I read in the news that Theresa May, Prime Minister of Great Britain, is to travel to France to lay a wreath on the graves of two young British soldiers who were killed during World War 1. One of them was the first man to die in that 'war to end all wars' and the … Continue reading Saint-Symphorien Cemetery World War 1
On the green in the middle of the town stands a memorial to the last little chimney sweep to die here, and just a few miles away a lovely old pub is the site of the last hanging to take place. I’m in Newport, the main town on the Isle of Wight, sometimes referred to … Continue reading Newport, Isle of Wight, a Second Look
To London last week with the British Guild of Travel Writers for our Annual Summer Outing which this year included a visit to the Banqueting House in Whitehall, a tour on a Big London Bus and a Cruise on the River Thames with City Cruises, the boat that allows you to get off at any stop along the route. The open-top bus tour and the river cruise took place in blazing sunshine and although London sights are familiar, the landmarks and historic sites never fail to thrill.
The Banqueting House is the last surviving part of the Palace of Whitehall*. It was once the greatest palace of its time in Europe, almost totally destroyed by fire in 1698, but I knew nothing of its history until this visit.
© Historic Royal Palaces/Peter Li
A view of the great hall and its ceiling decorated with paintings by Sir Peter Paul Rubens…
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a banquet was composed of little snacks and desserts, eaten after diners had finished the main course and were waiting for the entertainment to begin. A banqueting house was a separate little house or room, highly decorated and situated a short walk away from the main dining hall in order to aid digestion. The Banqueting House of Whitehall Palace was the biggest and grandest of them all.
It’s called a Regatta, but that’s an understatement if ever there was one, for this yachtfest is Cowes Week, the time of year when the inhabitants of the English town of Cowes on the Isle of Wight, rent out their houses, kennel the dogs and cats, and disappear. The ‘yachties’ are about to descend on … Continue reading COWES WEEK – The Regatta
Looking through some images last night reminded me of a trip I took a few years ago visiting the places where the Impressionists had painted (sometimes standing exactly where they had stood as they worked), places like Rouen, Honfleur, Etretat and Le Havre in N. France. The idea behind the trip was to look at … Continue reading In the Footsteps of The Impressionists
The recent death of gardener and plant collector, Beth Chatto OBE, and her mention on Monty Don’s gardening programme on Friday reminded me of the retrospective to her work at the Garden Museum at Lambeth in London (formerly the Museum of Garden History) which I visited a few years ago. I was actually visiting the … Continue reading The Garden Museum, London
In Sweden last week, and despite the -4 degrees, I had one of the best walks I’d had in Gothenburg for many years. I’ve always loved the city but on earlier visits to family, we’ve stuck to the areas I know and enjoy. My first visit is always to the Feskekorke - quite literally translated … Continue reading Gothenburg: New Beginnings
I didn’t imagine it would be so difficult to write about my walk on the Ypres Salient in Belgium, as I followed the course of the World War l battle of 1917 but it’s impossible to write about the horrors of the 3rd Battle of Ypres (also known as Passchendaele) without including great chunks of … Continue reading A Walk on the Ramparts of Ypres
I thought my first post after my trip to Belgium last week would be about my walks around the battlefields of Ypres, but my mind is so full of the experience of seeing R.C. Sherriff’s play Journey’s End, performed in an Ammunition Dump in that Belgium city, that I want to talk about that instead. … Continue reading Journey’s End at Ypres – In Remembrance