were discarded. Upon the inspector’s return, there were no items in the cooler at time of inspection, but the ambient air read a proper 40 degrees. The in-use knives and utensils were being switched out every shift, which is typically eight hours. The in-use utensils that are in contact with food that is time and temperature controlled for safety need to be washed, rinsed and sanitized at least every four hours. Raw beef was stored in the walk-in cooler above bottled drinks. It was moved away from ready-to-eat food.

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MORE: Brighton bakery to be featured on Home Shopping Network

Two priority violations were found at:

Jersey Giant Subs

3813 Tractor Drive, Howell

Tomatoes and lettuce had been put out at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively, but were not marked to indicate the time they were removed from the cooler and the time they must be discarded (4 hours later). They were marked during the inspection. The hand sink in the dish-washing area was blocked by buckets and a cart. They were moved.

Jets Pizza

120 W. Highland Road, Suite 800, Howell

A couple a bottles of cleaner were stored on the prep table near food. They were moved to the chemical storage room. Always store chemicals away from food and clean equipment. There were a couple spray bottles of sanitizer missing labels. They were labeled during the inspection.

Mary’s Fabulous Chicken & Fish

2429 E. Grand River Ave., Howell

A cook came into work, took an order, put food handling gloves on and made the food without washing his hands first. He washes his hands. Several onions in a bin in the walk-in cooler had white mold growth. All of the onions were discarded.

Snappers on the Water

6484 Bennett Lake Road, Fenton

There was a container of moldy food dated from December. It was discarded. There were some cans that were leaky and rusted. They were set aside to be returned.

St. John Catholic Church

2099 Hacker Road, Howell

The two-door cooler in the kitchen is holding food at 60 to 65 degrees. Sour cream, yogurt, milk and sauerkraut with sausage were discarded. There was a large pot of tomato sauce that was improperly cooled in a large container in the cooler. The cooler was broken. The sauce was at the same temperature as everything else (60 to 65 degrees). It was discarded.

Tubby’s Sub Shop

9912 E. Grand River Ave., Ste 500, Brighton

A food handler used gloves that touched raw meat to begin to assemble ready-to-eat sandwich ingredients. She was stopped and told that she must wash her hands and put a new pair of gloves on before touching ready-to eat food. She washed her hands and donned a new pair of gloves. The solution used to wipe down the cutting board contained too much chlorine. Water was added.

One priority violation was found at:

3949 W. Grand River Ave., Howell

A dicer in the cleaned dish area contained food particles. It was cleaned.

Brighton Coffeehouse and Theater

306 W. Main Street, Brighton

The automatic dish machine was calibrated for chlorine sanitizer, but the unit contained quaternary sanitizer. It resulted in sanitizer concentrations that were too weak. The quaternary sanitizer was removed and replaced with proper chlorine sanitizer. Proper sanitizer levels were restored.

Buffalo Wild Wings

9745 Village Place Blvd., Brighton

Foods in a prep cooler were holding 50 degrees in the upper compartment and 45 degrees in the lower compartment. Large metal containers of ranch and blue cheese dressings were holding at 50 degrees. The products were stored on ice, but the amount of ice was not adequate. Ranch and blue cheese dressings, cut tomatoes, cut lettuce, salsa and dairy products were discarded. Upon the inspector’s return, the cooler was repaired and a larger, taller ice bath was being used to hold dressings. 

Community Congregational U.C.C.

125 E. Unadilla Street, Pinckney

The dish machine was out of chlorine sanitizer. The container was tipped to the side to make sure that the machine was pulling the sanitizer, which it was. The bleach will be replaced before the next event.

Emagine Theater

10495 Hartland Square Road, Hartland Township

The dish machine was getting stuck in a cycle where it did not activate the hot water sanitizing cycle. It was repaired.

Hungry Howies

2560 E. Grand River Ave., Howell

An open container of grilled cooked chicken and sausage had a use-by date that had passed. It was discarded.

Jimmy John’s

750 W. Grand River Ave., Brighton

The facility uses both chlorine and quaternary sanitizers. However, only quaternary test strips were available. Chlorine test strips were purchased.

Mt. Brighton Resort

4141 Bauer Road, Brighton

No paper towels were available at the hand sink at Bruin’s Bar. Towels were provided at the time of inspection.

