Tag Archives: Queen Victoria

English Heritage brings Enchantment to Historic Gardens this Christmas

This December, English Heritage is opening the gates after dark to some of its most prestigious palaces, houses and castles across the country for the first time as it hosts Enchanted, a new season of twilight outdoor events.

Inspired by their unique history, the gardens of such special places as Queen Victoria’s Osborne and Eltham Palace where Henry VIII spent his childhood, will be spectacularly transformed into illuminated worlds for the first time this winter.

For nine evenings only from the 15th – 23rd December 2017, visitors across the country will have the opportunity to experience a whole new perspective on these beautiful locations with fantastically creative designs, bringing each site’s unique history to light.

Audley End House and Gardens, Essex          4.30pm – 9pm

A journey of discovery leads around the expansive grounds with the medieval style flare lights at the water’s edge giving way to a cornucopia of illuminated delights through the Elysian garden, the Kitchen garden and the Stable yard. There’s a surprise round every corner from the talking trees, sparkling gramophones and even the house’s famous taxidermy re-awakened.

EH member Adult £10 / Child £6 / Family £26

Non member Adult £12 / Child £7.50 / Family £31.60

Belsay Hall, Northumberland              4.30pm – 9pm

A visit to the evocative gardens of Belsay Hall will surprise and delight. Adventure through the quarry gardens, marvel at the ‘starry’ sky and discover the illuminated grotto.  The outdoors is not all it seems, you’ll stumble upon old bookcases, armchairs and even a dolls house as illuminated rooms are created outside.  The long lost furniture from the Hall has reappeared, reclaimed by nature.

EH member Adult £8 / Child £5 / Family £21

Non member Adult £10 / Child £6 / Family £26

Brodsworth Hall, South Yorkshire       4.30pm – 8.30pm

Take the trail through the flame torches into the mesmerising world of fairies.  You’ll be transported into an ethereal realm as you discover the garden’s beautiful features like never before, from the misty magic of the fern dell to the twinkling majesty of the rose arbour. Play a tune on the Illumaphonium along the way, watching the giant chime bars light up. Book ahead* to meet Father Christmas in the Hall.

EH member Adult £8 / Child £5 / Family £21

Non member Adult £10 / Child £6 / Family £26

*additional charge applies for Father Christmas, pre-booking is essential.

Eltham Palace, London    4.30pm – 9pm

Step across the bridge and peer through the time tunnel to experience Eltham Palace’s rich medieval story beautifully illustrated through light.  Wend your way through the splendid grounds of Henry VIII’s childhood home as our enchanting trail draws on medieval motifs of heraldry and royal pageantry along with scenes of hunting and feasting, projected onto the stonework.

EH member Adult £10 / Child £6 / Family £26

Non member Adult £12 / Child £7.50 / Family £31.60

Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire        4.30pm – 9pm

Queen Elizabeth 1’s feted visit in 1575 is the inspiration for the enchanting illuminations of this great castle, evoking Robert Dudley’s ambitious three week long marriage proposal. Projections suggest the whirlwind of festivities hosted for Her Majesty’s pleasure, while beautiful light trails will guide you through the quieter corners of the stunning grounds. The traditional fairground rides and heritage inspired Christmas shopping stalls complete the experience.

EH member Adult £12 / Child £8 / Family £32

Non member Adult £14 / Child £9.50 / Family £37.60

Osborne, Isle of Wight     4.30pm – 8.30pm

The secret lives of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s nine children have inspired a fantastical journey through the formal grounds and gardens of their private home.  Kids and adults will be delighted as they step into a classic children’s tale of exploration and imagination, using light and sound to elevate the plants, trees, walls and water to an ethereal plane.  The trail leads to the stunning façade of Osborne House, where the carousel and swingboat rides are the icing on the cake of fabulous festive evening.

EH member Adult £12 / Child £8 / Family £32

Non member Adult £14 / Child £9.50 / Family £37.60

With delicious toasted marshmallows, mulled wine and hot chocolate to enjoy along the way, grab the winter woollies and your family and friends and book your tickets for the most enchanting event of the year!

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For images and further press information, please contact Isobel Cooley on 020 7973 3354 or at isobel.cooley@english-heritage.org.uk

English Heritage is the custodian of over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites through which we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year.

www.english-heritage.org.uk

 

 

English Heritage reveals details of Queen Victoria’s final Christmases at Osborne House

She has long been known as one of the nation’s sternest monarchs – and perhaps not the first choice of a Christmas host – but this year English Heritage staff at her seaside retreat on the Isle of Wight will be showcasing a more surprising side to the royal’s Christmas celebrations, with grand dinners, family festivities and party games, including an early forerunner to the mannequin challenge.

