Return to Old Favorites: Kew Gardens, Hampton Court Palace & The Mute Swan

We start our day at Kew Gardens, one of our favorite places to visit.  It is a beautiful sunny day with puffy white clouds in the sky.  We heard there is a magnificent Chihuly glass exhibit entitled Reflection on Nature that is not to be missed.  We were not disappointed as you can tell from the pictures below.

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Sapphire Star

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Yummy Lunch at the Botanical Restaurant

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Paintbrushes

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Palm House

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Regal colored Flowers

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Dashing Gentleman

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Queen Elizabeth Rose with busy bees inside

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Dame Judith Dench Rose

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Red Reeds outside Waterlily House

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Ethereal White Persian Pond Glass Sculptures inside Waterlily House

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Sun splashed Spike

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Summer Sun

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Scarlet and Yellow Icicle Tower

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Neodymium Reeds and Turquoise Marlins

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Cattails and Copper Birch Reeds

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Temperate House Potted Plants

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Breathtaking Blue Glass Sculpture suspended from the ceiling.

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Sandy took photos from catwalk in ceiling

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Multiple Glass Sculptures playing Hide and Seek among the flowers and foliage

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Green Hornets and Gold Water Drops

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Red Reeds in Temperate House foliage

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White and Gold Glass Octopus like piece hanging over doorway  of Temperate House

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Turquoise Marlins

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Opal Glass Pear on table

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Jim stayed at floor level and found more  hidden Chihuly pieces than Sandy who took photos on ceiling walkway

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Niijima Floats on perfectly manicured bed of sand in front of Japanese Gateway

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Sandy spied a Peacock

From Kew we took a few buses to Hampton Court in East Molesey.  We visited here last year touring the many gardens on the grounds.  Todays focus was to visit Henry VIII’s State Apartments as well as the adjoining building which was home to William III and Mary II.

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Entrance to Hampton Court Palace.

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Henry’s Great Hall.

IMG_0138As we entered the Great Hall we enjoyed a face to face with Henry VIII himself who entertained us with a comical chronologic overview of his six marriages.

#1 Catherine of Aragon: DIVORCED, after 24 years for not being able to produce him a son.  One child – Mary.

#2 Anne Boleyn: BEHEADED for plotting to kill him and accusations of infidelity.  One child – Elizabeth who eventually became Queen of England.  Queen Elizabeth I

#3 Jane Seymour: DIED two weeks after giving birth to a son Prince Edward.

#4 Ann of Cleaves: DIVORCED after a few weeks of marriage for being ugly.

#5 Kathryn Howard: BEHEADED as a teen bride for being unfaithful to Henry who was at the time 49, overweight and unable to walk.

#6 Catherine Parr: SURVIVED, she was a kind wife that looked after Henry in his sickness and was a good stepmother to his children.  She outlived him.

There you have it; two divorces, two executions, one death and one lone survivor.  Quite the king he was.IMG_0146IMG_0148

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The King’s Staircase to William’s Apartments.

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Ceiling over the staircase.

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The Guard Chamber with a remarkable collection of weapons displayed on the walls.

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Very artful display.

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The Privy Garden.

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William’s comfortable throne for meeting with his petitioners.

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The Orangery where outdoor plants are stored during the winter.

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William’s private dining room.

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The Fountain Court.

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The Clock Court.

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The best part of the day, sitting down to a half pint of ale and Guiness with a few snacks at The Mute Swan where we had lunch last year.

 

5 responses to “Return to Old Favorites: Kew Gardens, Hampton Court Palace & The Mute Swan”

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