Another quick hop across the alps and we're back in England again for a couple of weeks. It's bitterly cold outside, has been snowing on and off and we might even get a white Christmas. We've got a full house, friends from Positano have come to stay too, and inspired by the TV series 'The Tudors' we decide to visit Hampton Court Palace for the day. We even bumped into the King himself as he walked through the Clock courtyard. He invited us to join him for a drink before he prepared himself for his sixth marriage to Katherine Parr, we were given velvet Tudor cloaks to wear and listened, fascinated as the King told us all about his previous wives.
The corridors around the palace were icy cold and draughty, but the windowsills had been decorated for Christmas and the smell of dried oranges and cinnamon wafted enticingly through the walkways. There were red-coated attendants in every room that were incredibly heplful and eager to share their knowledge with us. We had a particularly interesting conversation with one attendant who told us about the various hauntings and paranormal events that people had experienced.
There were various different bedrooms, used for different purposes; some for sleeping in, some for receiving visitors and rituals. Can you imagine waking up here in the morning, having your bed-curtains drawn, and having to be washed and dressed in front of a crowd of invited onlookers?Outside the Palace in winter there is an open-air ice-rink, bordering onto the River Thames. We skated round and round, the Palace lit up in front of us with coloured floodlights, the snow falling all around us and the river glistening nearby. It was beautiful and freezing and oh-so-worth doing!