The Quintessential English Tour…Day 7!


We are at the Grande Hotel loacted on the English Channel and France is right over yonder! It was a overcast morning and we were having a lazy day on our tour. You could stay at the hotel and explore or stay in and stitch, or you could take the late bus to today’s destination. I chose the latter…but in the meantime we had at least a few hours to kill.


A group of us explored around the hotel in the morning and walked along the coastline. The beach is very rocky and can’t imagine that it would be very comfortable laying on it and it sure wasn’t easy even walking on it!


A view from the coast to the Grande hotel. We still had plenty of time to explore some more, but there was a steady drizzle, so we all opted to go back to our rooms and get jackets and umbrellas. No more pictures as I didn’t want to get my phone wet! and soon it was time to board the bus.

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Our first stop was the white cliffs, no not the White Cliffs of Dover… but instead these are the Seven Sisters, which is a series of chalk cliffs  on the English Channel. They form part of the South Downs in East Sussex, between the towns of Seaford and Eastbourne in southern England. This is Elizabeth in this picture and the middle 2 pictures she shot.

Next up was to travel to the nearby Berwick Church to see the gorgeous murals painted by the artists from the Bloomsbury artists. They also created the artwork that is part of the Charleston Farmhouse where we were yesterday.


If you want to learn more about these artists and the Charleston Farmhouse look for this book. It is out of print, but you might find it in a used book store as I did!


As we got off the bus, I just loved seeing the phone booth in the middle of all of this green!

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And this house with the thatched roof. Doesn’t this remind you of a Peter Ashe canvas?

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The light wasn’t condusive to a lot of great shots, but I did take a few. Being that my niece spent 20 years in the Navy, I was especially drawn to this mural.

Time for our next stop!



We visited the old town of Lewes, where we enjoyed some retail therapy…


and tea and scones with clotted cream! This is Elizabeth and Richard. A dear friend of Jeremy’s who was on tour with us most of the time to answer questions and offer info!

The day ended all too quickly and it was back to the hotel, where we were to dress again for dinner!

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Richard is on the left and Paul is the other “chap” who was our coach driver. We all loved him!


Our menu for tonight.

Tomorrow we would check out of the Grande hotel and travel to Woburn. OMG this trip is going by way too quickly!


The Quintessential English Tour…Day 6!


We were saying goodbye to the Carlton Miter and boarding our coach to the next destination. Heading to the seaside town of Eastbourne with a few stops along the way.


Of course the bus ride is a great place for show and tell. Katie had finished her goldwork piece from the other day at the Royal School of Needlework. It was being passed around to be admired by all. Don’t you just hate those overachievers? (this is not Katie in the picture, just an admirer of her work!)


Our first stop was this darling art community of Charleston where we toured this darling home. Needlepoint, art and so much more and no pictures were allowed inside! We all enjoyed some serious retail therapy as they had a fabulous gift shop with many hand made goodies of jewelry, pottery and more pottery.

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The ground were beautiful and we enjoyed a picnic lunch of lox and cream cheese on bagels, tea and dessert. All too soon it was time to get back on our coach and head to Eastbourne where we would check into the Grande Hotel… and might grande she was!

Located on the English Channel with a view of France.


Shortly after we checked in, we headed to our stitching area.


Just a wonderful afternoon stitching along the windows and trust me we were quite the conversation starter as people walked the hallways!

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We were getting our canvases on bars with lots of help from Elizabeth!

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Look at this beautiful canvas! I love the colors and it was generously kitted with Appleton Wool. Well that’s what they use over there!

There was quite a downpour while we were sitting there stitching, which really added to the ambience. All too soon it was time to clean up our stitching area so we could freshen up and change before dinner.


Our menu in the dining room! we actually had to dress, no jeans and the gentlemen needed coats and ties.

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This was my appetizer and dessert… guess I forgot to photograph the main course! Absolutely delicious.

Sunday would be a lazy day with a late start. Sleep in, stay in the hotel, walk the boardwalk or travel with Jeremy and do some sightseeing. I chose the latter.

Speaking of a lazy day…I’m taking a few of those, so see you sometime next week! Have a great 4th.



The Quintessential English Tour…Day 5!


Today we were off to Liberty of London for some shopping, London style!


I was most fascinated with the outside of the building and soaking it all in.


On the front of the building was this clock, with a very poignant quote underneath it. “No minute gone comes ever back again. Take heed and see ye nothing do in vain.” I really do want to get this painted on canvas! At first I thought just the saying, but I think that it needs the clock too!


As I continued around the building, I discovered the floral department!


Look at these fabulous roses!


and more!


Look at the fabulous flowers at Fenwick’s in honor of the Chelsea Flower Show!


time for shopping now!


and then a cuppa with Elizabeth!


Everyone, did I say everyone came back to the bus with a bag from Liberty!


Now its time for the Bakery Bus tour!

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Everything was so delicous! and of course there were scones with clotted cream.


so good!

There was no narration on the bus, but Jeremy was right there to answer all our questions and talk along the way.

