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Friday, 29 April 2011

What a Wedding!

I spent the entire day watching the Royal Wedding! OMG... what a wonderful wedding. Every girl dreams about this and she was the lucky bride to experience it. Ok granted, the media hype might have been a bit much but everything seemed to be going alright and no major dramas happened which is a success in my book :)

I have googled some images as I really wasnt going to take photos of my tv while I was watching it LOL. I wasnt even supposed to be in London but in the end I was very glad I didnt go anywhere. The weather was a bit tricky so I just stayed at home and as the bf was away I could enjoy (tearfully) watching the wedding without any mocking :)

Google search for Royal Wedding Images

Check out that dress! So pretty! Very classic and appropriate. And yes, it has sleeves because you must have a sleeved wedding dress during a royal wedding. At first sight I thought the bouquet was a bit tiny but it works very well. As for Prince William, he looks dashing as always though red would not have been my pick. I heard about the reasons though so as long as long as he's happy with it that is all that matters :) Check out the crowd at the Mall! London went crazy and it is said that one million people were in town today making their way to Buckingham Palace. Lots of tourists also which is really charming. Waaay too crowded for me though, I stayed on the sofa ;)

Then finally the kiss :) The Dutch and German press was disappointed but I thought it was ok. I've lived here long enough to know that even this might have been too much for the poor Queen hihi. Personal opinion: have you seen the Dutch royal wedding in 2002? No offence to the British royals, but THAT is a kiss!

Of course the cake is also a must: The Royal Wedding cake. It's a fruit cake apparently, and not a bad one at that :)And a McVities Digestive chocolate cake as per Prince William's request. Just FYI, McVities are really nice biscuits (read: cookies) in the UK

Then it's time for the party to start :) Princess Catherine has changed into a gown more fit for dancing and rumour has it that the Queen will go to bed early and leave the partying to the young couple. Prince Harry is said to have arranged a survivor breakfast at 6am tomorrow morning serving traditionally English bacon sandwiches. LOL, sounds like a great party!

I could share so much more but I'm sure most of you have seen it and everything can be found on youtube and all the news channels also.

So even if I didnt decorate my house, cooked anything fancy, dressed up or wore a hat, I still had a great time watching this :) Hopefully I will be able to post some more created items soon as this holiday has turned out to be a lazy one... here goes hoping!

In the meantime: all the best to Will & Kate, hear hear!

Castle Week - Windsor Castle

OMG OMG the Royal Wedding is today!!! So I'm posting this super early so maybe I can add another post at the end of the day with some pics of the wedding-hype in London. Provided I am going to leave the house... the bf wants to goto the archery, not very royal despite the fact that it's near Kensington Palace...

Anyway, on Tuesday we went to Windsor Castle. Not at all scheduled but an idea of the bf (I was very impressed!). It is one of the 'active' castles, meaning the royals actually still live here and only part of the castle is open to the public.

So we took the train to Windsor and got our tickets. Good tip for anyone wanting to visit: if you buy the tickets from the Castle directly, you can have them stamped and they will be valid for one year! So you can go back anytime for a year FOR FREE!

Walking onto the grounds of Windsor Castle. This is where I discovered that my camera didnt have a memory card in it... How clever... so all pics here are taken by the bf :)

Definitely a very castle-y castle :)

The main square with a good view of the Round Tower. If the flag is up it means that a royal is in residence at that time. I wonder who it was...

As the audio guide (yes I managed to convince the bf to get the audio guide since it was our first visit here LOL) said that the chapel would close earliest, we decided to tackle that bit first. These are some apartments that are still used by the knight of... eh... sorry I totally forgot. Let's just say royal knights? The English (not British!) flag on the houses indicate this.

We couldnt take pics inside the chapel which was a real shame as it was gorgeous in there, but the outside was fantastic too. I have a better pic actually but I wasnt in it hihi. The bf took a looot of pics and I cant post them all!

On the way to the State Apartments, we had to go through this archway. Royals or not, this is really close to the airport and it's really obvious by all the planes flying over all the time, and some of them terribly low...

The view from this part was incredible!

Gorgeous towers near the State Apartments. Sadly the sun wasnt exactly present anymore and it was really cold. But the castle still looked great of course.