Though the festive season was subdued in the years following Albert’s death, her later years at Osborne saw the traditions of Christmas and its festivities begin to reappear, particularly with the appearance of more and more grandchildren. Gifts would be exchanged between staff and family (on Christmas Eve, a tradition still believe to be observed by today’s Royal family) before the day itself was marked by an elaborate Christmas dinner.

Recently translated for the first time, the menu from Victoria’s final Christmas, 25 December 1900, shows items that might be recognised by modern diners, including turkey with chipolata sausages and plum pudding, but also a few things that might not make it onto the 21st Century dining table. These include a fish course, and also a starter of Turtle Consommé, or soup – a famous (but expensive!) Victorian delicacy. [see Appendix for full menu].

All Christmas gatherings need games too, and Queen Victoria’s festive celebrations were no exception. That Mannequin challenge entertainment? It was known as the ‘Tableau Vivant’, and Queen Victoria and her guests would gather in the Durbar Room at Osborne and watch, often for several hours, as family members donned costumes and posed against a backdrop to portray a scene from history or a famous painting.

The curtain would fall, participants would change position, before it rose again, with the tableau repeated several times if the Queen desired it, before different costumes and scenes were selected. Live music could even be performed from the gallery above to accompany the poses.

Like most family celebrations, some guests enjoyed the festivities more than others. The journal of a Lt Gen Calthorpe, a regular dining guest at Osborne, was recently acquired by English Heritage. Attending a festive-season dinner in January 1890, he can be found bemoaning one such experience of the ‘tableaux,’ that lasted until 22:30, complaining “along time we had to wait! About 25 minutes!” between changes of scenery and costumes.

By contrast, the Queen’s own journals from this same occasion record her enjoyment of the spectacle, stating “The Tableaux were really lovely & so well arranged.” and that “The music was excellent, & every one was delighted.” There’s always one who inflicts games on everyone else!

Michael Hunter, Collections Curator for English Heritage at Osborne, said “The common misconception of Queen Victoria as a dour monarch has prevailed for many years, but recently people have begun to challenge that. Our research shows that here at Osborne, particularly in her later years, she enjoyed Christmas festivities with her family filled with feasting and games.”

“Although it is doubtful she participated, she particularly enjoyed the Tableau Vivant, and who’s to say she wouldn’t have looked fondly upon the modern day mannequin challenge?!”

English Heritage offer Festive Guided Tours of Osborne every Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday until 22 December, telling stories of Queen Victoria’s Christmas and touring rooms decorated as they would have been during the royal reign.

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For further press information and images, please contact:

Phil Harper, National PR Manager, phil.harper@english-heritage.org.uk or 0207 973 3354

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites – from world famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to Cold War bunkers. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year. www.english-heritage.org.uk Registered charity no. 1140351

OSBORNE

Tuesday 25th December 1900

Her Majesty’s Dinner

Soups

Turtle Consommé

American Cream of Barley Soup

Fish

Turbot with Mousseline (or Hollandaise) Sauce

Breaded Fillets of Sole with Sauce Ravigote

Entrée

Herbed Christmas Crêpes

 

Relevés (Separate Main Course)

Turkey Poult à la Chipolata

Chine of Pork

Roast Beef

Plum Pudding

 

Entremets (Dishes Served after main course)

Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

Mince Pies

Chocolate Éclairs

Wightlink reveals the name of its new flagship

Wightlink’s new £30million environmentally friendly car ferry for the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route will be named Victoria of Wight.

The name was chosen by a panel of staff who considered 186 suggestions from 73 members of staff.

Work is well underway on the new ship at the Cemre shipyard in Yalova, Turkey and Victoria of Wight will be officially handed over to Wightlink early in 2018. It has not yet been decided when she will enter service.

The new ship is part of a £45million investment in the route. New two-tier boarding ramps are already in use at Portsmouth and Fishbourne and have made loading and unloading of the ferry St Clare faster and more efficient.

Victoria of Wight will be a hybrid vessel, powered by batteries as well as low sulphur marine gas oil. Environmentally friendly features will include the recycling of hot water from the engines to heat the passenger areas and low energy LED lighting. There will be a Costa Coffee store on board as well as a shop selling high quality Isle of Wight produce.

Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield comments: “Victoria was clearly a popular choice among staff. We were very happy to endorse their selection and feel Queen Victoria, as a regular visitor to the Isle of Wight, would have been amused.”

Five staff members submitted the winning suggestion for the naming. They have all won a trip to the Cemre shipyard to watch the launch of Victoria of Wight later in 2017.

The new ship will be launched at the end of 2017 and arrive in the Solent next summer.

