Eltham Palace

April 14, 2012 at 11:40 am | Posted in London, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | 1 Comment
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Want gardens, medieval history and art deco glamour? Then Eltham Palace is the place for you.
Eltham Palace (69)

It’s not exactly a palace though. It used to be but much of it was destroyed though there is still the impressive medieval hall with its high ceiling to look at.
Eltham Palace (65) Eltham Palace (64)

The more interesting element is the 1930s mansion that was built next to the medieval hall with its art deco opulence. Seeing these two sit side by side and imagining the lifestyle (assuming you don’t currently live in gold plated luxury) is the main reason to visit Eltham Palace.
Eltham Palace (59) Eltham Palace (53)

Although the rooms showcasing the army dorms, which the building was used for after the family left are a touch less stylish.

Do remember to pick up the audio guide!

Surrounding the mansion and hall are some extensive gardens. Having a wander through them is quite relaxing.
Eltham Palace (48) Eltham Palace (44)

If you can make it to Eltham in south east London then I would recommend going to the palace.
Eltham Palace (36) Eltham Palace (62)

Photos at Flickr! (Note: no photos can be taken inside)

Google maps.

The Royal Mews and The Queens Gallery

December 26, 2009 at 11:15 am | Posted in General, London, museum, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | Leave a comment
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The Royal Mews and The Queens Gallery, which adjoin Buckingham Palace are both run by the royal collection and through much of the year a joint ticket can be purchased (you can also combine the ticket with a tour of the palace state rooms when those are open as well).

When I visited I went to both so thought it only fair to write it up as such.

The Mews and Gallery offer different content and experiences but the unifying theme of royalty runs through them both.

Let’s start with the mews. The mews were originally the royal stables but only retain a portion of that function now. Horses remain on site as do the other, more modern vehicles the royal family uses to get around. Although it’s unlikely they’ll be popping down to Tesco’s for a pint of milk.

Most of the publicly accessible areas are given up to displays of the various horse-drawn coaches. Most notably the ostentatious coronation carriage with its massively intricate and golden design.

So for the transport buff there’s the mews but what of the art lover? Well that’s when you walk down the street and go into the Queen’s Gallery. The gallery has a changing list of exhibitions so it’s best to check their website or you could just wander in.

When I ventured in it was to find an exhibit on French porcelain. Initially I was a bit skeptical but I came away finding the process challenging and the results delicate and beautiful.

Not to be drawn into stereotypes but you could almost say this was a suitable compromise date with something for him and her.

The Royal Mews took about 30 mins at a cost of  £7.75  (including audio guide). The Queens Gallery took me about an hour and costs £8.50 for an adult. A combined ticket is £15.

Kensington Palace and Orangery

December 12, 2009 at 11:30 am | Posted in Food, General, London, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | Leave a comment
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Several months ago I visited Kensington Palace and it’s a fine palace with a fine representation of medieval royalty. Do you see a trend here?

Kensington Palace (2) Kensington Palace (3)

Yes it’s fine but that’s about it. Perhaps I’m the wrong market?

Kensington Palace appeals to the  fashionistas amongst you and those with limited exposure to historic palaces.

Let’s tackle the former. The palace has a number of exhibits covering royal dress, debutantes and Princess Diana. While I can appreciate the artistry it doesn’t particularly appeal but on my visit there were others who held different opinions.

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Now the latter, if you’re only in London briefly and don’t have time to visit Buckingham Palace or Hampton Court then Kensington Palace will provide a reasonable overview of the look and feel of an English Royal Palace. If you’ve been to other palaces then there’s not anything substantially new here. Or am I just jaded?

Kensington Palace (18)

I had lunch with my family at the Orangery, it’s located in the Palace grounds and you don’t need to buy a ticket to enter. On a summer’s day it is a wonderful venue, with its long bright hall and some delicious meals. It’s a little bit pricey for the volume of food but it’s such a pleasant spot that it’s worth it.

Orangery (4) Orangery (6)

Kensington Palace can be found oddly enough in Kensington and costs £12.50 (adult) and you get a ‘complimentary’ audio tour with your ticket.

More photos at Flickr.

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