The Royal Wedding date for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has been set for May 19, 2018 and wedding plans are dripping out to us eager Royal-Watchers like the British flag in a spring drizzle. Didn’t get an invitation to the wedding at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle? Well keep your stiff upper lip intact; St. George’s only seats 800 people, so perhaps you just missed the cut for the season’s biggest wedding. Whether you received and invitation or not, we have a diversity of luxurious ideas for you to royally enjoy being in the country for the excitement and celebration surrounding the Royal Wedding. But you need to book quickly, as these hotels, restaurants and activities are known to royals and jet-setters, and space is limited. And now I must go in search of a proper cup of tea.
Cliveden House: Just fifteen minutes from Windsor Castle, Cliveden House has played host to virtually every British monarch since George I. Elizabeth II as a child Princess, would visit with her mother and her sister Margaret. This stunning Relais & Châteaux country house hotel is one of the most royally renowned hotels in the world. On the banks of the River Thames, the 376-acre estate was built in 1666 by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham then passed onto the Astor family who during World War II gave their polo field up to build a hospital for the war wounded. Starting rate: £445 ($628).
Coworth Park: This luxurious country house hotel, also, 15 minutes from Windsor Castle borders Windsor Great Park. The Georgian Mansion House features an eclectic decorative flair. If you prefer seclusion and privacy, opt for one of the converted Stables and Cottages. Starting rate: £318 ($449).
Great Fosters Hotel: Surrounded by 50 acres of stunning gardens and parkland in Egham, Surrey, Great Fosters Hotel is only 18 minutes from Windsor Castle. Great Fosters is a Grade 1 listed building (England has three listed grades of historical buildings in an effort to preserve them. Grade 1 is “exceptional interest”). Starting rate: £180 pounds ($254).
The Fat Duck: 15 minutes from Windsor Castle, you simply must dine at Heston Blumenthal’s renowned temple to innovative Modern British cuisine – 3 Michelin Stars.
André Garret Restaurant: (Cliveden House) André’s love of locally sourced and fresh produce is the backdrop of the restaurant’s three course à la carte and eight course tasting menus, governed by English ingredients and guided by the seasons.
The Hind’s Head: 15 minutes from Windsor Castle, The Hind’s Head has been serving all manner of visitors since the 1400’s, when it was first established as a hunting lodge and coaching inn.
Emsworth Polo Grounds: Polo, the most royal of all sports is never grander than in England. The grounds are located just 11 minutes from Windsor Castle. Cliveden House has a partnership with the Emsworth, offering a ‘learn to play’ polo experience. This package includes: all transfers from Cliveden, riding experience, equipment, lunch, refreshments, and bespoke players shirt. From £499 ($704), per person.
Legoland (for families): Open from April to October, Legoland Windsor has over 50 interactive rides, live shows and attractions for children aged 3-12, and is ideal for families. Families with older children can also visit Thorpe Park, which is home to ‘The Swarm’, the tallest winged roller coaster in Europe. The park is open from mid-March to early November.
Great Windsor Park: Graced with a thousand acres of woodland, lakes and gardens, including The Savill Garden – one of the world’s best temperate ornamental woodland gardens. With a Royal history spanning over 1,000 years, you can encounter historical monuments, ancient forests and stunning horticultural displays, as well as rare wildlife, plants and fungi.
Ascot Racecourse: Ascot Racecourse hosts some of the race calendar’s most prestigious events. Closely associated with The Royal Family, the races are an indulgent blend of great sport, fashion, and sophistication. Or visit the Royal Ascot Golf Club.
Day Trip Fit For a Duchess
COTSWOLDS: The beloved and picturesque Cotswolds is only a 90-minute drive from Windsor Castle – a stunning quaint destination loved by North American travelers.
Stay at the brand-new, royally renowned Lygon Arms. Situated in the heart of the Broadway Village, this historic century coaching inn dates back to the 1300’s, and was recently renovated. With extensive royal family ties, this historic property stands in Broadway, which was a key connection between Wales, Worcester and London during the Elizabethan times. The King Charles I Suite, was where King Charles I and his supporters would assemble before battle. The King’s coast of arms stands regally over one of its fireplaces today. Oliver Cromwell slept here the night before the Battle of Worcester, and the room is still intact, now offered as a meeting room. King Edward VII motored to the hotel in 1905 and in 1913, as did his grandson – the playboy prince and future King Edward VIII.
While visiting the area, wander quaint villages with teashops and arts & craft stores that dot the small streets. You may also wish to visit nearby castles and parklands.
We hope that we have enticed you to visit the United Kingdom and to join-in the May Royal Wedding celebrations. Everywhere throughout England there will be celebrations marking this joyous occasion – uniting an American and a very famous British prince, but none as spectacular as those surrounding Windsor Castle. Take the trip; it’s a must-experience in everyone’s lifetime.