6995 W. Grand River Ave., Brighton

Hot dogs in a reach cooler were kept past their use-by date. They were discarded.

Stout Irish Pub

125 E. Grand River Ave., Brighton

Cooked cabbage, cooked pasta noodles and house-made pizza sauce were expired. The items were discarded.

Sunrise Family Diner

2375 E. Grand River Ave., Howell

A line cook cracked eggs, changed food handling gloves and put a new pair of gloves on before touching ready-to-eat food without washing their hands. 

Sushi Zen

114 W. Grand River Ave., Brighton

A staff member touched dirty dishes while loading them into the dish machine. He began to put clean dishes away without washing his hands.

Wendy’s

1022 S. Michigan Ave., Howell

An employee with painted fingernails was performing food-related tasks such as scooping fries without gloves on. 

Whispering Pines Golf Club

2500 Whispering Pines Drive, Pinckney

The interior of the ice machine had some mold growth. During the golf season it is routinely cleaned, but the club had not been open for a while. 

Wong Express House

9912 E. Grand River Ave., Brighton

A slicer had an accumulation of dried food on the back of the blade. It was taken apart to be cleaned. Grease accumulation was found in between and around equipment.

READ MORE LIVINGSTON COUNTY RESTAURANT INSPECTIONS:

Contact Livingston Daily reporter Jennifer Timar at 517-548-7148 or at jtimar@livingstondaily.com. Follow her on Facebook @Jennifer.Timar99 and Twitter @JenTimar99.

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Bristol’s nightlife according to brutally honest Facebook and TripAdvisor reviews – Bristol Live

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Bristol’s nightlife scene is legendary, from live gigs on-board Thekla to the award-winning Motion.

However, there’s always an interesting array of experiences when it comes to nights out and not everyone will walk away content.

Some brutally honest reviews on Facebook and TripAdvisor provide an insight into the highs and lows of partying at some of the city’s most iconic venues.

All

Motion is one of the UK’s best nightclubs in the UK and has received hundreds of positives reviews from ravers on Facebook.

However, despite being named the best large club in the UK  in December last year, not everyone agreed it was a five-star experience.

Here are some brutally honest reactions to a night out at the venue:

1. “What a venue. Sound system was crazy and vibe was nuts.”

2. “The toilets were disgusting, but the entertainment was very good.”

3. “Great venue with fabulous staff! Toilets need a bit more tlc.”

4. “Terribly crowded and ridiculously hot.”

5. “The main room was so packed and so unbearably hot it was like being in a sauna. The lasers were cool.”

6. “The bar ran out of Vodka by 8pm.”

7. “Great sound system and a really good crowd – no weirdos bumbling around.”

atmosphere

Lakota is one of the city’s most legendary venues and has attracted mostly positive reviews on both Facebook and TripAdvisor.

For some, the club is a ‘Bristol institution’ with plenty of character while others have taken issue with the sound quality and ‘grim’ toilets.

Here’s a look at what people have said:

8. “This club is a Bristol institution. If you like underground electronic music, and you like it loud and clear, this is one of the places to go to.”

9. “It’s got character. Not the cleanest of places but when you are having fun and vibing with the other goers you’ll be having the time of your life!”

10. “The sound quality was rubbish and it was far too loud. Don’t go there without ear plugs.”

11. “Cheap drinks by club standards but the toilets pretty grim at the best of times.”

12. “Waited 20 minutes for one can of Stella. Twice in the same night.”

13. “Had a better night at the Domino’s up the street.”

Awards

Not many cities can say they have a nightclub on a boat which is considered one of the country’s most iconic venues.

Thekla is well-known in Bristol as a venue for live gigs and has won multiple awards over the years.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that the majority of reviews are hugely positive – despite the occasional complaint about sticky floors.

14. “The best, and most unusual, music venue in Bristol.”

15. “Great venue, good bar, nice and sweaty too, everything a great live music venue should have.”

16. “Great little venue, so much less damp and disgusting than 30 years ago.”

17. “If you want to get started on by a fresher and listen to cheesy music and pay stupid money then here’s the club for you.”

18. “The venue had a ridiculously sticky floor, so it was absolutely impossible to jig around.”

Pryzm is one of the largest nightclubs in Bristol and hosts events featuring some of the biggest DJs.

