This September join Debbie and Edward, owners of A Taste of Britain, on a spectacular tour where you will discover cosmopolitan London and the peaceful Cotswolds countryside. This unique itinerary has been designed exclusively for A Taste of Britain and will take you to palaces, iconic sites, perfumed gardens, and picture-perfect villages!
Imagine yourself strolling through the gardens of Blenheim Palace where Winston Churchill proposed to his wife Clementine, attending Sunday service in the chapel where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married just last year, visiting Windsor Castle, the Queen’s home just outside London, and Highgrove House, the home of the Prince of Wales in the village of Tetbury. You will also visit the privately owned Sudeley Castle, where Henry VIII's sixth wife, Queen Katharine Parr lies buried. And naturally you will enjoy afternoon tea in lovely spots all along the way (we wouldn't have it any other way!).
This itinerary is the ideal getaway for couples and friends, but this exclusive tour has very limited availability and is sure to sell out quickly so reserve your spot today ...and we will see you in London!
For more information call Rachel at (610) 880-7381 or email Rachel@LouisaWhite.com
Like what you see? Then book now to reserve your spot!
Saturday, August 31st: Departure
Meet the group at Philadelphia International Airport for our 7:15pm flight. Transportation from your home to the airport can be pre-arranged.
Sunday, September 1st: Welcome to Britain!
Today we will arrive in London and after clearing customs we will board our private coach and enjoy a visit to Windsor Castle, the Queen's residence just outside London. For those who are interested, attend Sunday service in St. George's Chapel - this is where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as well as Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank were married last year!
Once we have had our fill of Windsor we will head to our hotel in the very heart of the Cotswolds. Instead of dinner, we will enjoy a High Tea (a traditional Afternoon Tea with the addition of some hot items) before having an early night so we can sleep off our jetlag!
The Arden Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon
Our home for the next five nights will be The Arden Hotel. The Arden overlooks the River Avon, RSC Gardens, and the Swan Theatre. Holy Trinity Church is a five minute walk away as are the town center shops and restaurants. Meals are served in the AA Rosette Waterside Brasserie and there is an intimate lounge which serves as a lovely spot for morning coffee or afternoon tea. The Champagne Bar is for the use of guests only, and from here you can step directly out into the gardens. The rooms are all named for different types of trees (Arden being an ancient forest in the Midlands), and are each individually decorated. A peaceful spot along the river and a short stroll from the bustle of Stratford-upon-Avon makes the Arden the perfect base for our stay.
Monday, September 2nd: Blenheim Palace and Oxford
After a leisurely breakfast, we are in for a real treat today as we visit the breathtaking (and monumental) Blenheim Palace. The park was designed by the renowned Capability Brown, and the formal gardens are spectacular. Still the home of the Duke of Marlborough (keep an eye out for his Land Rover around the grounds!), Blenheim Palace is considered the finest example of Baroque architecture in Britain, is the only building designated a 'palace' that is not owned by the Crown, and is one of the largest houses in the country. It is also where Sir Winston Churchill was born and it was in the Temple of Diana only a short walk from the palace where Winston proposed to his wife Clementine.
Following Blenheim we will head to the nearby city of Oxford where we will have a walking tour and cap off the visit with a splendid Afternoon Tea in the Drawing Room of the Randolph Hotel. Oxford is home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and its beautiful buildings have featured in a number of films and tv shows from Harry Potter to Saving Private Ryan, Brideshead Revisted, X-Men: First Class, Transformers: The Last Knight, and many more.
Tuesday, September 3rd: Picturesque Villages of the Cotswolds
Today we will enjoy a tour to some of the most charming villages of the Cotswolds with visits to Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, Chipping Campden, and Broadway. We will pause for a special treat - Afternoon Tea at privately owned Sudeley Castle! Sudeley is famous as the only privately-owned castle in Britain where there is a former Queen of England buried - Katherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII. Here there is also the Queen's Garden, so named because four Queens of England have walked these paths - Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey, and Elizabeth I.
Wednesday, September 4th: The Georgian City of Bath
The allure of Bath is irresistible and here we will enjoy a walking tour which will include a visit to the famous Roman Baths and then there will be free time to do your own exploring. Bath is a lovely and historic city with a compact center all built in the classic, honey-colored stone that defines this region. Be sure to check out the fine independent shops and the iconic Royal Crescent as you explore. In Bath Abbey, take a look at the magnificent East Window. This towering stained glass masterpiece was blown out during the Bath Blitz of the Second World War and nearly every glass expert in England said it was damaged beyond repair. Yet a father and son team undertook the mammoth task of reassembling the fragments and you can enjoy the results of their efforts today. Following our visit to Bath we will enjoy a special afternoon tea in nearby Bradford upon Avon at the Bridge Tea Rooms which have twice won the UK's Top Tea Place, awarded by the prestigious UK Tea Guild.
Thursday, September 5th: Shakespeare's Birthplace
With the village of Stratford-Upon-Avon only 30 miles away from us, this morning we will explore the charming village, grab a morning coffee, and visit Hall's Croft. Hall's Croft is the beautiful Jacobean home of Shakespeare's daughter Susanna and her husband, John Hall. Hall was a doctor and here we will see the garden filled with the medicinal herbs he would have used to treat his patients. Afterwards, we will visit Mary Arden's farm, the childhood home of Shakespeare's mother. Still a working farm, make sure you check out the craft and falconry demonstrations and grab some lunch! If by now you haven't quite had your fill of Shakespeare, we will head to Anne Hathaway's cottage, the birthplace of Shakespeare's wife, for tea and scones.
Friday, September 6th: Highgrove
Ending our time in the Cotswolds on a high note, today we visit Highgrove, the country home of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. When Prince Charles purchased Highgrove over 30 years ago, there was no garden at all and today he has transformed the estate into a true masterpiece. Featuring a wild garden, formal garden, walled garden, kitchen garden, a stumpery, woodland garden, and more, this completely organic operation is truly impressive, and you can sense the passion Charles has for this place. He also keeps cattle and sheep on the property!
From Highgrove we leave the Cotswolds and head to London, and to our hotel in the very heart of the city.
St. James Court Hotel, London
Our hotel in London and base for the final two nights of our trip will be the St. James Court Hotel. Set in the true heart of London, the building this hotel occupies was originally built to house the overflow of guests visiting Buckingham Palace. The Palace itself is only a five minute walk away, and the attentive staff here lend the place an air of regality. The lobby oozes a quintessentially British feel, and the hotel features a lovely outdoor courtyard; a serene and tranquil getaway in this cosmopolitan city.
Saturday, September 7th: Fortnum and Mason
Special Event: This morning, the first 6 people who paid their deposits for the trip will enjoy a special private Tea Blending Experience at Twinings with Debbie and Edward! Twinings is located in the same shop on The Strand where they have been for over 300 years! Learn all about their teas from the master blenders and then we will create our own blend!
This afternoon, we will assemble at Fortnum and Mason for one of the finest afternoon teas in London! Fortnum's has been the center of the world of tea for centuries, and their first floor tea and treats shopping is second to none. Be sure to pick up a tin of their Smoky Earl Grey, created after the Palace requested an Earl Grey with "a bit more oomph." Honey lovers will delight in the fabulous selection of honeys from all across Britain (and the world).
Fortnum's is a short walk from both Buckingham Palace and some of the most famous shopping streets in London so be sure to wear your walking shoes and explore this fabulous area!
Sunday, September 8th: Home Again
Today we will head to Heathrow and say our goodbyes to Britain - until next time!
Want more time in London - why not extend your stay? Ask me about the options available!