On Saturday, Ryan planned for us to go to Hampton Court Palace. This was Henry VIII’s home. What you might not know about me is that I’m crazy about Tudor history. I have read so many books, both fiction and non-fiction. I was obsessed with the Tudors TV show. I had TWO mugs that when you put hot water in them, Henry’s wives would disappear. I love Tudor history so I was really excited for this trip. I was buzzing with excitement. I was the kind of excited children get when you take them to Disney. For all I have read about Henry VIII, I never thought about going to see his palaces or anywhere else related to him. So Ryan planning all this, was fulfilling a dream I didn’t even know I had. It was amazing. He won some major husband points. Anyway, let me nerd out a ton so I can tell you about my greatest day.
We get there and we’re in line to buy tickets, and I convince Ryan that we should become members. We get free admission to Hampton Court and five other places! One visit to Hampton Court and the Tower of London (which I haven’t done yet but am DYING to) covers the cost of the membership. So now we’re members and I’m so flipping exciting because now I can go back whenever I want. We walk in and I’m overwhelmed with things to look at. We started in the kitchens where costumed interpreters were actually cooking meals. One guys was making a crown out of marzipan and gold foil! He was saying you can actually ground up lapis lazuli into fine powder and put it on the crown, but that it doesn’t taste very good. We saw huge casks for wine and ale and a gigantic fire place. It was so amazing.
We then went out to the main courtyard to meet up with a costumed interpreter for a mini tour. The main court has a fountain that ran with wine! WINE. How cool is that? We met our guide, Jane Seymour’s father (before he was father-in-law to the king), and he took us to meet the king himself! I took one picture and it has half a guy’s head in it but oh well. We listened to that for awhile, then peeled off from the tour to look around for ourselves. Ryan and I picked up the audio guide, which was well worth it! The guide is told with lots of voices, from curators, historians, and costumed interpreters. The screen on the device also shows images and videos, which was a really cool touch. Not only did the guide tell us about the history, but it also told about the conservation of the palace and its contents.
We used the audio guide to tour Henry’s apartments. I was blown away by the great hall. There were amazing tapestries and huge stained glass windows. The room was arranged with long tables and on the table cloths were printed period appropriate etiquette tips. Over the course of the tour we saw where he married Catherine Parr, where Katherine Howard screamed for her freedom, and where Henry went to church. In one hallway there was a painting of Henry with his children and the deceased Jane Seymour. I have read so much about that painting that when I saw it, I audibly gasped.
After that, we toured the gardens, which were truly spectacular. There were immaculately trimmed trees, bright flowers, and beautiful fountains. I can’t adequately describe the love, attention, and beauty that is evident in the gardens so you’ll just have to look at my pictures to understand. Also, I took a creeper photo of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour’s father strolling through the gardens. Is it possible to be star struck by a long dead monarch? If so, I totally was. I loved the trip and left with a souvenir kitchen towel. It’s completely tacky with pictures of Henry VIII and all his wives. I don’t care that it’s tacky. I love it.
Sunday, it was drizzly and we were tired from our long day trip, so we stayed in. I made breakfast and then we went out to the pub later to watch the Arsenal game. I decided to make this breakfast because I thought it looked cool – and that’s really the only reason to make this. It does look cool, but basically it’s toast and eggs. So unless you’re showing off, save yourself the effort and make a regular breakfast. If you’re looking to get mildly fancy, then this is the recipe for you. It’s yummy and satisfying and a nice Sunday brunch treat.
bread (as many slices as eggs you want to make)
eggs (as many as slices of bread)
salt & pepper (to season)
1. Use a glass, or a circular cookie cutter, to cut a hole out of the center of the bread. Set the circle aside.
2. Heat a skillet over medium heat. If you’re making more than one slice of bread, you may need to lower the heat between batches so you don’t burn the bread.
3. Melt the butter in the skillet. When it’s melted, add the slice of bread. Let it cook until it is just getting golden brown. For the first slice this may take 5 minutes or more, for later slices when the pan is hot, it can take 1-2 minutes.
4. When the bread is getting golden, crack the egg into the bread’s hole. I cracked the egg in a glass first then poured it in the skillet.
5. Let the egg cook until the egg white is set enough that you can get a spatula under it. You can flip it after 1 minute if you want a runny yolk, or you can wait longer.
6. Flip the egg and bread. Cook for 1 minute, more if you want the yolk mostly cooked through.
7. Remove from the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Use the bread’s circle to sop up extra yolk.
8. If you’re making more than one, be sure to butter the skillet between times.