Sunday, January 31, 2010

Winter Sunshine in Hyde Park

Today, the sun was out, the skies were blue, the temperature was barely over zero, so I decided to make the most of it. I went into the city to walk through Hyde Park and visit Kensington Palace.

Getting off the tube at Hyde Park Corner, I discovered the toilets there, right near the gates, are very clean, with soap and working hand dryers...which in London deserves a mention on its own! My path through the park was alongside the Serpentine, which looked absolutely gorgeous in the winter sunshine. What I should have been doing though, was watching where I was walking. There had been a bit of snow early this morning and had quickly turned to ice on the path and yes, I slipped. Right in front of a whole crowd of people outside The Boathouse. I'd like to think it was one of my more graceful falls, feet slipping out in front and landing straight down on my bum, but embarrassing enough!

After I brushed the ice off my coat, and hurried away from the scene, I followed The Serpentine, which then became The Long Water, which I guess is called that because it is long! There were a lot of Londoners and tourists out in Hyde Park today, most of whom were immaculately dressed. However, the Best-Dressed-in-the-Park awards have to go to the Chihuahua's. I saw one in a full body, blue jumpsuit, a couple with fur-trimmed white coats and even one in a matching baby pink cardi and hat combo. Well, one does have to look one's best, even in the cold weather!

Following the path around, I ended up at Kensington Palace where, thanks to my lovely friend Hannah, I have membership to, and it didn't cost me a cent to enter. They currently have "The Last Debutantes" exhibition, featuring multi-media displays, gowns, music and even a etiquette room where you could practise your curtsy, balance a book on your head for deportment and even learn to set a table correctly. I hurried through this room so I didn't show myself up!

The tour then leads into a display of some of the gowns worn by Princess Diana, followed by The State Apartments. In this part of the Palace, you can see the Cupola Room where Queen Victoria was christened and the Queens Rooms where Queen Mary entertained her friends. I did see a King wandering around, but no one else seemed to take any notice of him. Oooh, maybe he was a ghost! King George I, perhaps??

As with most places, you leave the tour through the gift shop (no tacky Vincent Van Gogh toys here!), stocking lots of things your nana would love...lace doilies, handkerchiefs, lavender pomanders, that kind of thing. All very nice, though!

On with the coat and back out into the gorgeous London winter sunshine. A great day out, even with a two hour bus trip home. This is London, after all!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Was that King George in the red coat, I think it was. Wow how lucky are you!