Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Memoirs of an English (and French) adventure...the Royal Borough of Windsor

St Georges Chapel.  Resting place of many known Monachs
and English nobility including Henry VIII and his BFF Charles
Brandon.  The little people liked it too...so many statues
Dr Love had picked up something nasty on the flight abroad and barely made it through the Oxford adventure. So the following morning, my cousins B and G, myself and the little people left him on the couch and set off for a fabulous girls’ day out at the Royal Borough of Winsor. Ah Windsor. A little town so entrenched in British royal history –I am almost obsessive when it comes to the British, that it almost made up for the fact that despite being in the UK for three whole days, I had yet to shop! So unlike me I know but there was so much to see and so many old buildings and castles to do that I was strangely content to bide both my time and my ahem...budget! Visiting Windsor and particular Windsor castle for the second time in seven years was just shy of receiving a Prada handbag at Christmas on the Richter scale of excitement. Not only was I walking the very same stones that were underfoot kings and queens a hundred times over and greeting the tombs of the known and not so known monarchs and their favourite nobility – hello Charles Brandon, I feel I know you so well - but there was a palace shop on almost every corner! And I love a palace shop nearly as much as I love a shoe shop! Go figure that one out!

The stroll up the hill and onto the Castle itself had us all breathless with the majesty of the imposing grey stones that towered and curved above and around us. If I was hoping for a leisurely stroll through the embellished and stately apartments that escorted us back to a time when heads rolled as often the fashions of the season, I was mistaken. The youngest of the little people, baby cub, had relinquished her pram at the cloak room upon admission and although was happy to be free from its restraints did not like being told where she could and could not run and oh wow, didn’t that gold gilded sideboard and big tall bed look inviting to an excitable dare devil! So, with screaming babe in arms it was a quick meander through the hallowed halls and a fleeting glance at Queen Mary’s dolls house and the centuries old portraits of monarchs for whom stories are told and television shows are made until we reached the end and could divulge ourselves of her not so pleasant nappy!

From the castle, we strolled through the pretty streets nearby searching for the Crooked House of Windsor; our chosen venue for an afternoon tea delight. Imagine our excitement when we found the tiny 16th century building right alongside the columned facade of the guildhall, the very place Charles and Camilla tied the royal knot five year before.  Believe it or not the Crooked House really was crooked and once inside rather discerning to those of us climbing the narrow stair case to the upper level in order to partake in a spot of tea.

We had some spare time before our train arrived in the afternoon so we popped into a few of the shops that lined the station concourse; an exciting experience on its own. It was here that I first discovered Hobbs, a sophisticated high street retail heaven that offered classic cuts and elegant silhouettes for the chic fashionista in all of us. When I considered the closest Australian alternative, the best I could do in comparison was Veronika Maine, only more refined and colourful with a cascade of rich teals, blues, greens, reds and purples. It was fair to say that I was in colour wheel heaven and would return to Hobbs many times over the coming weeks.


  1. Heaven! and brilliantly written up as always, with atmosphere (and that unique touch of humour)! Thank you for my vicarious travel experience....

    (PS - you must read 'Towers In The Mist' by Elizabeth Goudge one day. Quaint but memorable story of Oxford, will stay with you forever).

  2. Lovely Lynda, you so deserve to see these treasures first hand. You would truly love them. Towers in the Mist it shall be and I have another Phillippa Gregory story that I am sure you will devour, The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville. Tell me, have you see the movie Young Victoria yet?


I'd love to have a conversation with you so please leave me a comment. MFS xxx

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