The bf trying to see if he can make a quick getaway LOL. I had taken the camera and wanted him to do something funny. Behold: the funny bf hihi

Sadly we couldnt take any pics inside the castle either, but let me assure you: it is worth it! Only a handful of rooms but you get to walk through the huge hall where they have some big dinner and the table takes up the ENTIRE room... I googled it and if you click here, you can see what I mean. There are some more pics there of the indoor bit.

We exited the tower onto a large square where we could also see where the royals would arrive during an official visit or something. Very cool :) This archway was really lovely. The bf tried taking a few pics of it with me in it also but there were too many people around.

Instead he took one from the other side of the Round Tower :) Btw, dont you just love my skirt? No I didnt make it, but I bought it at the AB&B, more on that later... You'll notice am not exactly warm, the wind was freezing and went straight through me, and I was wearing a LOT of layers...

One more for the road ;) This was just after the exit with a good view of the castle.

Honestly, I can highly recommend this castle to anyone visiting London. The staff are very friendly and it has great historical value. :)

I hope you liked my bit on Castle Week (well, castle 3 days really), if you'll excuse me now, I have a wedding to prepare for hihi. See you after!!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Castle Week - Tower of London

Yes the Tower used to be a castle and people actually lived here! LOL... So as part of the Castle Week (which will last three days as it has to do with the Royal Wedding), let me show you some more of the Tower of London:

No this is not yet the Tower. One needs nourishment before a big visit ;) So we went to Le Pain Quotidien for a lovely Easter Monday breakfast :) Once we were all fed and nourished, we took the Tube to Tower Hill.

Behold the view of the Tower when coming from Tower Hill. I have seen it many times before but it continues to amaze me.

The first thing of interest you see when entering the Tower, is the Traitor Gate. This is where prisoners would arrive at the Tower but boat via the Thames. Really creepy, just imagine this when it's cold and dark and threatening...

My favourite building: the White Tower :) A pic was a must of course :)

The bf really wanted to see the Crown Jewels, having only seen them once many many years ago. As it was Easter Monday, it was a tad busy so we had to queue. Some people just ignorantly pushed their way forward through the queue but I really tried to not let it get to me. As you can see, the bf was not happy in the queue... But we know: live in London, live to queue!

Sadly we couldnt take pics in this section, but if you want to know more about them just click here. It's the official RHP site so with lots of cool sections to browse.

After seeing the Crown Jewels, I needed an ice cream... I couldnt decide which flavour so I had two scoops. Yay!

Sadly the two scoops didnt last long as one actually fell down! OMG I felt like I was 5...

While (somewhat mopingly) enjoying my remaining scoop, we walked around the main area and saw these cute little houses that are still being used by the Tower staff. You have to have served a certain amount of years in the army and be of a certain rank to be allowed to work here though so no chance of us ever moving here LOL

Once the ice cream was finished we went inside the White Tower where we could take as many pics as we wanted. None of the original rooms remained though and the whole thing was more of an exhibition but there were many cool things to see. One of them was this armour with original guns.

And this teeny tiny armour for kids (cant remember who for exactly) which was made seriously creepy by the wooden face that was put into the helmet with massive eyes.

Excuse me, I cant see where I'm aiming... LOL we entered the weapon bit. I just love this picture! I was just being silly and the bf totally caught this on camera hahaha...

We also saw this dragon made entirely out of weapons. Weapon art is very cool it seems. If you look closely, you can see that the wings are made out of old guns as well as the claws.

When we entered the 'hands on' part of the exhibition, the bf tried the archery part and of course got an excellent score :)

Near the exit was this model of the Tower. Look at it, it's huge!!

After having exited the White Tower, we walked along the castle walls where we had very cool views of London. I love this pic that the bf took, you can really see modern London in the background.

By then we kind of had enough though we didnt see the inside of the prison bit because I just couldnt find it anymore! LOL... but we had been here for a good few hours and we ready to go home. We exited the Tower and of course ended up right in front of the Tower Bridge.

OMG how touristy can we get? Hihi... but it was sunny and it was a holiday, it was lovely :)

I dragged the bf to Bea's of Bloomsbury to get the best cupcake in town, the Red Velvet Cupcake. Doesnt it look yummy?

