Sunday, July 29, 2007

Gardens galore

I had a lovely weekend visiting my aunt and uncle, and on Saturday we went to Hampton Court Palace.

If you ever go, make sure to visit the Tilting Yard Café. We sat out on their patio in the glorious sunshine, surrounded by trees and ate lovely sandwiches, fresh lemonade (actual lemonade, not Sprite which is what the Brits call lemonade) and a delicious brownie.

After our lunch, we walked from garden to garden all the way around the outside of the palace. Each section of garden was distinct and it seemed that behind every wall there was a completely new garden to see. There were manicured yew trees, stunning flower beds, a "Great Vine" and naked people statues. My favourite outdoor feature was the two pond gardens that visitors can't walk through. You had to poke your head in through little viewing holes in the tall border hedge.

Inside the palace, we went on a tour with a lady in costume who told us a ghost story about King Henry VIII's fifth wife (beheaded for having an affair). Then we walked around the kitchens which had been set up to look as it would have in the early 1500s. There were several rooms, all necessary to feed the 500+ people that would dine at court, hoping to catch favour with the king.

The first room we saw was the butchery. Please note the blood stains spattered on the wall. Gotta love that authenticity.

The weather was very kind to us, and I think I might have even got a little colour on my pale cheeks. Hooray for summer!


Steven said...

What an amazing place. Speaking of which, you didn't mention the maze. Did you go there?

saramoohead said...

We walked past the maze, but didn't go inside. We wanted to get in all of the gardens and the inside as well, and the paring meter was ticking away.
We spent just the right amount of time there, walking for about three hours, and were all a little weary trudging back to the car.