For more information, contact Karen Woods 07775 694266 karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk

 

Top 7 reasons for visiting The Isle of Wight in 2017

Underwater Kingdom at Blackgang Chine

A new magical theme world, Underwater Kingdom, will be opening at Blackgang Chine on the Isle of Wight next Spring.  Visitors will be able to experience the most amazing array of colourful, larger than life, sea creatures whilst discovering magical underwater caves, a vibrant luminescent coral reef, an abandoned sunken shipwreck and a hidden kingdom.

http://www.blackgangchine.com/

Tiny Homes

Opening in 2017, Tiny Homes is a new, ethical way to holiday on the Isle of Wight.  Scheduled to open in the Spring, Tiny Homes is all about downsizing your space and upsizing your free time – and living simply in a smallholding environment adjacent to Parkhurst Forest with its walking trails, cycle routes and wildlife galore (including the Isle of Wight’s famous red squirrels).

http://www.tinyhomesholidays.com/

Shanklin Chine is 200!

The Island’s longest-established tourist attraction, Shanklin Chine, celebrates its bicentenary in 2017.  A number of special events to mark the occasion are planned throughout the season including an official 200th anniversary party, which includes the launch of new book that documents the long history of the attraction, which was famed for its many regular high profile visitors in Victorian times – Jane Austen, John Keats and Charles Dickens and many others.  A new photographic exhibition as well as a sculpture trail are also planned for 2017, with magical evening lighting events known as the Chine Lumière featuring in summer and late October.

http://www.shanklinchine.co.uk/

Autistic Holiday Centre to open on the Isle of Wight

Hartlands (previously Hartland Hotel) now owned by the SpectrumBreaks project has undergone a major refit.  Completing in October 2016, the centre provides families with autistic children holiday accommodation and facilities including Indoor Hydro Swimming Pool, Cinema, IT Room, Activity & Sensory Room, Coffee Lounge, Games Room, Art Room, Gymnasium and Sauna.  The Hartlands is a Victorian holiday centre situated in Shanklin on the south coast of the Isle of Wight.  The centre has been designed by its owners, with help from a leading specialist Dr Viv Hinchcliffe, to provide self-catering accommodation and facilities to support families with members of any age on the Autistic Spectrum.

www.spectrumbreaks.co.uk

The Isle of Wight Distillery launches new limited edition oak aged HMS Victory ‘navy strength’ gin

The Isle of Wight Distillery has recently launched the first of four batches of its limited edition oak aged HMS Victory ‘navy strength’ gin at a special event held on board the HMS Victory in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.  They also produce Wight Mermaids Gin, Rock Sea Vodka, Apple Pie Moonshine and coming soon, Isle of Wight Whisky.  Visitors can sample it at pubs and farm shops across the Island as well as from two or three mainland stockists and also online.   They are based in Ryde, where it’s possible to visit their vineyard home.  Admission is free and there is a café and shop on site too.

www.isleofwightdistillery.com

Dame Judi Dench to star in a new film about Queen Victoria

Osborne on the Isle of Wight, the seaside residence of Queen Victoria, is a location for a major feature film due to be released in 2017 directed by Stephen Frears and starring Dame Judi Dench entitled “Victoria and Abdul.”

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/osborne/

Love Island

Romantic Breaks and Dining Out on the Isle of Wight during February and March. Watch the Visit Isle of Wight website for further details and special offers.

For all tourist information about the Isle of Wight, visit www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

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For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, 07766 705672, sue@visitwight.co.uk

Notes to Editors

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwight.org

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

Pineapples and Peacocks: Queen Victoria’s Indian room re-opens at Osborne

8th April 2015: Queen Victoria’s Durbar room at Osborne re-opens this week after conservation work to return this grand space to its original use as the banqueting hall of her Isle of Wight home.

Inspired by photographs from the1890s, English Heritage curators have replaced the display cases which dominated the middle of the room with a formal dining table and balloon backed dining chairs, to the specifications of the Victorian originals. The table is set for dinner and adorned with a magnificent centrepiece consisting of lush greenery, pineapples and flowers.  New interpretation will help visitors step into the grandeur of court life and understand Queen Victoria’s relationship with the Empire in her home’s Indian wing.

The room’s elaborate plaster ceiling, designed by Lockwood Kipling, father of Rudyard and inspired by 16th Century North Indian architecture, has been cleaned and conserved as has the stunning carpet. To complete the opulent picture, an intricately crafted peacock, originally taking 500 hours to produce, stands proud over the chimneypiece.

Visitors will also be able to admire a collection of decorative objects from the sub-continent, predominantly gifts, commemorating Queen Victoria’s golden and diamond jubilees of 1887 and 1897.  New displays will give kids the chance to get hands-on.

Osborne; the house, gardens, Swiss Cottage and beach is now open seven days a week until November 2015.  Admission prices are £14.30 adult/£8.60 child/£12.90 concession/ £37.20 family (2 adults and 3 children). For more information visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/osborne

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For further information or images please contact:

Isobel Uden PR Manager, South East on 01304 209891

or email Isobel.Uden@english-heritage.org.uk

Notes to editors:

English Heritage is the custodian of over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites through which we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year.