19 March 2017

A Royal Afternoon at Kensington Palace

In an attempt to prolong our birthdays, my Mum and I took to celebrate with a girly day in London. Afternoon tea was the order of the day, so we went to Kensington Palace - The Orangery to be exact - to kick things off. 

If you've never been to Kensington Palace (the place where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge live, apparently). you should go. Why? Well firstly, it's pretty.

Secondly, as mentioned before, it's home to The Orangery. A grand dining room set in a garden pavilion, built for Queen Anne in 1704.

You're greeted with a magnificent flower arrangement and some rather tempting bottles of fizz.

But it's what's waiting for you when you sit down that's the best part...

We told them it had been our joint birthday a few weeks ago, and within a few minutes we were surprised with this delectable display.

A marzipan tile, miniature battenberg, blueberries and a blueberry jus. Such a wonderful touch, and it made the experience all the more special.

But just as soon as we'd finished ooh-ing and ahh-ing at this display, out came our 'tea'.

All the usual sandwich, scones and cake offerings.

For me, egg mayonnaise and cress; smoked salmon and cream cheese; coronation chicken; roast ham and English mustard; cucumber and fresh mint.

The cakes: Victoria sponge; a blueberry mousse and apple and cinnamon mousse, each topped with meringue; a small chocolate mousse and a battenberg.

The scones were delicious, I just wish they'd been... bigger? I managed to polish both of mine off, and usually I can only manage one.

We ordered our afternoon tea with a glass of pink fizz; I had an Earl Grey Blue Flowers tea, my Mum chose a Wild Berries (as she has to have decaf - no decaf tea or coffee options, unfortunately).

I opened some belated cards...

What would my birthday be without a cat card, huh? (I actually had about 4 cat-cards in total, my loved ones know me well).

After ogling the grandeur...

We moved on to our tour of the palace itself.

Despite living in London for five (five!) years, I haven't visited any of the palaces. So it was quite special to visit my first one with my Mum.

One of the smaller royal sites, obviously it was still impressive to us little people.

I was in awe of the painted, ornate ceilings. I just couldn't stop looking *up*.

The palace is split between the King's and Queen's rooms.

We were treated to an orchestral performance (is this the right context to use the word 'orchestral'? Who knows?) in the King's rooms, and we felt very royal indeed.

My Mum was most impressed by this incredible Grandfather clock, which back in the day, the royal consort would entertain their nearest and dearest and dance around. Quite the focal point.

And then, we joined the queue to visit the Diana exhibition 'Diana: Her Fashion Story', which is on until next year (so plenty of time to go!).

In short, it was S T U N N I N G.

All of her style triumphs, up close and personal.

Here were *my* highlights...

The gorgeous gowns...

The stunning sketches by the royal designers...

And the wonderful and sincere words of praise from pretty much everyone who ever came across her.

The infamous magazine cover stories, and just a little bit of sparkle. Just beautiful.

Diana's exhibition within Kensington Palace gives it a real feeling of legacy. Before her death, she lived in Kensington Palace; now her son and would-have-been daughter-in-law lives there, her grandchildren live there.... I can't think of any better way to honour her legacy.

Something you're reminded of with these omg-can-I-have-one? cushions...


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