The tour started from King’s Cross Station. They stopped at Tring for lunch and then continued on to Stratford.
Tring – an ancient market town in Herefordshire (google image)
They stopped at the Red Horse Hotel where my mother had a “scrumptious” tea and played ping pong.
After lunch the tour continued on to Warwick and the Regent Hotel in Leamington. They had quite a dinner – 6 courses. In the evening they went by private car to Stratford where they saw Romeo and Juliet. She has great praise for the production.
Old postcard of Mill Street Warwick
The sisters got up and out in time to get good places for the changing of the Coldstream Guards at St. James. The slow march was the best part. They returned to their hotel for breakfast at 11:30 and then walked to the Tate Gallery. Then walked to Victoria Station and took a long bus ride to Kensington and then to Kew Gardens. They enjoyed the Gardens, walked a bit further up the Thames before coming back to Kew for the boat ride return to central London. They walked home passing Victoria and Piccadilly Stations.
Band of the Coldstream Guards
Kew Gardens Map
(images from Google Images)
(This was a particularly interesting day for me to read about. For all the times I’ve traveled to London, I’ve never been to Ascot.)
Photos from Google images
(It was quite a day. I have been to London and other parts of England many times but never to Ascot.)
They took the bus to King’s Cross Station But somehow went the wrong way and had quite a tour of London. They reached Ascot about 11:30. My mother writes that they sat on the front seat of a charabanc opposite the box of the King and Queen, She thinks the dresses were too much like garden party frocks. The Royal party drove up the course at 1 o’clock in an open carriage. The King and Queen looked just like their pictures. Other people arrived in coach and four.
The races started at 1:30 and ran every half hour until 5 o’clock. Beautiful horses.
Came back to London and had dinner at The Rendezvous in Soho
Ascot 1954 (photo from the Guardian)
Again a man from American Express by taking them to Paddington Station where they boarded the train to Leamington. She remarks on the beautiful and peaceful English countryside. They visited Kenilworth Castle and then had a good lunch at The Porridge Pot. After which it was on to Warwick Castle. Very impressed by all the beautiful items exhibited. Saw Shakespeare’s birthplace and Anne Hathaway’s cottage. Saw the magnificent estate of Charlecote. She walked around Leamington while waiting for the train back to London. They went to see a Noel Coward play – Conversation Piece with Yvonne Printemps and Pierse Fresnay.. Adorable. The music was especially good. The attendees were beautifully dressed.
(They covered a lot of territory on this day in Shakespeare Country – they must have had a guide and or private coach??)
(The play had been running in the West End since February – a hit!)
scene from Conversation piece, courtesy of Google
Up bright and early for a good breakfast. And then my mother set forth to find the American Express office. She writes that she felt lonely and lost. Here is what she saw – the East End, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, the Olde Curiosity Shop, Tower of London She spent quite a while touring the Tower before stopping for lunch in a Lyons. She enjoyed seeing all the fancy goods in Fortnum and Mason.
(It’s not clear how much of the day was spent walking and whether they were in a tour bus part of the time. They covered so much ground they must have been in a bus with stops at key places, e,g. the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey. What threw me off was her writing that while waiting for the bus she walked around a bit.)
In the afternoon she went around (presumably walking) around the West End – Mayfair, Green Park, St. James’s Park, Hyde Park, Selfridge’s, Harrods, Houses of Parliament, Poet’s Corner. Westminster Abbey, Bond Street, Regent Street. She walked home through Green Park. She was simply dead tired. (I’m not surprised).
image courtesy of Google Images 2019