Posts Tagged ‘palace’

I had a late shift at work on Monday. And I mean a late one – a sunset, starting at 5pm. So rather than sit around the house doing nothing all day, I thought i’d head over to Kensington Palace and finally check out the Fashion Rules exhibit on my HRP membership. I had been to the launch members talk earlier in the year, complete with cute little garden party afterwards. Which was kinda really awesome – champagne and nibbles at Queen Vicky’s home? How elegant!

I got off one tube stop earlier than i meant to, but it did mean that I was greeted by a view of Kensington Gardens (West of Hyde Park) that i hadn’t seen before.

The Italian Gardens in Kensington Gardens

I then walked over to the palace… and before I could get there it bucketed down so hard that my shoes were soaked through! Luckily I had an umbrella to protect everything above my knees… *sigh*

This bust is a replica of the one in Kensington Gardens and was made for Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee… By her daughter Louise!

Queen Victoria’s wedding dress. She was SO TINY!

Her riding habit. The quote from her diary on the window lament’s her not being a man, and thus able to fight in battle.

Living in the later part of Queen Lizzy’s reign, I kind of forget that she got to dress like, well, a queen! These dresses are amazing. The green in the background is a dress she wore in Pakistan. Diplomatic dressing!

Some serious beading and embroidery going on on these frocks!

Princess Margaret had some smoking style! I LOVE this dress!

Sadly poor Di got to dress like a Princess in the 80s… For the fashion of the time these are amazing, but they mostly look like sacks or misplaced prom dresses…

I absolutely LOVE this stair case! We travelled up it at the Fashion Rules members night and I got to linger on it this time. It makes me feel like I’m in a movie!

Imagine hosting all your parties in a room like this!

And looking up into this? Not sure how much of this is the actual shape and how much is the paint job, but it’s bloody impressive either way!

I felt somewhat rushed, and very damp thanks to the downpour, but it was still fantastic. The saddest bit was that I really wanted to sit down with this guy and play Magic Jacks. I ended up helping both the girls he was playing with as neither of them seemed to really get the hang of it.

(Also, he was cute)

I like it though: Basic rundown (as much for myself as anything else) 3 facedown cards, three face-up and 3 in the hand each. Must have a minimum of 3 cards in your hand. You play through in turn, 2-A, 2 resets the pack, 7 means the next person plays a lower card, and a 10 burns the deck. Once you play a card, you pick up to have 3 in your hand (if you have 3 or more, you don’t pick up). If you can’t play, you get the played deck. Once all cards are burned or played, you play the 3 face up cards, then the 3 face-down blind. Simple, but I like it. I’m pretty sure I’ve come across it before with a different name.

I really like the actors who interact with the visitors at the Palaces. They had them at Hampton court, but I didn’t really expect them at Kensington. I didn’t get a chance to watch their interactions other than the card game. man, that’s a job I’d love.

I will try and get back here one more time before I leave, take some more time (same with Hampton Court!). But in the meantime, there’s still Kew Palace and the Banqueting House to get to. And of course, my favourite? The Tower!! (I’ve been twice, but once more can’t hurt!)


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we leave on Sunday for Edinburgh to perform our Doctor Who related show, so i thought it was about time I showed you all the photos of Cardiff (see what i did there? no? that’s fine, i’m quite tired)

It was a little while ago now, so stick with me while i remember!

I went by bus, because it was cheap, and, in aussie terms, not that far. Also, Britain is SO green in the spring, a colour you just don’t see back home, so it was pretty too.

Cardiff is pretty small, so i just walked everywhere.

The view that greeted me as i meandered to my hostel

I didn’t do much my first night, just found a nice place (that might be generous, but the steak and cider were both good and cheap) to have dinner and relaxed in my very nice hostel.

The first full day I spent in Cardiff Bay – it was the spring bank holiday and the weather was absolutely perfect!

