Hampton Court

Yesterday we went by train to see Hampton Court Palace.  For me, this was another trip to Mecca. The Tudor period is one of my favorite,  although not one of the easiest times, especially if you had displeased the king. I took a lot of pictures since we could photograph within most of the palace. Rather than talking, I will just let you look.

Our train from London.

Our train from London.

Sorry this is a little dark. The entrance to Hampton Court Palace.

Sorry this is a little dark. The entrance to Hampton Court Palace.

The entrance was lined with a series of these statues. This guy was my favorite.

The entrance was lined with a series of these statues. This guy was my favorite.

The Great Hall . . . and yes it is.

The Great Hall . . . and yes it is.

This is a room off of the Great Hall. The stained glass was stunning. Note the ceiling.

This is a room off of the Great Hall. The stained glass was stunning. Note the ceiling.

Portrait of Henry VII. I had never seen this portrait.

Portrait of Henry VII. I had never seen this portrait.

Portrait of Henry VIII

Portrait of Henry VIII

This elegant staircase leads up to Henry's apartments.

This elegant staircase leads up to Henry’s apartments.

Entrance to the Chapel Royal.   The crests belonged to Jane Seymour (I believe).

Entrance to the Chapel Royal. The crests belonged to Jane Seymour (I believe).

This was an exterior passageway. Note the timber detailing in the brick on the top right. Beautiful.

This was an exterior passageway. Note the timber detailing in the brick on the top right. Beautiful.

Henry sometimes fed as many as 1000 people.  The kitchen was very large. This is the fireplace in his kitchen.

Henry sometimes fed as many as 1000 people. The kitchen was very large. This is the fireplace in his kitchen.

Looking across the landscape from the back of the palace.

Looking across the landscape from the back of the palace.

The gardens were gorgeous.  This is a sample.

The gardens were gorgeous. This is a sample.

I think this is an aloe vera plant. It is enormous.  Thought it would also make a great model for the plant in Little Shop.

I think this is an aloe vera plant. It is enormous. Thought it would also make a great model for the plant in Little Shop.

Along the back of the palace fronting out on the gardens were a row of statues. I liked this one the best.

Along the back of the palace fronting out on the gardens were a row of statues. I liked this one the best.

This formal garden known as The Pond Garden was beautiful.  This is a smaller one adjacent to this one.

This formal garden known as The Pond Garden was beautiful. This is a smaller one adjacent to this one.

This is the garden adjacent to The Pond Garden and a smaller one. The colors are much more monochromatic.

This is the garden adjacent to The Pond Garden and a smaller one. The colors are much more monochromatic.

In front of the small formal garden.

In front of the small formal garden.

In William's apartments this room was the Guard Chamber. Anyone admitted had to pass inspection in this room before they were admitted to the King's presence.  All of the items on the wall are weapons of every kind. Guns, pistols, swords, daggers.

In William’s apartments this room was the Guard Chamber. Anyone admitted had to pass inspection in this room before they were admitted to the King’s presence. All of the items on the wall are weapons of every kind. Guns, pistols, swords, daggers.

The series of rooms was remarkable.  This was William IV Privy Chamber. He would retire to this space to consult with his ministers.

The series of rooms was remarkable. This was William IV Privy Chamber. He would retire to this space to consult with his ministers.

This is the ceiling in William III bedroom.

This is the ceiling in William III bedroom.

These statues traverse one of the main gardens of the palace.

These statues traverse one of the main gardens of the palace.

We returned to the city, took a brief rest and headed out for the evening production at The National Theatre, A Small Family Business by Alan Ayckbourn. One the way, we had to stop by the backstage of The Book of Mormon to see Gavin Creel.  Christina, being an old friend,  needed an autograph for someone. He was gracious enough to oblige and I snapped a quick photo for her.

Christina got to say goodbye to her friend Gavin before we left.

Christina got to say goodbye to her friend Gavin before we left.

The play was a farce. I have heard Ayckbourn referred to as the British Neil Simon. He certainly is an institution like Simon.  The production was very good but, I must confess, I had difficulty watching.  Perhaps a combination of tired and the realism of the play. This is the first uber realistic production we have seen. It took me awhile to adjust. The set was incredible – six rooms on one set, two floors with working bathroom and kitchen. If nothing else, it was worth seeing for that.

 

 

Program cover A Small Family Business

Program cover A Small Family Business