Because Thomas Becket was murdered for his religious beliefs, his tomb in Canterbury Cathedral soon became a place of pilgrimage, making the cathedral very famous and very wealthy. Unfortunately however, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries King Henry VIII ordered the shrine to be removed, and Becket's tomb, along with his remains, were thrown in the river, never to be seen again....
The Cathedral gets pleasantly filtered light through the most amazing stained glass windows. I always love looking at them, they are such amazing works of art!
We ended our tour with a walk through the grounds of Canterbury Cathedral, which are also very much worth a visit, because it offers a great opportunity to better appreciate the architecture on the outside of the cathedral!
After the extensive and informative guided tour, we continued our journey with an hour-long drive around the south of London, to.....
.... Hampton Court Palace, famous as the court of King Henry VIII (and his six wives). As a lifelong fan of all things Tudor this was a dream come true!
During his reign, Henry commissioned the building of the Great Hall, which has an exquisite carved hammer-beam roof. The hall was the most important room of the palace, and the King would dine here seated at a table upon a raised platform. Henry VIII also added the Royal Tennis Court to the Palace, which is now still used by the 450 members (among them the Earl of Wessex) of the Hampton Court Real Tennis Club.
What many people don't know is that apart from a Tudor palace, half of Hampton Court Palace is actually in baroque style. At the request of William of Orange and Queen Mary II it was largely rebuilt at the end of the 17th century by the most eminent architect or the time, Sir Christopher Wren. So when you visit Hampton Court Palace, you basically get two palaces for the price of one ;-)
But for us that was not all that was included in the price of our tickets, because on the day we visited we could also enjoy the many stands (and free food!) during the BBC Good Food Festival in the palace gardens, which was a lot of fun, even more so thanks to the nice weather!
After a quick (alright, not so quick, actually a rather extensive) visit to the gift shop, we drove to our hotel for the night, the Warren Lodge Hotel in Shepperton. Although the rooms are rather small, and it is difficult to find a parking spot, this hotel is definitely worth its money, because it is beautifully located on the bank of the river Thames.
At the end of August, autumn was already showing its colors. That is why I love this photo, definitely one of my favorites of this holiday! This was a great place to unwind after a busy day full of new experiences.
I planned to do all these posts about my trip to England last month right after I returned, but I didn't imagine being a postgraduate student is so much more work! Immediately after returning from this relaxing vacation I was knee deep in research work, writing thesis outlines and preparing oral presentations. It is a lot of fun though, and very interesting, but unfortunately it meant I hardly had time to blog or even check Facebook or Instagram :-(
Anyway, under the motto "Better late, than never" I decided to just write about England now. Gives me the opportunity to revisit some of those great holiday memories!
On the first day we had quite the long drive from Rotterdam, via Belgium, just over the border in France, to take the ferry from Dunkirk to Dover. It was actually raining pretty bad on the continent, but as we approached England the skies cleared (it's usually the other way around :-P), and the famous white cliffs of Dover looked even prettier reflecting some rays of sunshine!
The port of Dover is built immediately against the white cliffs, which is pretty cool, but finding your way out of the port through the maze of roads was a bit of a hassle, especially considering the fact that I also immediately had to switch to driving on the left side of the road :-S
There was still quite a breeze though, so I almost lost my new Beulah 'Eden' scarf while posing for this photo (the HORROR!). For the rest of the outfit I went with something comfortable, yet classy: navy Zara skinny jeans, grey Zara sweater, Mint Velvet 'Bibi' plimsolls, Modalu bag and Mango jacket (which Queen Letizia of Spain also wore recently).
Our first stop in England was just a short drive uphill to the top of the white cliffs, where the impressive Norman Dover Castle dominates the surrounding landscape.
(Btw, if you ever plan to go to England en you love visiting historical places, I recommend to order a 9- or 16-day Overseas Visitor Pass from English Heritage, which can save you a lot of money, if you plan to visit two or more English Heritage sites!)
Dover Castle was built in the 12th Century, but the sight has been of strategic importance since Roman times.
Inside the castle is an exhibition about Henry II (who built the medieval fortress as it still stands today) and various rooms are decorated the way they would have been during his time.
The view from the castle walls is absolutely amazing! You can see all the leaving and arriving ferries, and the weather was just gorgeous!
