Today I went with David to Kingston because he had to be a mystery shopper at a restaurant called Frango’s. He had to judge their customer service, food quality and other aspects of the shop. Was an enjoyable lunch and David got reinbursed for it so it was a free! I don’t think we were obvious.
Then we walked down to the Thames to a small wharf where I got the ferry to Hampton Court. The ride took about 1/2 hour and was very scenic – lots of beautiful houses lining the river.
Hampton Court – a palace where Henry VIII lived was an amazing castle – its sheer size was crazy – and had the largest gardens! I got an audio guide which took me through most of the castle – it was a little dramatised but really informative – learnt alot about Henry and his 6 wives. The rooms were very spacious and had such lavish decorations – so many picutres in gold frames, some were wall sized! And the ceilings were painted all over in big murals. Walked through the various bedroom chambers, kitchen quarters and main hall and around the courtyards of the palace.
Then I met David in the gardens – all together there is over 60 acres of gardnes – all beautifuully maintained and full of flowers and trees. There were different sections of the outside garden – with different themes and styles – I loved the Rose garden, it was so fragrant and the roses were magnificent. I couldn’t stop taking photos!! Walked around the rest of the gardens including the privy garden, the wilderness gardent, the 20th Centrury garden (which had a funny addition), the vineyard, orangery and maze (although we missed the maze by 5 mins).
It was such a beautiful estate and lot of people were also enjoying it – I hate to think how much effort goes into maintaining it – it was all so manicured and ordered- so grand. I felt like I in a Jane Austen movie: taking a turn about the garden. Can’t really describe their beauty so here are some photos which I hope convey how amazing the Hampton Court gardens are.
Left around 6:30 and walked back along the Thames to Kingston. Was a really pleasant walk which took about an hour. Other people were riding bikes or going for a run, other people were fishing – was really calming being by the water.