According to its website, the club offers a combination of “excitement, atmosphere, elegance and opulence”.

Despite the mostly positive reviews, it’s fair to say not everyone agrees.

19. “Went there yesterday for comedy night. It was a huge disappointment, only laughed three times all night –  my own jokes were better.”

20. “Great music and atmosphere – great value for what you pay to get in.”

21. “My gran has more up to date carpets!”

22. “Could barely walk anywhere without being barged into.”

23. “When you go in straight away my shoes were sticking to the carpets…. why even have carpet in a club anyway?”

For the latest news in and around Bristol, visit and bookmark Bristol Live’s homepage .

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Man watching football on his phone while charging, ‘electrocuted’ to death

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Nigeria News | Laila’s Blog
Man watching football on his phone while charging, ‘electrocuted’ to death

A man who was watching a football match on his mobile phone while it was charging was “eletrocuted by the handset” on Tuesday night.

The man who has been identified as Somchai Singkhorn, 40, a chef from Thailand was found dead on his mattress by his room mate after he had been electrocuted while watching TV on his charging phone with his headphones plugged in.

He was found dead the next morning after the incident laying on his mattress with a can of beer while watching TV on his phone with his headphones plugged in, with burn marks on his arm and neck..

His room mate, Saeng, 28, found Somchai’s phone plugged and his earphones were resting across his arm, face, and neck. He initially thought he was sick when he tried waking him up severally but he didn’t move. Saeng then called his boss to inform him about the situation until he later discovered that Somchai was actually dead.

Saeng said: ‘I went to wake him up but he was not moving, so I [was] worried that he might be ill. I contacted our employer but when he came to check, he told me that Somchai was dead.’

‘He always stays up late concentrating on his phone before he sleeps. Last night when I last saw him alive he was doing that, the same as other nights. He was watching football.’

Police Colonel Warawach Thammasarot said:

‘The deceased was laid on the mattress with his phone and earphone[s] on him but we also found beer and fizzy drinks near him.

‘From the initial checks, we suspected that he was electrocuted but we need to check everything and wait for his postmortem examination results before we confirm the exact cause of death.’

When police arrived at the scene, they found cans of beer and Coca Cola at the deceased’s feet. His body was later transported for an autopsy where the cause of death is being investigated.

Follow us on Facebook – @Lailasnews; Twitter – @LailaIjeoma for updates

Man watching football on his phone while charging, ‘electrocuted’ to death
Damilola Ismail

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Sister of slain Dunedin teen Amber-Rose Rush warned her of ‘sexual grooming’ | Stuff.co.nz

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Amber-Rose Rush’s sister warned her a doctor was a “sugar daddy” who was sexually grooming the 16-year-old.

Shantelle Rush took to the stand on day two of the trial of Dunedin doctor Venod Skantha. The 32-year-old denies killing Amber-Rose, who was found dead by her mother at their Clermiston Ave home in the Dunedin suburb of Corstorphine on February 3, 2018. He also denies four charges of threatening to kill.

Rush, Amber-Rose’s older sister by six years, told of the last message she received from her sister: “I am so angry.”

Amber-Rose Rush, 16, was found dead in her Dunedin home in February 2018.

She did not see the message until following morning, but by then her sister was dead.

Rush said she never met Skantha, but raised concerns about him in a series of Facebook messages with her sister.

John Kirk-Anderson/Stuff
Dr Venod Skantha is on trial for the murder of Dunedin teenager Amber-Rose Rush at her home in February 2018.

The messages, read under cross examination from defence lawyer Jonathan Eaton QC, included plans for Amber-Rose and her friend to move into Skantha’s Fairfield home, which she described as “so flash”.

“Living with a rich doctor YOLO (you only live once),” Amber-Rose messaged her sister.

When Rush found out the doctor was 30, she expressed concern to her sister, who described Skantha “as like a dad to us”.

Lisa Rush and her daughter Amber-Rose Rush.

Rush said she questioned why a doctor would hang out with teenagers and called him a “sugar daddy”, urging her sister to look up the meaning of “sexual grooming”.

“No, he not into me LMFAO f… that,” her sister replied.

The messages also disclosed that Amber-Rose spent some money on Skantha’s credit card and “he won’t even notice”.

