Thursday, September 1, 2016

Hampton Court Palace

Front palace facade

Monday was a bank holiday in the UK so Hyrum and Ian had the day off.  We used this to spend one more day together before Ian and his family flew back to the States for a bit.  The day dawned bright and cool.  The sun warming the cool air as we walked to the tube.  After a bit of a tube ride we boarded a train for Hampton Court Palace, the pleasure palace of Henry VIII, as well as used by other English Monarchs since.


This isn't a grand palace like Versailles but it has a charm befitting the country.  Now it sits one the outskirts of London but in it's day it was a way off.  It was a retreat for the monarch for hunting and hosting grand parties.  When Henry VIII would come he would often bring around 600 guests with him.

Actors playing King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and other players in the story.

600 year old taspestry

Shortly after we arrived, some actors waltzed through the courtyard and invited us to join them for an journey back through time.  They took us from room to room working through the story of King Henry and the question of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon and his desire for Anne Boleyn.   It was quite well done.  The kids didn't get most of it and that's ok.  It was fun to watch and listen too.

I loved these chimneys.

We wandered through the palace, observing the chocolate kitchen--which was quite underwhelming--and the large kitchens for meal preparations.  The cooking fireplace was enormous and quite warm even with the small small fire they had lit.  I can't believe how hot it would have been if fired up for feeding all those people.

Kitchen fire, not too shabby!

I love those chimneys.

This past weekend, the BBC Good Food Festival was taking place at the palace.  There was live entertainment which we enjoyed while eating our lunch.  Just before leaving, Jonathan, Charity, Moses, Ian and I wandered around the food stalls.  We ate tasty cheese, flavorful drinks and well-seasoned sauces.  I ended up buying some sausage rolls with interesting flavor combinations and bricks of fudge for dinner.  The food was really good and there were so many choices.  They had all sorts of ethnic foods as well as British classic.  There were fun tools like this German whisk.

Beautiful garden.

Entrance during William and Mary's reign.

It was a grand day out.  We arrived home tired and ready for bed but we'd been where history happened.  As I walk through these places I think of the people who walked through these halls.  Kings, queens, their servants and helpers, the carts of goods that were involved in their daily lives and I could almost hear it, see it and smell it as we walked across the cobbled courtyard.  Lovely, just lovely.

The kids with King Henry.

Our guide, Spencer got us through the maze!!

Talk about a skyline!!

1 comment:

Reianna said...

Ohhh i love the history of it all! Trust me...your kids are getting more than you think. One day someone will say something that sparks a memory of King Henry and they will spout off some fact they learned and you will be amazed! I have loved your posts and I'm living vicariously through you!