I'm doing Major Research and I have an Agenda. Want to see? Bring your walking shoes, umbrella, raincoat (could be chilly too), and a sweater. Also do bring your camera because I take a picture of ANYthing which appeals. Your shoelace. The waiter's tie. Notorious. Yes. And sad. I need many cameras for shots so I can write other blogs like this one! With GOOD pictures...we do pray.
YES! I'm off for England soooon for 2+ weeks!!! Our trip this year is to London, Windsor, Reading and Bath. I am so tickled, I am silly with it.
Yesterday at a day-long FB party (Hey, forgive spelling here, I'm still recovering), I "served high tea." My mother was of English origin and tea was served at our house the English way in a pot, mind you, milk and sugar on the side with a homemade scone or good shortbread cookie.
Mr. DeLand chuckles at my English tea. He needs his java. But he says he will partake. While in England, do as they do, you see.
I am going with superb expectations that I will cram everything in I need to do and see to satisfy my historian's soul—and my writer's heart. This means, of course, that Mr. DeLand knows how to amuse himself while I shop (that verb to him is dawdle) in a museum store or the palace bookshop. (He has decades of experience with me, so he is primed.)
This year I have research goals, as ever. But they are a tad different than in past. This year we do a LOT of Regency and another shot of Victorian areas and experiences. Why? Well, I am excited about Regency architecture. This is for my series that began with HER BEGUILING BUTLER. (See here.) DELIGHTFUL DOINGS IN DUDLEY CRESCENT is my series about lords and ladies (rom com, mystery, and tons of history to titillate) who fall in love with servants. Of course, none of the servants is of that class, else what is a Regency romance for, eh? It must focus on noblemen acting in extraordinary ways to achieve the ultimate goal, marriage. I digress.
Ready for that schedule?
DAY ONE (which is really Day 2 because the DeLands get JET LAG like the POX has arrived!)
Apsley House, London Regency walking tour; and TOWER OF LONDON
This makes the 6th or 7th or umpty-umpth time we have done THE TOWER. But Mr. DeLand's forefather (and mine) came over from Normandy with William the Conqueror and Mr. DeLand gets crazy mad goosebumps every time he visits. Ergo, one must, eh? I say his ancestor helped to either build said castle, defend it or had a room there. Hmmm.
DAY TWO: Windsor Castle
|I do wish I could say I am taking tea here.|
Alas, it is Buckingham Palace and this year,
HRM is busy when we arrive.
See us on the train, walking, dining there. I was there back in the my grad school days. Mr. DeLand has never been. I think that decades on, for me, I will get to see more of the castle than I did back in the day. So much more is open these days!
DAY THREE: Royal Mews and Cavalry Museum
I am up for the Mews! Last year, we were in Paris for our research trip and we went to the Palais Royale in Compiegne. We dined in a FAB 5 star place for lunch, made our way to the Palais and by the time we finished the main house, the mews was closed. I wept fat tears. Give me a carriage. Always. I get my fix here!
DAY FOUR: Spencer House. Regency Walk around London in which we amble along to haberdashers, Fortnum and Mason, a few squares to look at architecture and to dine and do high tea!
DAY FIVE: Hampton Court Palace or Blenheim. This choice depends on how we feel that morning. Why? After doing this self-guided touring for years now, we understand that occasionally we have to NOT run ourselves mad and do something simpler, not so strenuous. Especially if the weather is not wonderful, we want to be certain to be kind to ourselves, our feet and our health.
Blenheim is necessary to me as I begin a series about American Heiresses who married English noblemen in the Victorian era!
DAY SIX: Banqueting House and Museum of London. The Banqueting House is a bit of an aside, one of those "must do-haven't been there yet thingies" but it calls to me. In my un-copious free time, I want to write (research) Restoration period.
DAY SEVEN: Osterley Park.
This is my big Regency house tour day. Mr. DeLand will sigh and nod and humor me for hours. But he will love the train and the countryside. I know he will!
DAY EIGHT: Arundel Castle or Free
This is a bow to Mr. DeLand's delight in early medieval castles and my tendency to write a medieval now and then!
Ah, yes. That architecture thingie? This is where I get to drool. Soanes was a major architect during the Regency period for many and I understand that the house alone is a treasure. See me dropping many POUNDS in the shop. Not weight, no. MONEY.
Why St. Paul's? To be honest? While Mr. DeLand has been here often, I have never. I must go this time.
And dinner at Rules? Ah. Mr. DeLand says we must take out a home equity loan to pay the bill, but go we will. Have you seen the menu? O.M.G. An Englishman's heaven. Roast beef and oysters and kidney pie and soups. I may never leave. (See me doing the dishes?)
DAY TEN, ELEVEN, TWELVE, THIRTEEN, FOURTEEN: BATH
We take the train. Love trains. Bought our tickets on line and let me just give a plug to British Railways who, when this American could not read their website well, did reimburse me for the 4 extra tickets I managed to purchase for 2 people on the same train, same day, and another 2 which went the wrong way immediately after the first 2 arrived.
In Bath, we will go go go to:
1. Museum of Bath Architecture
2. Fashion Museum, open 10:30-5:00 every day,
Tours at 1200 noon and 4:00 each day.
See Georgian Exhibit
Entry to the Assembly Rooms is included in the Fashion Museum ticket. - See more at: http://www.fashionmuseum.co.uk/assembly-rooms#sthash.VTqcQfzi.dpuf
3. Assembly Rooms, 10:30 - 5:00, every day
4. Jane Austen Center, open every day
5. The Circus
6. Royal Crescent
7. Roman Baths
Before we leave Bath, I will ship home my READER SWAG and goodies for all those FB Parties in 2015-2016. I learned to do this years ago rather than accosting airline check-in clerks with my displeasure at their dislike of my weighty luggage!
DAY FIFTEEN: We leave Bath. Color me sobbing! We take the bus from Bath to our hotel at the airport! I do love airport hotels. Means I can get up the next morning and look like a human being instead of this mad woman who has to get to the airport through wild traffic only to stand in line...again.
DAY SIXTEEN: We fly home!