The Welsh Millenium Centre (complete with Torchwood entrance)

A perfect day for a perfect view

The old customs house and merry-go-round

This is the pier where the ‘public’ entrance to Torchwood was, complete with the wall of mourning for Ianto Jones. Such a strange thing!

Of course a trip to Cardiff Bay wouldn’t be complete without doing the Doctor Who Experience. It was totally cheesy, but i absolutely loved it. The ‘experience’ part of it was aimed at children, but i had such a moment of glee as we walked out of the engine room of the TARDIS and into a hall, I really felt like I was in the TARDIS and it was AWESOME. and there were daleks! they were huge and scary, even though they were clearly mechanical. Such fun!

The actual exhibit afterwards was absolutely worth it though. really enjoyed looking at the costumes and props!

There’s a TARDIS in the bay!

It’s Bessie!

Oh yeah! It’s a lego Dalek. you better believe i want one!

River Song was here…

aaaaaand another TARDIS. there was an older version and the most recent version in the exhibition

I took the opportunity to do some research…

I got to stand in the Fourth and Fifth Doctors’ TARDIS…


And totally felt like i was in the wreck of the Tenth Doctor’s TARDIS


I got up close and personal with some Daleks

And some babby Weeping Angels too

I ate an absolutely delicious dinner of mixed Tapas at a South American restaurant on the bay and was absolutely exhausted when i tumbled into bed!

The next day I spent wandering around the city. I wanted to do the walking tour, but just missed it, and had the clever notion of asking a local for a recommendation for breakfast.

And a proper breakfast it was! It was Garlands in Duke’s Arcade and the whole vibe reminded me so much of Melbourne i almost felt a little homesick. I had a MASSIVE brunch, with tiger bay pudding (which is a variation on black pudding and much yummier) and all sorts of deliciousness! I stayed for ages! (and totally went back the next day). If you are in Cardiff. GO!

A lovely atmosphere (if quiet) for a lovely meal

In the afternoon,  it was off to the Castle. I love Castles. Such an oddity to an Aussie!

The actual castle within the walls.

The palace, built much later…

You can walk through the passages in the walls, where locals took shelter during WWII. It’s kinda creepy…

But it is really cool when you finally get to a window! This is the park, next door.

It was a long way up…

And a long way down again too!

Totally worth it for the view though!


After exploring the castle itself, I checked out the palace. It’s an interesting story, basically it was redecorated in the 19th century by some guy with more money than sense to look like what he thought a medieval palace should look like. which of course is nothing like what a medieval palace looked like at all. But it is incredible and it’s a real fairytale house!

The interiors in the palace were amazing…

I REALLY want this library. I can imagine the library in the TARDIS is like this…

And next door to the castle is the park, complete with the Animal Wall which used to be in a different spot, but someone moved it, and added more animals… I stopped paying attention. I did take photos of every animal though, but I’ll only show you one…


The last day i didn’t really do anything particularly exciting. It was a dog of a day and I ended up going to the museum, which was a bit of a let down actually, though I did learn a little bit about the geological, geographical and evolutionary history of wales. I wish I had taken the day to go to St Fagin’s which is a historical museum, complete with wool mills and other ye-olde-things.

I guess that means I just have to go back!

I did really love Cardiff though – the people were lovely, the food was AMAZING (reminds me a bit of Tassie!) and the weather put on a good show until the last day!




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I start my new job tomorrow, so that, coinciding with a flying visit from an American friend, was the perfect excuse to do some sight seeing in my last few days as a tourist rather than a tax-payer!

Jen arrived on Wednesday and after getting her settled and clean after 17 hours of travelling (LA is far too! who knew!) we headed out to the Tower of London. Because it’s made of WIN!

This time i took some good photos on my proper camera instead of the piss-poor phone camera photos i took last time. Not willing to say these are OODLES better, but they are better.

