It occurred to me that before Victoria and I begin posting about the things we plan to see and do on our tour, you should know just what it is we plan to see and do. To that end, here’s our itinerary:
Thursday, June 10th – Victoria arrives in London
Saturday, June 12th – Kristine and Brooke arrive in London, and within hours we head out to the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace to see the Victoria and Albert: Art and Love exhibition. Then it’s over to Apsley House (Yes!) and a walk round the St. James’s area, taking in the Square, the side streets, the shops and Piccadilly. No doubt we’ll be dropping in to the Red Lion Pub, a few doors up from the Almack’s Building, for a pint. Or two. That night, we’ll be dining at the Grenadier Pub in Wilton Row, once the local pub for the men in the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment and filled with military and Wellington memorabilia.
Sunday, June 13th – This one is subject to change. It’s either off to a Sunday roast at Gordon Ramsay’s Chelsea restaurant, Foxtrot Oscar’s, and then on to the National Army Museum and perhaps to Liberty’s before they close at 6 p.m. Or, Victoria will be doing research while Brooke and I head out to Hampstead, the Heath and Kenwood House.
Monday, June 14th – To Kensington Palace, with tea in the Orangery, and then we’re off to Cecil Court and Charing Cross Road for book browsing, to Grosvenor Prints in Seven Dials for print browsing, followed by drinks at the Landsdowne Club and perhaps a dinner of Peking duck in Leicester Square.
Tuesday, June 15th – We’re off to Windsor to spend the day with author Hester Davenport. A tour of the Castle, old Windsor and a meal are all on the agenda. No plans for this evening, as no doubt we’ll be knackered.
Wednesday, June 16th – Victoria’s husband, Ed, arrives and she’s off to spend the day with him. If they haven’t yet made it to Hampstead, Brooke and Kristine will do that. If they have, then instead they plan to visit lots of pubs, browse at Top Shop and Sephora and God only knows what else.
Thursday, June 17th – We all head out to Dover, cross the English Channel and end up in Waterloo – Woooo Hooooo!
Friday, June 18th – Tour of the Waterloo sights and battle camps, with fireworks in the evening. Wooo Hooo again!
Saturday, June 19th – Visit the battle locations in and around Waterloo, with evening tour in Brussels titled “Walking in Wellington’s Footsteps.” Double Woooo Hoooo!
Sunday, June 20th – The re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo – Huzzah! After which, Brooke and I again follow in Wellington’s footsteps and head off to Paris for a few days, while Victoria and Ed embark on a Rhine river cruise.
So there you have it. As I’ve indicated before, Victoria and I will be doing in-depth blogs on the various places we plan to visit and . . . . we’ll be bringing along a video camera, which neither of us really knows how to use beyond the old “point and shoot” method. If you can put up with the shaking, weird camera angles, any light problems and the like, we’ll be posting the videos on this blog for all to see. . . . as they say in England – oy vey.
Happy Birthday to William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850), once the Poet Laureate of Great Britain (1843-50). We associate his work with the Romantic Movement. He was a close friend and colleague of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Wordsworth defined poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility”.
Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, lived in the famous Dove Cottage in the Lake District. Later, he moved to a larger nearby home, and married, though Dorothy continued to live with him. William and Mary Wordsworth had five children but only three survived childhood, and beloved daughter Dora died in her thirties.
Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798
I’ve been to London many times and whenever those who don’t know me very well ask why I keep returning to the same city, I’m hard pressed to explain to them what London means to me. My London is not the city that exists now. Madame Tussaud’s and the London Eye are all well and good, but my London is the old city, the Square Mile that was bordered to the north by the Oxford Road, to the South by Vauxhall Gardens, to the east by Mile End Road and to the west by Hyde Park. To my mind, Richmond, Hampstead, Brixton and Golder’s Green are not in London. Though I may visit these places, they lay outside the parameters of the London I see in my mind, the London I see when I walk the streets today. You can still see Georgian, Regency and Victorian London on practically every street. Kensington Palace, St. James’s Palace and Apsley House still exist. Hatchard’s bookshop and Fortnum and Mason, the Burlington Arcade and the Tower are still to be found. True, there are no longer Hansom cabs or sedan chairs for hire, no hawkers crying their wares in the streets and, certainly, no dandies strolling in St. James’s Street, but every now and then you come across a London view so perfect, so historically right, that it makes the trip worthwhile.