Last weekend, I ventured from the city and off to Windsor with Molly. I knew this town was intricately linked to the royal family, and most of the blogs I read from people abroad in London raved about it, so I absolutely had to go.
Molly and I got there at 9, when the admissions office was still closed, so we walked along the main street and found a little place to have some tea and breakfast!
Once we were done, we headed straight to the castle. I had spent a lot of time trying to figure out when to go, since a lot of the areas are closed at various times of the year, and I did not want to miss out. We started off by joining an organized tour group, subtly hanging out like we belonged while the guide told us about the fire in 1992 and the round tower. We soon realized that the tour guide wouldn’t be coming into the castle with the group, and we didn’t want to be stuck behind that many people, so we scurried off and went to see Queen Mary’s dollhouse on our own. As soon as we got there, I realized that Molly loves this stuff just as much as I do, which was absolutely awesome!
Now, I think it is a good thing and a bad thing that we were not allowed to take pictures of the dollhouse or in the State Apartments. Bad because I would have taken pictures of absolutely everything, and good because…I would have taken pictures of absolutely everything and would therefore still be there. The dollhouse was never meant to be played with, which I think is incredibly sad for the children who would go to their grandmother’s house and have to look at the miniature version of the castle with fully functional plumbing and electricity and not be able to touch it. But it is definitely something to look at. The details and intricacies of it all are unbelievable.
While the dollhouse is extraordinary for being such a small representation, the state apartments are overwhelmingly beautiful and full of grandeur and just so gorgeous. We spent longer in each room than the audio guides expected us to, and if the castle guides, who were stationed in each room, mentioned something we had missed, we sometimes had to back track so we could check out the floor. The audio guides were fun, but I definitely recommend asking the people who work there what their favorite room is, and whether they have any interesting stories for you, because most of them do 🙂
Once we made it to the semi-state apartments, I came up with a new life goal. I would like to be there from March to October, when they are closed off to the public. You see, when the Queen is at the Castle, this area is closed off so that she can use it to entertain. There are rooms specifically designed for inviting people over for late dinners and letting them sleep over. My goal is to be invited to one of these dinner parties, which I think is a distinct possibility. I have even come up with a list of ways to get my name on the list. Ideally, I will become such an incredible actress and a good, caring, philanthropic person that I will become a Dame and be invited for the pleasure of my company. If that doesn’t work out, I can donate a lot of time and money to charity so I can be invited to the Royal Ascot, or simply marry someone who will receive an invite. For now I will work on Plan A, since it is the most in sync with my current life goals 😉
Once we were done exploring the castle, we went to St George’s Chapel. I knew that it was not open for visitors on Sundays, but you could attend services, so we went to the 12 o’clock one, which was mostly singing. Since we were such a small group, we didn’t sit in the bigger area, we sat in these little individual alcoves where we had to walk over Henry VIII’s vault in order to receive communion. Definitely worth seeing from the inside (I mean the chapel, not the vault).
Since we had some time before our tea reservations, we wandered the town, finding the Last Supper painting at the Parish church, sampling some delicious chai teas before finally locating the Fudge Kitchen. It was on both of our lists of things we wanted to see, even though I don’t really like fudge. We got there at the boring part, or so we were told, but Jimmy kept us very entertained while he stirred the batch of fudge he was working on. We had to leave before he got to the fun part, but we promised to come back with Kailea, who was meeting us for tea.
Once we got to the Sir Christopher Wren hotel, the girls both thanked me for my excellent research and planning skills. I had nothing to do with it, really, but the view was incredible, our waiter was really funny and the food was delicious. It was also really fancy, with a singer and instruments, but really not expensive.
We had a variety of sandwiches, including cheese and tomatoe, ham and mustard, egg, then salmon and cucumber together.
The scones were really good, and warm. These were the best scones Molly had tasted so far on the trip, and her mother owned a tea room when she was younger, so we can trust her opinion.
For dessert, there was a red pouf thing with a greyish cream in the center and a macaron, but my favorite were the two cakes, one chocolate and one banana bread. They were sooo delicious.
As soon as tea was done, we rushed back to the Fudge Kitchen to watch Jimmy make the Canadian maple and walnut fudge. Even if you don’t like fudge, the entertainment is reason enough to go, although it is also really good, and you should definitely buy some. He might even tell you which royals sometimes make their way down from the castle for some salted caramel fudge 😉
We wandered over to Eton and just walked around a bit before taking our train ride home. It was a wonderful day and I just might have to go again with my parents when they come visit 😉