It was, unfortunately, raining, so the Yeoman of the Guard tour was not so much a tour as a hurried walk to the chapel where we got a half hour talk. MADE OF WIN. Our Beefeater was absolutely hilarious and very informative and a great speaker, creating a real sense of sadness at some points and tension as he told of the battle of Argincourt and other epic stories. I could honestly go to the tower just to listen to the Yeomen talk since i think i will hear a new story every time. As our Beafeater explained, he was a soldier (although he was actually a medic) and now he’s a historian. Pretty cool.

The view of the Tower

The White Tower from a window under the Bloody Tower (where they have the torture exhibit!)

What the White Tower actually looks like. Still haven't been inside... Next trip!

Where the Crown Jewels are kept. Saw them this time. My favourite was the MASSIVE diamond on the Queen Mother's crown.

The Memorial on the spot where Anne Boelyn and co lost their heads

So on Thursday we got off to a later start than planned, but we headed to the Natural History Museum. I have a feeling South Kensington is quickly going to become one of my favourite places, since i was already in love with the V&A and now have a massive love for the Natural History Museum too!

Such an impressive building (and diplodocus)

There was a FANTASTIC exhibition – Animals Inside Out. sadly no photos as they weren’t allowed, but also, i don’t want to gross anyone out! It was weird, an elephant cut in half, a sectioned giraffe, a dissected horses head, all fine… but the nervous system of a cat? totally weirded me out. I felt skeezed and completely fascinated all at the same time… So elephant’s heart? bigger than it’s brain. Goats? can have up to 3 kids and they fit together in the womb like one of those wooden puzzles. Hare brain? is in face hare-brained (ie, tiny). Shark livers? MASSIVE. it was all fairly awesome!

Didn’t take a lot of pictures in the rest of the museum … but did have to snap this one – as i’m pretty sure this is the LARGEST POSSUM I HAVE EVER SEEN.

what were they feeding it? check the numbat for size comparison

Also, did find out that opossums are in face marsupials – which i did not know. I was also TERRIBLY disappointed that all the big cats were off exhibit for research 😦

The blue whale was pretty darn impressive though

The scale is a bit off in this photo as was trying to get the giraffe in, but the blue whale takes up the whole room.

On Friday we headed out to Soho to a place called The Breakfast Club. I am a bit in love and this is quite dangerous given that it’s right near my new job… but the food is AMAZING and the atmosphere is very like something you’d find in Melbourne. (must add, Time Out has not let me down for good food joints yet!)

I didn't even mind all the yellow!

Jen wanted a proper English breakky… which is what she got. I personally had pancakes and bacon and it was AMAZING

Black pudding and all... and those potatoes? THE BEST EVER!

In the afternoon we headed back to the NHM since i needed to exchange the worst umbrella ever ™ for a new one. which hopefully will last longer than a day this time. We then went to the V&A to check out the British Design exhibit and have a general poke around. I STILL need to go back though! so much to see there! I also LOVE the shop there. picked up some lovely hand painted buttons!

From there we walked to Albert Hall, along Hyde park and then down to Buckingham Palace – proper sight seeing. I was fricking buggered at the end of it though, so we walked just a little further and ate delicious noodles at Wagamama in Victoria since Jen had never been there. we ended up ordering the same thing – hilarious!

The Royal Albert Hall

Hyde Park at dusk

The sun sets on Buckingham Palace

As we walked through Hyde Park corner I went to check out the Australian War Memorial i had been told was there. I will be very very busy on Anzac day, but it was a goodly reminder to take stock. It’s a very impressive monument, if simple. The back wall ‘weeps’ and all those words are actually made up of the names of Australian towns and suburbs, presumably those that suffered losses… I spotted Sydenham, Modbury, Woolongong, North Brisbane, Fraser Island, Torrens Island, Brighton… too many to take in…

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we shall remember them.

So that was the last week… yesterday i stayed in bed, caught up on my shows and finished my Aeolian shawl (blogging it soon on my other blog) and today i will head to the shops and then go to the airport to meet a friend who is bringing me 13KG of STUFF! so excited!

Tomorrow i start training at Apple!! wish me luck!

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