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A trip to Hampton Court Palace

I always enjoy my trips to Hampton Court Palace, a 2-for-1 kind of thing as it consists of two different palaces. The first was a Tudor palace designed originally be Cardinal Wolsey and ultimately completed by Henry VIII and the other is a Baroque masterpiece started by William and Mary with a not insignificant amount of input by Charles II who created the Long Water. So much to love about this place, including the kitchens that were used to cater for the court of 600 who worked and lived there during the time of Henry, the Great Hall, the 30 or so remaining tapestries which were mind-bendingly expensive to produce (Henry had over 2300 of them), the paintings including the Triumphs of Caesar by Mantegna, the state apartments of William III including the famous Kings staircase and its 'Victory of Alexander over the Caesars', by Italian artist Verrio. And then there are the gardens, the Great Fountain Garden, The Pond Gardens and not forgetting the Great Vine planted by Capability Brown in 1768 and which still produces grapes to this day. Only a short 30 minute ride from central London, you would think you were in a tiny village once you arrive at Hampton. Definitely worth a visit

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