After my brother's wedding that was held in a classic British Country House in Kent, Andrea and I headed up to Windsor, home of the Queen's private residence (and yes she happened to be home as indicated by the raised Union Jack flag over the castle). We stayed in a 19 century gothic style country mansion called Oakley Court Hotel. It is situated on the Thames River, across from Eton's college, and was the location for the 2012 Olympic Rowing venue. With 35 acres of ground we had a lovely morning stroll as the morning dew burnt off the river.
|Rhubarb Trifle with Coffee|
|Oakley Court Hotel|
|Black Rabbit Pub|
|View from the Cavendish of Eastbourne|
Our last night was in London. Andrea had booked us tickets to the Mozart Requiem concert at St Martin in the Field, near Trafalgar Square. Rebuilt in 1542, then in 1720, the earliest reference to this church goes as far back as 1222 thanks to a dispute between the Abbot of Westminster and the Bishop of London. In 2006 during some excavation of the site, graves dating back to about 410 were discovered. The church is iconic and one of the most famous non cathedral churches in London, and is home to regular lunch and evening concerts. Our concert was by candle light with a large orchestra and choir that must have been made up of some 50+ people.
The concert did not start till 730pm, so took the tube to Coventry Garden. The annual Festival of Remembrance held by the Royal British Legion had a band stand set up in the square with various artist performing for free. We were hungry and trying hard not to end up in yet another pub, and happened to walk into a Jamie Oliver "Union Jack" Restaurant, which had been opened in time for the recent Olympics. The Restaurant is outside, under the canopy of the Garden's. Although cold and damp that night, the serving staff offered us warm blankets to wrap ourselves in as we ate, and our seats were heated. The menu proudly offered only English items, and the food served was basic and healthy, yet super tasty. Best of all, this gourmet experience was very affordable and we were delighted by the number of teens also dining in the restaurant, without adult supervision. It really was a fun place where we could have spent an entire evening being entertained, but we had to rush off to our concert.
Next morning we were up at 5am, picked up by a shuttle from our hotel and dropped off at Heathrow Airport by 6:30pm. Yet another simple and enjoyable travel experience.