Tomorrow we check out of the hotel we’ve been staying in and travel to Charleston, a quaint artsy home and then onto the Grande Hotel located on The English Channel where we stay for 2 nights… and more stitching! I hear we have a fabulous new canvas waiting for us.


The Quintessential English Tour…Day 4!


Day 4 finds us going back to Hampton Court Palace where we were 2 days ago at The Royal School of Needlework, which is housed in the Palace.


As you can tell this was the first day that we experienced London rain. Just a nice drizzle and it really made it feel like London!



The grounds are perfectly manicured, so lush and green.

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Soon enough we were inside the palace as we were to view the dozens of tapestries. Just breath taking and awe inspring. This was one room where both sides of the walls were lined with tapestries. I quickly learned that it was so very difficult to photogragh them with any justice, so I just enjoyed them the rest of the way without the use of my camera.


The painted ceilings and the ornate staircase!

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These adornments were made from folded linens!

A very enjoyable day that was spent immersed in the history of Hampton Palace! and soon it was time to head back to the hotel. This would be our first stitching evening.


Tudor Lady was designed just for our tour by a local artist, Jane Tattersall. I just love her color sense. Elizabeth would create a stitch guide for us and all the threads and beads were there for us to stitch away.


Paloma, a charming lady that works for Jeremy at his shop created these little containers for us which held the thumbtacks to place the canvases on stretcher bars. What a special touch!


Everybody is busy stitching away! You can even see that Jeremy sat down right in front of the window and joined us.


Elizabeth is explaining some of her stitches. All too soon it was time to gather for dinner at the the hotel and talk about our day.

A trip to Liberty for some retail therapy and the Bakery Bus Tour with High Tea being served as you tour the sites and sounds of the city is scheduled for Day 5!


The Quintessential English Tour…Day 3 cont’d!


We are in Harrods of London and we were let loose for a few hours! This is a shopping experience like none other and you really need an entire day here, not necessarily to shop, but just to experience every little nuance, every nook and cranny, to dine, to sip and so much more!


This is the Prosecco Bar and of course they would have a Prosecco Bar. Do you know that it is such a popular drink that they are expecting a world wide shortage of it?

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Ice Cream, The Tea Room, Pastries and more! You could just eat your way through Harrods!

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We were told not to miss the Egyptian Escalator! Quite elaborate and rather difficult to photograph.


The Food Court was definitely the best! And I could have spent an entire day taking it all in. And the attention to details and the customer service is like I have never ever experienced!

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All too soon our time in Harrods was coming to an end. Can you believe that Jeremy and I ran into someone that we know from the needlepoint industry? She travels to London quite often and was there for the Chelsea Flower Show…but what are the odds?


Elizabeth and I had been driving Jeremy crazy forever that we wanted to see his shop!


Well Jeremy obliged and he has a  most “lovely” gift shop…


Where we all enjoyed some more retail therapy!


The street where the shop is and I loved the way all the Union Jack’s were on display!

Day 4 will take us back to Hampton Palace, which is where the Royal School of Needlework is located. A tour of the tapestries and all the fineries of the Palace!


The Quintessential English Tour…Day 3!

Well now that I know that you are looking forward to more of the London Trip…here goes! My time between posts was interrupted by attending the TNNA Summer Trade Show in Washington D.C. So I am back, only to be interrupted in the days coming up by cats, a heat wave and Brenda Hart teaching this weekend in the shop!


I have never seen wisteria growing before! This hung down in front of the Carlton Mitre Hotel. Just beautiful! Now if you just have to do this London thing next time, follow this link! “Jeremy & Elizabeth’s Wild West Tour of the United Kingdom” I would be going again next year, but work is getting in the way!

On Day 3 we were boarding our coach and heading to the Victoria and Albert Museum and then shopping at Harrods. I don’t think that it could get much better than that!


The gorgeuos entrance. Wow I was really here!


The red telephone booth, which of course I needed a picture!


The most amazing Chihuly glass piece when you first walked into the V & A Museum.


Well we were there to see tapestries! Most magnificient pieces and just how did they create these? Just amazing. The walls were covered on both sides and we just started looking at them. There would be many more to come. We were told that Belgium was the center for the finest tapestries.


Onto Harrods, but first Elizabeth and a few of us had something else on our minds!

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A needlepoint shop…what else?


Do these threads look familiar? Even though most canavses they kit with Appleton Wool or Soie d’Alger silk.


Now it was time to go to Harrods for a shopping experience like none other. So special that it will need a day to itself! Too many pictures. I need to go back just to go to spend the day at Harrods.


Sylvester can’t figure out this strange looking cat!


So Just Wondering?


how did these pawprints get here AlleyCat?

Now that I have your attention… would you rather me continue with the London trip or not? or go straight to what I saw at market? I don’t want to bore you with the mundane activities that I enjoyed so much while in London! The reason why I’m asking is… excpet for Joanne, there were really no comments which is very discouraging. It’s a lot of work and if it’s not want you to want to see, well I won’t bother!

