After a late night in Piccadilly, we opted to skip all parks this morning and any pretense of running or exercise. We had one last breakfast at the hotel and Maggie once again had the American breakfast of pancakes, English Bacon and her new favorite, scrambled eggs cooked medium and served in a cup/small bowl and eaten with a little spoon, while I stayed traditional British.
Next up a on the agenda was to spend a few hours at Hampton Court Palace, the home of everyone’s favorite flamboyant King Henry VIII. First the underground to Wellington station to pick up the train for our 35 minute ride. Side note – It’s not a good idea to place a full cup of coffee on the floor in front of you while riding on a train and ask Maggie to keep an eye on it. Nothing good can happen and didn’t. There is more to the story, but that’s for another place and time.
The guide books said you should spend 2 to 3 hours exploring King Henry VIII’s enormous palace with its grand hall, the world-famous maze and original 17th century tennis courts, gardens, the lush greenery and the Great Vine vineyard that was planted in 1769 (submitted to Guinness World Book of records in 2005). We were through the maze, grounds and palace and back on the train in about an hour and a half with a stop for some fresh strawberries and raspberries.
The extra time in the schedule bought us a trip to the oldest book store in London, Hatchards (booksellers since 1997). Maggie attempted to cover the 5 floors in just 30 minutes, unsuccessfully or so she said. As we were leaving the store she said, well I guess I have an excuse to come back to London now. She did find time to get one book, a Paddington Bear book, I said only something UK-ish.