London, and the British Isles

I may as well leave my suitcases packed, although this climate requires COMPLETELY different attire than Egypt. As we headed to the airport I received a text informing me that the USAir flight to Boston was delayed and therefore, our Virgin Atlantic flight to London connection would be missed. Multiple phone calls and sweet smiles later, we were now flying to JFK on Delta to connect with an American Airlines flight to London and would be arriving 2 hours later than originally. The good news is that we are here. The bad news was that I paid for business class on Virgin Atlantic and we were schmooshed into coach class with not much sleep. We were separated and I had the luck of sitting next to a man with the biggest butt I have ever seen. When he sat in his seat he was at least 12inches higher, like a booster seat, except his was built it. More sweet smiles later and I convinced some poor soul to switch seats so I could sit next to my husband! Goodbye Mr big butt.

We were met by Terry who drove us to Windsor where we met Dominic Read, the Magna Carta Barge Captain and owner. We also met Steve, the chef, Sue his girlfriend and Rosie who is new today. The Barge has room for 8 guests and if Dominic gives up his cabin, 10. I was pulled to the king sized bed like a spider monkey in a banana bazaar, but alas it was not meant to be. 

Dominic walked us up the lovely village streets to Windsor Castle, the Queen's favorite. It has been used by the royal family for over 900 years. This is the one that had the huge fire back in 1992. The staterooms were impressive, as was the formal dining room. Unfortunately in the Castle and St. Georges chapel, photos are not allowed inside.

Many famous Kings, Queens, famous soldiers and those who served the royal family are buried in the chapel. Henry the VIII and Jane Seymour, for example.

We headed back to the barge in a downpour, England is living up the it’s reputation. A gourmet lunch was served and we headed up the Thames River.Lovely homes and spectacular scenery. It reminds me of portions of the Thousand islands in the St Lawrence Seaway. We did see some young school boys struggling to crew on the river. They had to be around 8 to 10 years old. One skiff was doing fine while the other one was a complete disaster. We heard one lad yell out " Bloody hell, for Christ’s sake!"  At that point, the adult coach motored over in his single seat rescue craft and we knew we were in England.

The bed finally won out. What a glorious nap. We are now in Bourne End at a marina for the night. Steve is an amazing chef who's presentation and flavor combinations are fantastic. We had lamb on a parsnip puree with a basil dipping sauce along with beef served on water crest with a light horseradish dressing, Amazing. Dessert was bashed up frozen raspberries on a white chocolate grenache with slivers of mint. Any foodie would be in pure heaven. Steve said I could "nick" his ideas anytime.


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