Isle of Wight, England

Oh to be out in the country again! The small towns on the Isle of Wight make for the perfect weekend getaway and the best part is, you don’t need a car to get there. We jumped on aHovertravel Isle of Wight bus from London to Clarence Pier and much to our surprise crossed over to Ryde in just 10 minutes via hovercraft. The Hovercraft travel is the quickest form of transportation over to the island but make sure you book your ticket in advance if you plan on traveling at peak hours. Ryde was our base for the trip as it provided direct buses to most points of the island as well as access to all the open bus tours when you buy a 24h or 48h travel pass.

Our first journey was on the Downs Breezer, an open top bus ride. It was a great way to take in the The Garlic Farm Isle of Wightcountryside without having a vehicle. The bus stopped at all the major sights along the way with a brief description of their historical significance, we even passed by the most haunted place on the island. The main attraction I was looking forward to was The Garlic Farm, UK’s renowned garlic specialists. We took part in the ‘garlic experience’, trying all of their products and were taught about the many different kinds of garlic, how to grow your own and its medical benefits. We picked up some to bring back with us as well as a tasty roasted garlic mayonnaise. The island has a garlic festival in August every year, my type of place! We took the the bus to Sandsdown beach in the evening for a calming meal overlooking the water.

The following morning we had an action packed day as we crossed to the other side of the island to Needles Park. Unfortunately it had rained, so it was foggy on the water. We took the chair lift down to the beach overlooking the famous multi-coloured sands inOsbourne House Isle of Wight the cliffs. From the chairs you get an incredible view! A trip to island is not complete without visiting East Cowes and the Osborne House. This is where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert lived peacefully enjoying their private life. The property contains their own private beach, Swiss cottage and walled garden. Beautiful detailing is found throughout the building from the ceilings to the floor and customized with their initials. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert would often give artwork to each other as gifts and the house is filled with original artifacts. If we had more time on the island we probably would have gone for a picnic on her private beach to soak up some extra sun! Perhaps next time…

Kensington Palace

Royal Afternoon Tea

David’s parents came to visit us in London so we made sure that they would get to experience taking part in the traditional afternoon tea during their stay with us. After researching various places across the city to go for afternoon tea (there is an unbelievable amount of options), we Afternoon Tea at the Orangerychose to make it a royal occasion and have it at Kensington Palace in Queen Anne’s Orangery. Located in Kensington Gardens, the 18th-century building makes for the perfect location to sit back and sip a cup of tea, while imagining the type of events that have taken place here in past. Served on the palace’s beautiful china, we had a selection of sandwiches, sweets and scones with clotted cream and jam. Just outside the Orangery is the Sunken Garden where it is said to have been laid out during the reign of Edward VII.

There are 3 key areas to see inside the palace right now; Victoria Revealed, The King’s State Apartments and The Queen’s State Apartments. The Queen Victoria exhibit explores the many aspects of her life Kings Staircaseand features some of her possessions on display, including her white silk wedding gown. I still can’t get over the fact she shared a bedroom with her mom right up until she became queen even though she was only 18 at the time. In the Queen’s State Apartments you explore the rooms that were once used by Queen Mary II including her gallery, closet, eating room, drawing room and bedroom. The King’s State Apartments were much larger with each room serving a distinct purpose with paintings along the walls and ceiling by William Kent in 1723 depicting George I’s court.