Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Summer in the City ~ Parks & Palaces

After a huge birthday breakfast it was time to walk off the calories with a stroll through the open spaces and parks of the city. Part 2 of my day included a visit to Kensington Palace, something that I had on my "London to Do List" for a long time and had never got round to. 
I do like visiting our historical palaces and looked forward to visiting the former home of Queen Victoria, Princess Diana and currently Kate & William. To make the most of the sunshine I chose to walk through Grosvenor square across, Park Lane and through Hyde park.
Ambling along Brook street my iphone went into instagram overdrive with all the glorious window boxes. (how beautiful are these)
Grosvenor Square was a hive of activity and I spent ages people watching along with lusting after the glorious hollyhocks that were the signature planting in the beds surrounding the water feature within the park. It was lovely to see them full of bees and insects…
Leaving the lovely Grosvenor Square I headed across Park Lane into the 350 acres of Hyde Park. Hyde Park was acquired by Henry VIII from the monks of Westminster Abbey in 1536 and was a private hunting ground until James I came to the throne and permitted access. Hyde Park may not be as pretty as some of the  other parks in London but it has some gorgeous features, including a glorious lake, lido, and eateries. Early morning you can often catch the army's cavalry contouring through the park, exercising the military horses or practising manoeuvres.
Ambling through the park, you could definitely tell summer was here…. Some of the visitors to the park were very pleasing on the eye!
One of the nicest parts of the park is on and around the Serpentine Lake, perfect place to escape from the hullabaloo of the city and enjoy nature and have some fun. Whether its boating, peddling or swimming the Serpentine has lots to off. I took advantage of a seat at the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen and enjoyed watching the birds and boats on the water.
After a brief stop I continued my walk through the park passing the exit for the Royal Albert Hall, Princess Diana memorial and admiring a beautiful flower bed of glorious purple and pink bedding plants and dahlias, into Kensington Gardens and the grounds of the palace.
Flanked by 2 huge wrought iron gilded gates (made ever more iconic during the mourning period of Princess Diana) Kensington Palace sits within the park alongside its glorious garden and orangery. Kensington Palace currently houses a fashion exhibition which features dresses worn by the Queen, Princess Margaret and Princess Diana during the decades. This sits alongside a very interesting installation from the mourning period of Queen Victoria.


One of my favourite features was a fun and funky wall, decorated with a specially commissioned wallpaper from Cole & Sons which accompanied an exhibition in 2012 when the refurbishment of the palace was completed.
Outside the palace alongside the garden  sits the Orangery, a greenhouse structure built in the style of an elaborate palace that was commissioned by Queen Anne in 1704, its beautiful setting lends itself perfectly for a spot of tea, lunch or slice of cake. Still recovering from breakfast and with tea booked later in the day, I didn't partake in refreshments, but have it on my list to return to.
The gardens of Kensington Palace and the Orangery are just beautiful, a cacophony of colour and planting in a very structured manner. With viewing gaps within the tunnel of foliage it is one of the best features of the palace and offers such varied views at each point.
After a lovely lunchtime and afternoon in the park, it was time for me to jump on a bus and head to Piccadilly for me to enjoy Afternoon Tea as another Birthday treat. 

No comments:

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Summer in the City ~ Parks & Palaces

After a huge birthday breakfast it was time to walk off the calories with a stroll through the open spaces and parks of the city. Part 2 of my day included a visit to Kensington Palace, something that I had on my "London to Do List" for a long time and had never got round to. 
I do like visiting our historical palaces and looked forward to visiting the former home of Queen Victoria, Princess Diana and currently Kate & William. To make the most of the sunshine I chose to walk through Grosvenor square across, Park Lane and through Hyde park.
Ambling along Brook street my iphone went into instagram overdrive with all the glorious window boxes. (how beautiful are these)
Grosvenor Square was a hive of activity and I spent ages people watching along with lusting after the glorious hollyhocks that were the signature planting in the beds surrounding the water feature within the park. It was lovely to see them full of bees and insects…
Leaving the lovely Grosvenor Square I headed across Park Lane into the 350 acres of Hyde Park. Hyde Park was acquired by Henry VIII from the monks of Westminster Abbey in 1536 and was a private hunting ground until James I came to the throne and permitted access. Hyde Park may not be as pretty as some of the  other parks in London but it has some gorgeous features, including a glorious lake, lido, and eateries. Early morning you can often catch the army's cavalry contouring through the park, exercising the military horses or practising manoeuvres.
Ambling through the park, you could definitely tell summer was here…. Some of the visitors to the park were very pleasing on the eye!
One of the nicest parts of the park is on and around the Serpentine Lake, perfect place to escape from the hullabaloo of the city and enjoy nature and have some fun. Whether its boating, peddling or swimming the Serpentine has lots to off. I took advantage of a seat at the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen and enjoyed watching the birds and boats on the water.
After a brief stop I continued my walk through the park passing the exit for the Royal Albert Hall, Princess Diana memorial and admiring a beautiful flower bed of glorious purple and pink bedding plants and dahlias, into Kensington Gardens and the grounds of the palace.
Flanked by 2 huge wrought iron gilded gates (made ever more iconic during the mourning period of Princess Diana) Kensington Palace sits within the park alongside its glorious garden and orangery. Kensington Palace currently houses a fashion exhibition which features dresses worn by the Queen, Princess Margaret and Princess Diana during the decades. This sits alongside a very interesting installation from the mourning period of Queen Victoria.


One of my favourite features was a fun and funky wall, decorated with a specially commissioned wallpaper from Cole & Sons which accompanied an exhibition in 2012 when the refurbishment of the palace was completed.
Outside the palace alongside the garden  sits the Orangery, a greenhouse structure built in the style of an elaborate palace that was commissioned by Queen Anne in 1704, its beautiful setting lends itself perfectly for a spot of tea, lunch or slice of cake. Still recovering from breakfast and with tea booked later in the day, I didn't partake in refreshments, but have it on my list to return to.
The gardens of Kensington Palace and the Orangery are just beautiful, a cacophony of colour and planting in a very structured manner. With viewing gaps within the tunnel of foliage it is one of the best features of the palace and offers such varied views at each point.
After a lovely lunchtime and afternoon in the park, it was time for me to jump on a bus and head to Piccadilly for me to enjoy Afternoon Tea as another Birthday treat. 

No comments: