Photograph: Courtesy of Cuneo Mansion and Gardens
The absence of Downton Abbey is a painful change to a lot of our Sunday night lives. You can soothe the wound a little by visiting Cuneo Mansion and Gardens in Vernon Hills (1350 N. Milwaukee Ave.). Built in 1914, the 100-acre estate is preserved by Loyola University—and it's eerily similar to Downton.
The manse includes a great hall, formal breakfast rooms, a butler's pantry, a chapel, library, salon, ballroom, and tons of picture-perfect garden paths (which probably don't look so great after last night's storm, so don't start your engines yet). The estate even comes complete with a scandalous history involving the first owners losing their fortune in the Great Depression and, destitute, having to move.
By the way, if the grounds look familiar, it's because they were used in the movie My Best Friend’s Wedding. That's for those who are more familiar with Lady Julia (Roberts) than Lady Mary.
Tours take place Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.