Flamingo croquet, French fotheringales and green parrots

23 Apr

or a family day out at Hampton Court Palace

Lewis Carroll must have had Hampton Court Palace garden in mind when he wrote Alice in Wonderland. Tulips as upright as soldiers, spotty panthers and golden lions planted amongst the cowslips, ancient yew trees with topiaried canopies, the famous twisting maze and Henry VIII himself, striding purposefully along the avenues, guarded by manificiently pantalooned gentlemen. The green parrots resting in the cherry tree add a final surreal touch.

Of course there’s interesting stuff inside the Palace too. On this visit, Eve and I enjoyed helping Kateryn Parr get dressed for her wedding to Henry VIII. We learned about front parts, fore sleeves, fotheringales and French hoods as Kateryn and her Aunt gossiped about the Privy Council and Anne Boleyn. On other visits we’ve helped turn the enormous spit in the kitchen, been shown around the Georgian wing by a ghost and helped to make a marzipan crown for one of Henry VIII’s wedding feasts.

But on a beautiful English spring day, it is hard to stay inside for too long. The gardens are an absolute joy. There are cooling fountains, a long, grassy riverside walk, a flower filled meadow with shady trees and bold robins who almost feed out of your hand. The formal gardens are perfect for games of hide and seek and flamingo croquet. And the topiary hedges are so huge and so wonderful that a whole family of small children could set up home in one of them.

Sir Dickon had to be lured out with tic tacs.

This post was written for Photo Friday over at Delicious Baby.  For more travel photos, head on over…

4 Responses to “Flamingo croquet, French fotheringales and green parrots”

  1. Lucia 24/04/2010 at 7:18 am #

    Great pics and perfect spring outing. Bookmarking this post as we are in the midst of planning our two week trip to England this summer….Lake District, Cotswolds, and London…any tips for our traveling family? I’ll have to go through your archives for more ideas. Currently focusing on finding good family accomodations.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 24/04/2010 at 4:26 pm #

      I will definitely have a think and let you know…

  2. Muddling Along Mummy 26/04/2010 at 2:40 pm #

    Oh that looks lovely – haven’t been to Hampton Court in ages


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