David Philpott exhorts mums and dads to get out their picnic hampers and prepare for a day on the banks of the Thames at Hampton Court - the perfect antidote for bored kids on a warm summer's day.

 

JONI MITCHELL’S SEASONS’ IN THE SUN AN HAMPTON COURT
It’s funny how words and phrases, just like songs, can evoke memories. It was a trip to a Royal Palace the other day that brought back to my mind the classic - but now almost forgotten - Joni Mitchel album Court and Spark - and for no other reason than that we were at Hampton Court.  When that album was released in 1974 my musical tastes were not so well developed, so I was listening to whatever was Top of Pops at the time – probably Seasons’ in the Sun by Terry Jacks. My introduction to Joni Mitchell and her cannon of music came much, much later.
But at Hampton Court we were and in my case probably for the first time in over fifty years.  My calculation is based upon the fact that there is in my collection of old family photographs, a picture of my beloved granddad with a parrot on his shoulder, holding my older brother Tony who would have been about four at the time. On the back the words ‘Hampton Court’ are scrawled – the only clue to its genesis.  I deduce therefore dear Watson, that this means I was either as yet unborn or just born and being pushed around in a Silver Cross perambulator. Unlike Mrs Philpott I never went to Hampton Court with the school.  This then, was my first cognitive experience of a place I had always known about but never taken the time or the opportunity to visit.
Was it worth the hour or so of stopping and starting as we wended our way through classy and expensive Hampton, looking for the entrance to Kind Henry’s grand residence, blissfully unaware that we had chosen the day of the Hampton Food Festival?  Yes it was. Was it worth the £16.50 entrance fee? Most definitely.  
We Philpott’s are not really buildings or museums people but the gardens were spectacular and the architecture stunning – spanning so many styles and periods as it does and yet with every addition seeming to connect so well with its antecedent part. Eat your heart out Palace of Versailles! There is the famous maze of course – not nearly as large or challenging as the Maze at Leeds Castle, but wonderful fun – especially if you are with children.  And then there is the not-to-be-missed Great Vine – now nearly 250 years old and producing up to 600 pounds of dessert grapes annually.
Mums and Dads; as you start dreading the long school summer holidays and begin to worry about how you are going to keep your kids busy,  set aside a day – and I mean a full day – for Hampton Court.  No need to concern yourselves about the cost of food and drink once inside (although it is not unreasonable). Just take a blanket to sit on and a picnic hamper and then simply enjoy one of the best family days out you will ever have. And who knows?  Weather permitting, you might enjoy your very own season in the sun on the banks of old Father Thames and what price could you put on the photographs of such a day as that?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhQ13geD2OA

JONI MITCHELL’S SEASONS’ IN THE SUN AT HAMPTON COURT

It’s funny how words and phrases, just like songs, can evoke memories. It was a trip to a Royal Palace the other day that brought back to my mind the classic - but now almost forgotten - Joni Mitchel album Court and Spark - and for no other reason than that we were at Hampton Court.  When that album was released in 1974 my musical tastes were not so well developed, so I was listening to whatever was Top of Pops at the time – probably Seasons’ in the Sun by Terry Jacks. My introduction to Joni Mitchell and her cannon of music came much, much later.

But at Hampton Court we were and in my case probably for the first time in over fifty years.  My calculation is based upon the fact that there is in my collection of old family photographs, a picture of my beloved granddad, with a parrot on his shoulder, holding my older brother Tony. He would have been about four at the time. On the back, the words ‘Hampton Court’ are scrawled – the only clue to its genesis.  I deduce therefore dear Watson, that this means that I was either as yet unborn or just born and being pushed around in a Silver Cross perambulator.

Unlike Mrs Philpott, I never went to Hampton Court with the school.  This then, was my first cognitive experience of a place that I had always known about but never taken the time or the opportunity to visit.

Was it worth the hour or so of stopping and starting as we wended our way through classy and expensive Hampton, looking for the entrance to King Henry’s grand residence, blissfully unaware that we had chosen the day of the Hampton Food Festival?  Yes it was. Was it worth the £16.50 entrance fee? Most definitely.  

We Philpott’s are not really buildings or museums people but the gardens were spectacular and the architecture stunning – spanning so many styles and periods as it does and yet with every addition seeming to connect so well with its antecedent part. Eat your heart out Palace of Versailles! There is the famous maze of course – not nearly as large or challenging as the Maze at Leeds Castle, but wonderful fun – especially if you are with children.  And then there is the not-to-be-missed Great Vine – now nearly 250 years old and producing up to 600 pounds of dessert grapes annually.

Mums and Dads; as you start dreading the long school summer holidays and begin to worry about how you are going to keep your kids busy,  set aside a day – and I mean a full day – for Hampton Court.  No need to concern yourselves about the cost of food and drink once inside (although it is not unreasonable). Just take a blanket to sit on and a picnic hamper and then simply enjoy one of the best family days out you will ever have. And who knows?  Weather permitting, you might enjoy your very own season in the sun on the banks of old Father Thames and what price could you put on the photographs of such a day as that?