Dover Castle has been of strategic importance as recently as during the WWII, when the extensive Napoleonic tunnel network underneath the castle functioned as a wartime hospital, and was used as a coordination centre for the evacuation from Dunkirk in May 1940.
After the extensive visit to Dover Castle it was time for a half hour drive to our hotel for the night: the Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, situated within the cathedral precincts. Talking about a room with a view....
The price for the rooms not only include a full English breakfast, but also free entrance to the cathedral (worth £10.50 per person), so I'd say that is a pretty good deal, even more so because the main attraction of the town is only a hop, skip and a jump away!
The day ended with exploring a bit of Canterbury, looking for a nice place to eat something (and there are loads!), and really, who can refuse a sign like this:
And an exterior like this! But The Old Weavers' House does not only look good from the outside, but on the inside as well. And the food is great as well!
When we returned to our hotel for a good night's sleep after a rather exhausting, but fun day, we saw Canterbury Cathedral was beautifully lit against the night sky. Pretty impressive sight and a good start to an amazing holiday!
I feel like I have been living under a rock, that it took me until now to come across the fashion diamond that is Massimo Dutti! While browsing Pinterest I saw this amazing leather bag, when I clicked on it I was redirected to the Massimo Dutti website.... and now I'm smitten.
The bag that started it all
For those of you who are as unaware of Massimo Dutti as I was: contrary to what the Italian name suggests, Massimo Dutti is a Spanish brand, owned by the Inditex Group (which also owns brands like Zara, Oysho and Bershka). Originally a brand for menswear, in later years it also added womenswear (in 1992) and children's wear (in 2003) to its repertoire. By now, Massimo Dutti has over 731 stores in more than 71 countries. Although these are mostly located in Europe and Asia, people from the US, Canada, Mexico, and several European countries have the opportunity to shop the collections online at massimodutti.com.
Massimo Dutti mostly offers good quality at a reasonable price (considering what you get). With approximately US$ 40 for a leather belt or US$ 300 for a large leather tote, the brand is somewhere in-between Zara and Reiss prise-wise. But what I love the most about Massimo Dutti are the designs of all their garments! A combination of equestrian, preppy and classic, this totally suits my style, and the items are very suitable for both work and dressy casual!
Below are my 10 favourite items from their Fall Collection. How about you? Do you like the brand? Have you purchased anything from Massimo Dutti in the past? I would love to hear your thoughts!
I know it has been a bit quiet over here for almost a month. I just couldn't really find the time to write something substantial enough for the blog. My deepest apologies :-(
"So, what have you been doing?", you might ask. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you might have noticed I spent the last week of August, and first few days of September touring the South of England. For those of you missing the usual travel posts: don't worry, I'll write about my shenanigans over there the coming week! Can't wait to share with you the great time I had over there (and I can't wait to go back again! Sort of already planning a short trip to London next December, but nothing's final yet)!
From the Tatiana's Delights Instagram account
And another big update from me: I am SO VERY VERY HAPPY to say that I graduated a few weeks ago from Erasmus University Law School with a Bachelor's degree in Dutch Law! :-D
But what's next now that I finished studying? Well, I am not quite finished studying yet, since I enrolled in a postgraduate course Commercial and Company Law, which started this week. My first course is Research & Writing Skills, for which I have to write a thesis about EU customs and free trade, so it is going to be a very busy time, but I am very excited!
Hopefully I'll have my Master's degree Commercial and Company Law this time next year, so I'll have to start figuring out what I would like to do and where I would like to work once I am done, which means attending a lot of masterclasses, in-house days and recruitment events. Networking has never been my forte, so wish me luck!
But between all the studying and career stuff of course I will also make time to keep doing something else I really love, blogging! I have a lot of blog post ideas on the shelf already, ready to be written, so you will still have your regular dose of posts about fashion, travel, interiors, Kate and cats, with a quirky pinch of me :-P
So, in the spirit of study and careers, I'll leave you for now with a few inspirational quotes!
- ABOUT TATIANA -
Hi there! I am a fashion and travel enthusiast living in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Tatiana's Delights is your online resource for preppy and minimalist fashion, travel tips, affordable home decor and adorable cat photos. You can find out more about Tatiana's Delights here.
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