We accidentally took a wrong turn after the cupcakes and had to walk all around St. Paul's Cathedral to reach the tube. I didnt mind, I got to take this great shot :)

And this one too ;)

Then we really went home where I continued to have a wonderful nap ;) LOL.

Now before I finish this post, I have something else I need to tell you about this visit and the last. As you may know, London is super expensive to visit and these places especially. So how about being frugal and all that? Well, there is a solution :) Should you not have one of those 2-for-1 tickets that they give out sometimes, there is an even better solution: become a member! We have a joint membership at Historic Royal Palaces for £63 per year. That entitles us to unlimited visits to 5 palaces in London! Hampton Court and the Tower cost about £20 each so just by visiting these two once means everything else will be free for the rest of the year AND we can go as often as we like :) So all in all it is really a steal and we already saved money as we would have had to pay £80 just for the two of us for these two castles. Much better this way :)

Ok, I will leave you to your day now. I have to bake for the Royal Wedding tomorrow. Just because I'm staying at home doesnt mean that I cant bake for it in my new oven ;) I will post my last post on Windsor Castle in time for the Royal Wedding also!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Castle Week - Hampton Court Palace

Hi again everyone! My Easter holidays have been quite busy so far, so havent really done any sewing *blush* BUT we did see a lot of London :) Many things I have already seen but the bf hadnt so I dragged him to various castles to visit. It was great! Today we're getting some things done around the house (am getting a new stove at last whoohoo!) so plenty of time to blog. With all the visits we've done in the last few days, I will post only about castles as a small tribute to the Royal Wedding happening in just a few days. I wont go into central London as it will be super crowded, but this way you can see some of London and it's royal history anyway :)

On Good Friday, as is tradition in my family, I dyed the Easter eggs :) Just plain with a tablet, some water and vinegar as we've been doing for years. The result was great though:

The two bird eggs are styrofoam so not real, am not that handy with eggs! LOL

On Saturday I dragged the bf to Hampton Court Palace. I love this palace and he had never been so this was the perfect time. Knowing that Easter Sunday would be a bust to visit anything and the weather was great, I just had to go somewhere. We had to run but in the end we arrived at the scheduled time and boy was it a gorgeous sight as always:

Busy as was expected around Easter but not too busy to be annoying :)

The view of the clock in the Clock Court

Gorgeous detailing

See how high these walls are? Yes, that's my all tiny in green in the front ;)

My favourite part are the kitchens, so we walked through the 'servant part' to get there

As it was a holiday weekend, they were preparing a meal like they would have done it in 1542.

Spit roast and all! And yes, it was about 26C outside...

This guy was preparing the chickens... I love the authentic look :)

This cook was really nice and even posed for me when he brought the pie out :) Check out this super authentic pie!

Dessert was also being prepared and this cook is adding gold leaf to a sugar boat. Impressive!

One nice lady offered to take our picture which of course we couldnt refuse :) And in the kitchens too!

We then went outside to the gardens which were amazing also. The bf didnt like the sun too much so we took the horse-drawn tram to see a large part of the garden, but we walked through this little part also.

The view from the back of this garden where you can see the house built for William III (he knocked a large part of the original palace down to build this, shame on him!)

Lovely small garden, I'm sure it had a name but I dont remember it.

The small walkway passing a few more of those tiny gardens with a lovely view...

...showing the Tudor towers in the background

LOL am not part of the view, but this is a great photo to show off my dress :) I made this! I'll post about it another time though...

Of course we also saw the state apartments and everything, lots to do with Henry VIII. In 2009 they had a whole exhibition about him that was also super interesting.

This is a bird eye view of the palace. Isnt it huge?? Can you believe this used to belong to Wolsey only? Until he pissed off the king that is...

I have a ton more pics but I cant post too much on here as my entire storage space will go, but I'll try to set up a Flickr account or so to share the rest if you like. We also went through the little maze which was great fun and even found the centre LOL. It was a very good day :)

Taadaa! Our new home :) LOL I wish... but it does make a killer photo!

Tomorrow I will show you the Tower of London, so watch this space. Now, where is my recipe book to try out the new stove...
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