Great Britain Part Four (Hampton Court Palace and “High Tea”)

This post is the highlight or visit the Hampton Court, Palace. Over the centuries many royal families called this palace home. Probably the most famous was the cruel and rootless “Henry VIII”. We got up relatively early and got on the tube to get to the west side of London, from there we had to hop on a bus to get our final destination. We arrived just as the gates were opening, we like to get to these places as they opened to avoid the crowds. As you can see in this photo there pretty much nonexistent.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you enter the main gate into the first courtyard, you get the spectacular view of the main entrance to the palace.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you get inside the main entrance you enter a courtyard that is guarded by lots of unique sculptures. You have unicorns which shields.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWinged dragons which shields.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere were many other critters Lions, horses and bears all standing guard. Also a modern as twist there are sculptures of garden elves, nobles and others scattered through the palace for kids of all ages to pose with.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe very first place we had was Henry VIII’s kitchen. Henry VIII was known for enjoying his food and had festive feasts going all the time. Here’s a portrait of Henry VIII.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese kitchens were built to feed the court of Henry VIII designed to feed at least 600 people twice a day. Here’s one of the large fireplace, ovens for roasting meat.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe were greeted by costume actors that explain the history and how things were run back in the 1500s. Here I am talking to the head cook, he explained how the large crew would prepare the meals twice a day.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis gentleman was the record-keeper for the kitchen area and went through a procedure explaining how he would make quill pens, to document the days going on, record recipes and write orders (grocery lists as we call them nowadays).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter explaining how the ink was made and the pens were made, along with the paper in the books. He gave any of us that were interested the opportunity to the sign in the book, he would write your name down first and then you had the opportunity to sign yours next to his. As you can see in this photo Bonnie did a much better job at signing than I did. They keep these books so that if you come back again and look up your signature.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom there we proceeded through parts of the palace admiring the beautiful tapestries.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMurals on the walls and ceilings.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeautiful stained glass windows.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a picture of the Queens Chamber and her Royal bed.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeautiful fireplace in her chamber.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEverywhere you turn there was sculptures and artwork.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the other rooms had hundreds of pieces of armaments as beautiful artwork.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALook at all these guns, swords and knifes on the wall.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe joined some other character actors that were putting on a presentation and walked you through some of the perils of the times. This young lady represented the Queens lady in waiting. And explained how King Henry’s fifth wife Queen Catherine was accused of infidelity. You see Henry VIII was kind of ruthless and wanted to divorce his first wife, the Roman Catholic Church at that time would not allow it. So that is why he broke away the Catholic Church and started his own church the “Church of England” so he could get divorced. He was known for divorcing and sometimes killing his future wife’s if they did not do his bidding’s. Queen Catherine was accused of infidelity and premarital relationships which would have made her marriage to Henry VIII invalid. If this was the truth or if she was falsely accused, she was eventually put the death by him. This young lady and others walked us through these accusations.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was a very interesting way to teach some of the history of the times and of some the previous palace residence. Making it enjoyable for both adults and children alike. I was talking to this gentleman, and he very straight-faced told me he was nothing more than a guard to keep riffraff out, and every time I tried enter he would stop me, but he let Bonnie and others right on through.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPart of the tour is that you can wander the grounds and beautiful gardens. You proceed out the back of the palace which opens to beautifully landscaped park like gardens.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey go on for acres and acres. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere was a carriage, and for a little extra you could ride around part of the gardens, so we took advantage of it to relax a little and enjoy part of the gardens.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd you can look back and see the beautiful palace.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEven late in September the flowers were beautiful.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere were places to sit and relax. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeautiful sunken gardens.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome beautiful courtyards in the center of the palace.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI think the gardens are the best part of the whole place.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere’s also a hedge maze planted in the late 17th century making it over 300 years old and the oldest hedge maze in Great Britain.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe had a great time exploring the maze eventually finding their way to the center.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are lots of young kids running through having a great time I think they all seem to find the center also. This placard tells it all.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter spending many hours enjoying the palace and gardens one of the things Bonnie really wanted to do while we were in London, was to enjoy High Tea. So we headed back into the heart of London to find a relatively inexpensive place to relax and have High Tea. For those of you like me that might not know what that is, “High Tea” (or afternoon tea) consists of having tea with little sandwiches and cakes usually late in the afternoon before dinner. Here I am preparing my tea don’t I look elegant.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABonnie enjoying her tea she was in heaven.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALook at all the yummy little sandwiches and cakes it was a lot of fun. I think I got the pinky finger part down.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat’s it for now thanks for following along, Rick

 

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