I had heard fantastic things about Hampton Court, so we hopped on a National Rail train to check out King Henry VIII's palace. It was only a thirty five minute train ride until we arrived, and the initial view of the castle and the river running alongside it was lovely. We decided to buy membership to the castles, which means we have free entry to Hampton Court, Kew Palace, Kensington Palace, Tower of London and the Banqueting House for the next year. We also get 10% off restaurants and the retail shops. It definitely pays for itself at the end of the day.
Our first stop was the castle itself, where J was very anxious to check out the kitchens that fed Henry and his court. Basically, they ate mostly meat and drank lots of wine. So not a big surprise that Henry weighed more than 400 lbs when he died.
Long avenues radiated out from the rear exit of the castle, and they were lined with Alice in Wonderland type trees that were shaped and pruned to within an inch of their lives.
We tried walking off our very full bellies by exploring the garden by the cafe. We saw acres and acres of daffodils and the occasional blossoming tree, and it all felt wonderfully idyllic and peaceful.
All in all, it was the ideal way to while away a picture-perfect spring day.