Friday, July 5, 2013

England is so British

I didn't really notice any difference when I first arrived in England, except for the accents.  Oh, I did see Buckingham Palace out the window when landing, impressive!  On the drive to the town I where I was staying the opposite side of the road thing was obvious, but it still kind of looked like home. Then I started to notice the subtle things, the food products were different, the words for things were different, slang was VERY different and the toilets in the loo were different (I can't help it, they were!) My host's children were SO different, polite and they took direction from their parents. What kind of planet was this? 

Tea Drinking is Different to Most Americans

The shopping was a little different, the supermarket looked American style, the mall did as well, but the selections in the restaurants were so different, as was take away. I loved it, but have to get a handle on the money thing!

British Pounds via Google

 The day after I arrived we went to Penny Hill Park Spa for a day of luxurious pampering. What an experience! Total spa time, 4 types of hot tubs, ice room, indoor and outdoor pools, cold water plunge and then .......the treatment! We opted for the Beach Prep and it was lush, full body exfoliation and moisturizing for those rays to come the following week in Turkey. 

Covered Walkway to Penny Hill Park Spa via Author

Penny Hill Park Spa Check In Desk via Author

View of the Pool and Grounds at Penny Hill Park via Author

Spa lunch, lounging around the pool, then it was time for our tea at their separate Tea Room. Let me tell you Americans out there, this is a tradition we should get used to! It was the most amazing spread of savories and sweets to munch on with Earl Grey (the tea not the man) and I want to do this again soon! The facility was so proper, old, well appointed and the best time was had by both of us!

View Out of the Window in the Tearoom via Author

The next day was Ladies Day at Ascot! We primped all morning and I found a fascinator in my friend's stash to complement my dress exactly! Of course with just a fascinator on my head I could not sit in the Royal Box, proper hats only (as if). We got there in time for the arrival of the Queen and had a fabulous lunch spread in our VIP marquis (tent for you all wondering). We drank, bet, lost, won and saw the Queen's reaction to her big win on the huge screens set up all over the racecourse. What a wonderful experience and the sight of formal dress, hats and people having the best time is something I won't soon forget! 

My Friends and I at Ascot via the Author

Next day shopping in London and may I say I don't know what was better, the train, the Tube, the pub or Harrod's. Oh all right, HARROD'S!

Fabulous Home Decor at Harrod's via the Author

Taste of London was on the agenda that night at Regent's Park, the most fabulous food party ever! We ate so much we were going to burst! 

Delicious Haddock Chowder with Quail Egg & Crispy Rice via Author

No rest because the day after we had mani/pedi preparation for a Thames River boat party that night! The salon was the same as at home, but the girls were intrigued with my accent (what accent?) and my slang. We napped all afternoon as it was going to be a late night and we primped until our chaperone came to get us. He was our driver/tour guide/man about town and was with us at Ascot as well. Thanks so much James, it was amazing! Oh and Big Ben rang at 1:00 AM just as our boat rode past. Then he drove us around London at 2:00 AM afterward just to show me where everything was. Fabulous!

Parliament & Big Ben From the River via the Author

More shopping followed (Sunday car boot sale was rained out) in the next few days and then it was packing for Turkey! Stay tuned for the Turkish adventure post and let me know about your perfect English adventure or what you have planned when you go.    

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