Friday, December 14, 2012

It's almost the weekend. Let's go somewhere! Join me on a little trip to Hampton Court.

Ok, it's friday. Let's pretend we don't have to do anything and we can up and leave and magically appear in a different time zone. Oh wait, we have the internet. We totally can!

Let's go visit Hampton Court today. The home of so many monarchs (and the Royal School of Needlework!), it's often associated with Henry VIII, but William III and Mary II and George II had rooms there as well, so it's not only for Tudor fans, but Baroque as well. William III redid a lot of the palace with Sir Christopher Wren in the late 1600's, and George II completed the renovation during his time there in the early 1700's. Read more about the history here, on the Hampton Court official site.

So on to the trip! We depart from London Waterloo in just a few minutes. Better hurry up!

Breakfast is on me. Pasties all around!
Don't want to get hungry on the train.

Ooo good, we're here. That was fast.

Let's cross the bridge.
Look, you can see the palace already.
I suppose we could have come by boat.
That's the Thames.

Ooo so stormy...

Ok, enough gardens. Let's go into the Palace.

Standing in the middle of the courtyard is a recreation
of Henry VIII's wine fountain. Today, it only flows with
water, though on special occasions it is engineered to serve
real wine!

Uh oh. Someone had a little too much to drink last night...

"let he who wyshes make good cheere"

A window looking out of Henry VIII's
rooms. He might very well have seen
this view.

I have such a thing for big fire places :)

There's the original fountain!

Anne and her famous necklace. Maybe we
can buy one in the gift shop...

Gorgeous! We've left the Tudor side and now we're in
William and Mary's rooms. Has anyone been to
Chatsworth? This so reminds me of it.

Quite a display of artillery...

Reminds me of the foyer of the
Governor's Palace in Williamsburg.

Look at those gardens! So gorgeous.

I love mirrors. I always think of all the
people throughout history who have looked
into them.

Look at the woodwork frieze around the
painting. Gorgeous!

I always love delft tiles around the fireplace. I want some!

The orangery. In the cold weather,
the Palace's 1,000 orange trees
(symbolic of the House of Orange)
and other exotic plants would be
brought in to this lovely hallway.
William and Mary were avid collectors of
exotic flora. Read more here.

The great hall. Shakespeare's company,
"The King's Men," preformed here for
King James I during the 1603-4
holiday season.

This painting of Henry and his family was done
during his marriage to Catherine Parr, in 1545.
However, his Queen in the picture is his favorite wife,
Jane Seymour, not Parr. Poor Catherine...

Elizabeth I

Yay! The Royal School of Needlework.
Unfortunately there are only tours on certain days
throughout the year, but we can at least go to the shop!

Ooo, must get a souvenir!

"Dieu et mon driot," the motto of the British monarchy.
It is French for "God and my right," regarding the
divine right to govern. It is said to have been first used by
Richard the Lionheart. It has been the official royal motto
since Henry V. This is near the entrance to the Chapel Royal.

I'm getting hungry. Let's stop for some tea and a sweet :)

Mmmm carrot cake.

How pretty. A little garden.

The door to the Embroiderer's Guild!
I want to go in! Can you imagine the pretty
things behind this door...

Ooo the kitchens!


The kitchens are set up as they were for Henry VIII's court,
 complete with fresh vegetables and even the fires stoked!

This hearth was well over six feet high!

Stuffing peacocks for the Royal
table perhaps...

They have costumed tours! Yay!
And a nicely done costume it is, too.

That's all for today. Back on the train. Maybe next
 time we'll have time to see the gardens and the maze.
The weather was a little damp for that today...


  1. Well, I certainly enjoyed that "Get-away"! Yes, I have been there, last September, and the weather was very different. Blue skies, a bit of sun. Thank you for the pastie treat! Was that from Paul's? I had the almond tart when I was in the station. You were an excellent tour guide! Let's plan another outing someday soon, but I was happy to see a visit back to one of my favorite places!

    1. I'm sure it was from the Cornwall pasty shop!

  2. I went there when I was in England 6 years ago, what a fun trip down memory lane to see it again! It is such a beautiful palace! :)

    1. Totally beautiful, I agree. And it's especially fun because they let you take pictures!

  3. Great post! I thoroughly enjoyed the trip! Oh, and huge fireplaces are my great love~

    1. Fireplaces are amazing. The bigger the better, thank you very much!