It’s really, really, really hot here today, so I’m just chilling with my fan working on stitch guides. Did I say really hot?


The Quintessential English Tour…Day 2!


The skies were blue, the sun was out and the billowing clouds just added to the picture perfect day ahead of us at Hampton Court/Hampton Palace.

It was just a short walk across the street and soon we were on the grounds of this palacial spread. We were headed for our class at The Royal School of Needlework, something that’s been on my bucket list for a very long time. Taking a class on this hollowed ground where kings and queens have walked before me, where they embroider wedding dresses for royalty and so much more.


Some of us took the elevator and some of took the stairs to the classroom, which they failed to mention just how flights upstairs it was!


Hmmmm, what was this basket for?


One of the previous tenants had a little dog and yes she did agree with me that it was way too many stairs! So she would lower the dog in the basket to the ground floor and the dog would do what a dog needs to do… and then get back in the basket and be brought upstairs!


Our classroom was all ready for us! Our project was a goldwork pomegranate to coincide with the display of Pomegranates and Peacocks in the RSN.


This was our teacher sitting on the stool!


and here was our project, and as you can see mine is still a WIP!HamptonPalace2

Look at these grounds! How can you pay attention to class when all you really want to look out the window?


After class I had my first scone with clotted cream, some retail therapy and then we had a private tour of the rest of the school, where no pictures were allowed.

Too soon the day was over and back to our hotel to rest up abit before our night out…


Which found us a Lebanese restaurant where the wine flowed, the food was fantastic…but the company was even better!


This was dessert and yes they were small baklavas with pistachio’s sprinkled on them!


The view of our hotel as we were walking back.

This will be it for at least a week or so since I am leaving for the summer TNNA trade show… see you later!


The Quintessential English Tour…Day 1!


Last I left you…I had landed in London, where Jeremy would be there to pick me up. Never travelling internationally before, I had no idea how long it would take to get through it all. And talk about a huge airport! wow! wow! wow! It was so great to see a familiar face there for me. It’s been too long since we’ve seen each other, so we had much to catch up.


A fabulous quaint hotel, the Carlton Mitre located on the river Thames was to be our first home away from home. Lots of little shops and restaurants located close by, plus we were right across the street from Hampton Palace, where we would spend 2 days of our tour… so this was the perfect place to be.

Many were here a day early, so we had Sunday morning to play. A group of us decided that we would go to Buckingham Palace, which was just a train ride away!

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I was fascinated with all of these bikes located outside the train station!

The beautiful grounds about Buckingham Palace.

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We wanted to tour inside, but because the Queen is in residence at the moment, the commoners weren’t allowed! So what to do? well we went to The House of Mews…which by the way has nothing to do with cats!


We learned that the Queen would be opening Parliament in just a few days!


This is where all the fancy cars are housed…and before we knew it was time to head back to the hotel. But this time we walked a little more to see and hear some of the sights and sounds!


Such as Big Ben and…


The Eye, which we would call a Ferris Wheel. I heard that it travels veeeerrrrrryyyyy slowly. And trust me, I will never complain about Southern California traffic again!

I will try and get one more day of the tour posted before leaving for the east coast for the summer TNNA trade show…


And if this was the treatment I got from AlleyCat after coming home… wonder what she will think when I tell her that I am leaving again?!


The Quintessential English Tour…leaving on a Jet Plane!

Well the day was finally here…it seemed like it was years ago when this was first being planned. And the last few weeks, well the time seemed to inch along as if it would never get here. You know like a kid waiting for Christmas? well in a way that was me.

Friday the 13th was the day I was leaving and of course I had a late night flight, so I had all day to kill. Tried to stitch, well that wasn’t working and then tried to work on some stitch guides and that wasn’t happening either. So I just chilled and kept thinking “what did I forget?” “did I pack enough clothes? too many clothes?”

Finally it was time to head to the airport, albeit a little too early. TSA had ONE agent working, so the lines did inch along and finally I was through, so I was glad that I gave myself that extra time. I always like to look for my gate first, discover my surroundings and then I will settle in.

While I was discovering my surroundings, I saw this display…

and just why am I sharing this with you?

Bhavna, the artist is a regular shopper for threads at The Needle Nook of La Jolla! I was quite honored that I would see her work displayed here and I could say that I know her.

A few “big girl drinks” and before I knew it is was time!

wow is that I big plane… and finally! Before I knew it I was landing in Heathrow where Jeremy was waiting to pick me up.

The trip was wonderful, my fellow tour attendees were great and I loved pretty much every second if it. Jeremy and Elizabeth really did it up right and they will continue to do these tours… and actually they have one set up already “Jeremy & Elizabeth’s Wild West Tour of the United Kingdom” which you can check out. I would sign up for it in a heart beat, but work will get in the way. Now why didn’t they ask me if the dates were good for moi?

I have lots more to share with you… so check back every few days. I have so many pictures that I just need to sort through.