Back in mid-December I went to Blenheim Palace to do a few Christmassy bits. The second part was the Alice in the Palace through Blenheim Palace itself. This has actually ended for the year now, so is not available to book, but keep an eye out for the bookings opening up for December 2020.
The Palace grounds are stunning, and actually free to wander around. If you purchase a ticket into the palace, you can convert it to an annual pass free of charge which allows you access into the palace and certain events for a year.
Blenheim Palace is the birth place of Winston Churchill, and in the next post about the Illuminated Light Trail, you can see a memorial to him.
The the courtyard, they had several old style fair ground rides including the carousel, where you could purchase tokens online in advance of your visit, or on the day. Unfortunately, no adults allowed!
The Palace itself was a Christmas lovers dream. There were Christmas trees everywhere which looked stunning in both daylight and lit up when evening hit.
There was a small queue to enter the Palace, but they scanned tickets and we were in!
The Entrance Hall
The entrance hall area was beautifully decorated. There were multiple Christmas trees all with different decorations from the traditional Christmas trees to ones with Alice in Wonderland themed ornaments of the White Rabbit and Mad Hatter. The giant set of cards are the first thing you see when you walk in and are really impactful. When you round the corner, there are curved wreaths made to look like you are falling down into Wonderland with awesome lighting effects on. The next part of the room has a decorated fireplace and a teeny tiny door to Wonderland fit for a mouse.
The White Rabbit Room
The next room is decorated as the White Rabbit's room. In each room there are two letters hidden around, as well as a hidden White Rabbit for kids to find in their activity books. The letters all spell something out - see if you can guess. The white rabbit room was decorated in white lights and fluffiness! The tree had so many white decorations on with matching garlands around the fireplace and doorway. The photos on the desk were made up of many different rabbits to show his family. Then, right in the chair (being slightly creepy) was a larger than life White Rabbit in his tweed glory.
The Caterpillar Room
The Caterpillar room is complete with the blue caterpillar sat on his mushroom smoking an actual smoking pipe. On the back wall are multiple "drink me" potions along the table. The tree is beautifully decorated in shades of blue to match the caterpillar. There are small mushrooms dotted around the room with tiny card people setting scenes beneath them. There is also another hidden White Rabbit in one of the photos, see if you can spot him!
The Dodo Room
The Dodo room seems to be a bit of a transition room. There isn't a huge amount of things in there compared to the other rooms. There is a nicely decorated Christmas tree with a lake scene complete with giant dodo bird!
The Shrinking Room
This room made my Disney heart happy. It made you feel like you had shrunk down with the giant potions bottles, the extra large table and key and the huge "eat me" cookies. The trees were also decorated really nicely with the cookies underneath them. I loved it!
The Cheshire Cat Room
The Cheshire Cat room was super cute, with an animatronic cat to add to the fun. The tree was decorated in pink tones with a lot of lights. No Cheshire Cat scene is complete without a frog delivering a letter!
The Queen of Hearts Room
This room was my favourite. The simple lighting was effective in adding ambience and the musical box version of the Queen of Hearts was really good. I loved the heart of roses and definitely want one of them in my house. The tree was decorated with roses and red ornaments with the red light
The Flamingo Croquet Room
This room was really cute. There were flamingos everywhere and the golden details of the room itself blended really well. The garland going into the final room was so pretty and very ornate!
The Tea Party
The last main room was the Tea Party and I was not expecting how big this room was and the amount of detail in it all. The table was set for the characters and each one had its own cake. The ceiling had projections of cards on that changed in time to music. It was pretty cool!
The exit to the Alice in the Palace was stunning and the final part ended in a church for the Palace. It had an opportunity for you to write a wish and put it on the tree made of lights. It was such a stunning church in itself and the state in there is beautiful. It was decorated with Christmas garlands too!
Overall, the Alice in the Palace was so cute! It took us about an hour to go through because I was stopping to take photos. They only let a certain amount of people in at a time so it is never crowded and there are staff in each room to shift people on if it is getting too crowded. I can't fault it and will definitely be returning this year!
Entering a decade as a 16 year old makes the next 10 years an incomprehensibly long time away. When you end the decade as a 26 year old looking back on those 10 years, you sure do wonder where they went.
I look back now at all the things that were a thing when I was 16 compared to now and it blows my mind. I didn't get my first iPhone until I was 18 going to university. Before that, I was rocking my Blackberry Bold and BBM was all the rage. Now, kids under the age of 11 are getting brand new iPhones as their first phone. My first phone had an antenna.
Last weekend I went for the Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea at the Orangery in Blenheim Palace. This is a Christmas offering that runs alongside the Alice in the Palace. It is extremely popular, so booking in advance is highly advised. The day I was there it was completely sold out! The cost per adult is £28 which includes the whole menu and unlimited drinks.
Going to Hell's Kitchen has always been on my bucket list. I am obsessed with the TV show and love Gordon Ramsay, so when I knew I was going to Vegas, ticking off Hell's Kitchen was going to happen one way or another.
Last week I decided to brave the Christmas crowds and head to Birmingham for the day. I will not lie, I was mostly going for the the massive Primark!
I went on a day trip with Barnes Coaches with my friend, Amy. It was extremely well priced at £21 a person and we were dropped off right outside the Bullring.
One of the first things I did in New York, after a crapy overnight flight from Vegas, was walk over to Central Park to do a carriage ride! This was my buddy, Bruno!
Looking around the hotels in Las Vegas was definitely one of my favourite parts of the trip. I don't think any amount of YouTube hotel tours prepared me for the sheer scale of these hotels.
Caesar's Palace was my favourite of all the hotels we visited and the one I spent the most amount of time in.
As part of the New York City Pass I had, it included a one day pass to the New York Big Bus Tour. This is a 2 route trip around New York City that takes you to all the tourist attractions whilst giving a live commentary. Below is a nice photo tour of the spots you see on the Big Bus.
Recently on my super trip to the States, I flew with American Airlines for the first time. Having only ever flown long haul with Virgin Atlantic, and once with Thomas Cook, I didn't know what to expect. I have always been an avid Virgin Atlantic flyer, so this was going to be a new experience.
Finding a bit of pixie dust in every situation.