I have started the embroidery tour but thought I should talk about my stay in London. I have found for some reason I have been having trouble accessing my website and blog, so I’m catching up!
I arrived on Friday and I must say I was terribly jet lagged. My plane left Atlanta Thursday evening about 6 PM and landed in London about 6:30 AM Friday morning (1:30 AM ET). I got NO sleep as there was not one, not two, but three babies that took turns screaming the entire flight! But I managed to stay awake all day. I was meeting two old and dear friends, Una Clancy who is currently living in Stuttgart, and Marie Robertson (Una’s sister) who lives in Belfast. After getting to the Victory Services Club and checking in, we took a walk in Hyde Park, which is right across the road. And had a delicious dinner there too. One thing that always impresses me in England is the food is fresh! They don’t use a lot of preservatives like we do in America.
The Victory Services Club is a fabulous place to stay in London. It is a private membership club for anyone who has ever been in a military service. All you need is a DD214 to document your service. The club was formed in 1907 as a place for homeless vets of the Boer War to live. I stayed there for New Year’s Eve 2000, and it was nice, but similar to a college dorm. Since then it has been beautifully renovated and reminds me of a boutique hotel. At half the price!
On Saturday we headed off to a town named Slough near Windsor Castle as Una was riding in a charity race called “Ride the Night”. She left Windsor about 9:30 pm and rode 104K through London. She and her friend, Barbara, finished about 5:30 am. Marie and I had drinks at the hotel and slept while they cycled. But it was well worth it as the ride raised over $1.2 million dollars for women’s cancer research.
While Una slept, Marie and I visited Windsor Castle. No sign of Harry or Meghan. But it was an interesting place to visit. So much history!
Speaking of history, Marie and I went to Hampton Court on Monday. What an interesting place! It’s amazing to think Henry VIII and his 6 wives lived there. The kitchens have been restored and I had an interesting chat with the head cook who was turning a roast on a spit in the main fireplace. Turned out he is in the SCA and gave me a lot on insight into the kitchens and cooking in the Tudor period. Check out the pictures.
Tuesday morning Marie and I went to the Victoria and Albert museum. I was disappointed in that I didn’t find any examples of needlework, except for church garments. I did however find some great examples of knit caps. All the examples of Tudor knit caps are currently on display so I wasn’t able to see them closeup. I had to see them through the glass of the display case.
After Marie left on Tuesday, I walked over to the Wallace Collection which is close to the club. They have an extensive collection of armor and artworks. I found some interesting horse armor. But once again, no needlework.
On Wednesday I went to Kew Gardens which is someplace I had been wanting to get to but hadn’t had time in previous trips. It is a beautifully peaceful place. And they are doing some very important work in botanical research. If you ever go there, plan to take the entire day. And I highly recommend getting a ticket for the shuttle train. I walked over 5 miles while there!
And that was my visit to London! As usual, it went too fast and I didn’t get to see as much as I wanted! But I had a great time and saw many fabulous sites.