Amber-Rose Rush at St Clair in Dunedin.

She also said her mother would try to get money out of Skantha over something. “He will or I’m going to the cops,” Amber-Rose messaged.

Amber-Rose’s mother Lisa Ann Rush died in a suspected suicide in June 2018, and in a statement read ot the court on Monday alleged Skantha had offered her daughter $50 for sex, then raised it to $20,000.

The Crown alleges Skantha killed the teen over fears she would go public with allegations about his interactions with minors, which would effectively end his medical career.

HAMISH MCNEILLY/STUFF
Friends and family gather outside the funeral of Amber-Rose Rush in Dunedin.

Skantha, a junior doctor at the Southern District Health Board, had been on his final warning at Dunedin Hospital in 2017 after an earlier incident.

THE BOYFRIEND

Amber-Rose’s boyfriend, Kristin Clark, said the pair met through the Tinder dating app in early 2018.

He had stayed at her home several times, including the Thursday before her death. He told the court she contacted him over Snapchat on the Friday, February 2, about angry messages she was exchanging with Skantha, who was often called Vinny.

She sent him screenshots of the conversation, but did not want his help, he said.

He offered to pick her up, but at 11.53pm, she replied “I won’t be allowed to”.

Clark sent her several other messages, but she did not reply. He decided to drive to her home – about 10 minutes away – and sent her a message before knocking “reasonably loud” on her window.

He sent her a photo of her house to show he was outside and waited in his car, but left when he saw her brother, Jayden, and his partner arrive back home.

Under cross-examination, Eaton asked him about the time he went to Skantha’s house, and Clark said they stayed a few hours and had some drinks.

He confirmed some of the screenshots supplied by Amber-Rose showed messages from her ex boyfriend, who had once beaten her up.

‘I SAW SO MUCH BLOOD’

Lisa Ann Rush’s partner, Brendon MacNee, took the stand on Monday afternoon, and recalled her asking him if he had let the family dog out of Amber-Rose’s room on the morning of February 3.

He had not, so Lisa Ann opened the bedroom door and he heard her scream.

He called police after seeing  Amber-Rose lying face down in “lots and lots of blood”.

He told her mother to leave the room, and turned the teenager over.

A visibly upset MacNee said blood hit the floor as Amber-Rose’s brother and his partner entered the room.

Efforts to revive Amber-Rose were in vain as “she was all stiff and cold”.

“She was dead,” MacNee said. 

He said he noticed Amber-Rose’s left ear had been cut in half and her throat had been cut.

MacNee, a former butcher, said he knew she had been killed and started to look for a knife, but could not find one.

He told Jayden: “We have to get out of here, she’s been murdered.”

MacNee, under questioning from Eaton, confirmed the family dog was placid and did not bark much.

Jayden Rush told the court he had found a spare key – usually located under a Buddha statue – in the door early on February 3. He also found the kitchen light left on, which was also unusual.

The evening before, he knocked on his sister’s door but she did not answer. He awoke the next morning to his mother screaming “no”.

Rush said blood around his sister’s neck made it “pretty obvious to us, she was dead”. 

He saw only headphones and no knife when he pulled back her blankets.

A neighbour, a former nurse, came into the room and put Amber-Rose into a recovery position.

Rush described his sister as “definitely” a social person, and said she had several ex-boyfriends, one of whom had broken her arm.

The trial continues.

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Downton Abbey, like plantation houses, delivers fantasy over brute reality | Michael Henry Adams

The American south may seem a long way from the estates of England, but in both places a veil of caprice covers harsh truths

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The son of a Scottish immigrant who worked as a servant, Donald Trump could hardly wait for his banquet at Buckingham Palace. A seat next to Elizabeth II conferred a sense of accomplishment little else could.

To many, such behavior from an American president appeared downright unseemly. But how could we scoff? How else have so many of us been eagerly awaiting the return of Downton Abbey?

TV and film can be transporting, giving us glimpses of lives we can only imagine imperfectly. Decades before Julian Fellowes creation came forth to conquer America, PBS offered a steady diet of British clotted cream. Royals, aristocrats, castles, servants, sex. Such is the stuff of which Downton daydreams are made.

We make our own fantasies too. As a boy, watching Gone With the Wind, I saw plantation houses for which I thought I could sell my soul. It seemed such an alluring way of life.

No wonder people complain of being lectured about slavery when they visit Savannah or Charleston. They, like me, have imagined themselves in the masters place. No work to be done, fanned on white-pillared porches, sipping cooling drinks, pondering pleasures to come. Is it surprising so many, confronted by the nightmare behind the reverie, recoil in unacknowledged shame?

I came to this crossroads early, no longer able to overlook the anguish of my ancestors. I saw exquisite architecture and ideas of gracious hospitality but knew both to be built on the worst criminality.

Fortunately, thanks to green England, I was able to transfer my affections. The Forsyte Saga, Upstairs Downstairs, Brideshead Revisited, The Admirable Crichton. The Shooting Party, The Remains of the Day, Gosford Park. They became my refuge and taught me much. Entranced by an elegant aesthetic, reading countless books, even attending the Attingham Summer School to study famous country houses, I sought an elusive loveliness, untroubled by oppression.

I know I never escaped. I had only embraced a new quagmire of contradictory caprice.

At the very lightest level, all this means I know that Downton the whole phenomenon, the TV series, the film, the traveling exhibition, the merchandising is a ludicrous and ahistorical fancy.

I know, for example, that contrary to what we see on Fellowes screen, non-royal butlers did not wear white waistcoats and that waiters did not wear dinner jackets at all. I know ladies were never gloved while drinking or eating, candles were never used on a luncheon table and candle shades, now found only in royal residences, were in fact universal. For enthusiasts like me, its such esoterica which makes Downton so enjoyable.

But as in my love affair with the plantations of the American south, there was a wriggling worm in the bud.

How alike our ruling classes are. How nefarious the sources of their vast wealth, on which such beautiful homes were built.

In the UK, to take just one example, a house as sublime as Harewood, near Leeds, altered by Robert Adam, was funded by the infamous triangular trade. Even English currency came to be defined by slavery. With abolition by Britain in 1833 came compensation to 46,000 slave owners for 800,000 liberated Africans, until the banks were rescued in 2009 the largest government bailout in history.

There were other sources of income. Indian opium, imposed on China. Farms in Ireland. The wealth behind many of the estates of England was no less tainted than that which built plantations in Virginia, Alabama and Georgia.

Fellowes was careful to give his great house a more benign foundation. The Earl of Grantham, we are told, derives his affluence straight from his Yorkshire estates.

Hit hard by agricultural depressions, he takes an option not available to his tenants: he marries the daughter of an American millionaire. That said millionaire is an untitled Jew, a dry goods merchant from Cincinnati, is among storylines meant to show us what a good egg the earl really is, an unlikely egalitarian in tweeds. But hes an imprudent one too: by investing his wifes millions in a Canadian railway that goes bankrupt, Grantham places all his loved ones in peril.

Worse occurred in real life, of course. Much worse. Take the brutal, polluting mills and mines, like so many plantation fields, that often lay just outside the gates.

Of course, Downton isnt real. So, to stay in the realm of art, consider Shipley, the neo-Palladian masterpiece DH Lawrence invented for Lady Chatterleys Lover. There, Squire Leslie Winter talks of the miners who work his pits with all the condescension a planter might have for his slaves.

Chatting with the Prince of Wales, Winter quips: The miners are perhaps not so ornamental as deer, but they are far more profitable.

HRH replies: If there were coal under Sandringham, I would open a mine on the lawns and think it first-rate landscape gardening. Oh, I am quite willing to exchange roe-deer for colliers, at the price.

In the real world, many fine homes have been lost. Their deaths, like their lives, are all about the money.

In Lawrences book, the squire dies and his heirs tear down his hall to build semi-detached villas for workers. Lady Chatterley is shocked to learn such people are as capable of love as she is. One suspects Fellowes, the author of a novel called Snobs, no less, might feel a similar shock if told us ordinary people who love Downton, his facile but beautiful and seductive creation, are capable of sincere feeling too.

We are. And while we are equipped to daydream of such luxury for ourselves, or to pick nits with Fellowes staging while we swoon at his stars in their gorgeous firmament, we are also the heirs to those who did all the work, those who built the Downtons and the plantations.

We know a profound truth behind all their costly beauty and misery. Every stately home, in every land, belongs to us too.

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