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5 things to know about a Buckingham Palace garden party

5 things to know about a Buckingham Palace garden party

Following a surprise Royal garden party invitation to an event we attended this past week, here’s what it’s like at a Buckingham Palace garden party…

If you’re invited, you’ll need to know:

Buckingham Palace garden party need to know

  1. When to arrive at the Queen’s garden party
  2. What to bring to a Buckingham Palace garden party
  3. What to wear to the Royal garden party
  4. What to eat for afternoon tea
  5. How to greet the Queen, the royals and make friends

 

 

We were so fortunate to get to attend the Queen’s Buckingham Palace garden party in May 2019. Thanks for all your kind messages on the blog and on Twitter. It’s a special privilege to be invited. We certainly had a lovely afternoon.

We were blessed with probably the best day of the year – sunshine and warm. No jacket or umbrellas required! But there’s preparatory work we’d recommend if you find yourself with a ticket to a Royal garden party.

 

When to arrive at the Queen’s garden party

We turned up at the time the ticket said the gates opened. That’s fine and we were inside the Buckingham Palace garden party within an hour, in time to see the Queen arrive.

However, getting there a bit early to be at the front of the entry line would have meant more time inside Buckingham Palace without the crowds.

The benefit of going in earlier might also mean getting in first for the food. Additionally, you may have a better chance to stand at the front of the line to see the Royal family when they emerge. I can’t guarantee you’ll meet them – that seems to be ‘pre-arranged’ – but a front row seat is always worth a shot.

So, if I had the chance at a Buckingham Palace garden party again, I’d be at the gate well before entry time.

 

What to bring to a Buckingham Palace garden party

There’s strict information on the ticket about what you can and can’t bring. It’s indicated that you can’t bring big cameras. I took this to mean DSLRs.

Phones are perfectly acceptable. Some people had smaller DSLR cameras though, including ones with zoom. Helpful if you want a close-up of the Royals or celebs (in a non-stalkery way, of course).

We have a camera that would have passed muster, but our phones were fine for photos.

In the event of rain at a Royal garden party, I’d advise taking as little as possible. I’m not sure there’s much cover except in the food tents which would get very crowded if the weather was bad. Apparently you can take umbrellas if you get unlucky with the English weather.

You’re on your feet for a good few hours, so avoid unnecessary jackets and extra items to carry around. It’s just easier that way.

 

What to wear to the Royal garden party (and ladies, tips on shoes)

Everyone is dressed up. A Buckingham Palace garden party is one occasion to plan for and go all out. We did, and I’m pleased we put some thought into it.

Plan for different types of weather – light jacket if it’s likely to be cold.

Hats and fascinators are the way to go. I had the chance to borrow a fabulous fascinator which had actually been to a Buckingham Palace garden party previously!

Shoes need special consideration, ladies. You need style and comfort. The grass can be squishy or wet. You’re on your feet for a long time too, both standing in the main garden party area and wandering around Buckingham Palace’s grounds. I wore mid block heels which were fine for a few hours, but started to cut near the end. I hadn’t taken flats for my commute home – definitely would if I had my time over.

View: behind the scenes – click ‘read more’ or the arrow top right to look at our photo story:

Queen's Garden Party

 

What to eat for afternoon tea

Everything!

There’s plenty of food – sandwiches, sweets, tea, iced coffee.

The lines at the beginning can be long so wait a while until it calms down. You won’t miss out. Our invitation read a little like the food starts to run out after about an hour. It certainly didn’t appear that way to us.

You can go back for seconds too (just ask Cooper). Don’t feel like you need to pile your plate so high you risk spillage. That would be embarrassing 😁

Queens Garden Party 2019 Kate and William

 

How to greet the Queen, the royals and make friends

Get lucky enough to shake hands with the Queen? Start with  ‘Your Majesty’, and subsequently ‘Ma’am’. Royal.uk offers a helpful guide on how to greet other members of the Royal family. Read more here

If you happen to speak to any of the royal family, stay away from personal questions.

We would have had a chat about how the Corgis must have loved playing around the palace grounds! 🐕

Of course, there’s thousands of others at the Queen’s garden party at Buckingham Palace. It’s easy to strike up a conversation with another interesting character who has received an invite. Start by asking if you can take a photo for someone, or accept their offer, and go from there. Don’t be shy – everyone’s in a happy frame of mind so you’re likely to make a new friend in the process.

Do you have other tips to share, or questions? Perhaps you have been to a Royal garden party at Buckingham Palace also? Drop us a line in the comments…

 

A weekend in Prague (for travel bloggers and creatives)

A weekend in Prague (for travel bloggers and creatives)

A welcome cool breeze skimmed across the Vltava, as dozens of paddle-boat revellers and a few small ferries floated past me on excursions along the Prague waterfront. I’d arrived ahead of Cooper for our weekend in Prague for travel bloggers – or, with a creative content twist; you see, we’re on our way to another annual TBEX conference, and I couldn’t be more excited to be in the Czech Republic.

It was Friday afternoon about 6.30pm and after a scorching hot day fighting through crowds for a glimpse at the city’s famously pretty highlights, I’d stumbled into a stunning yet quite secluded spot by the water. The place was otherwise anonymous, crudely labelled ‘Riverside Bar’ on a blackboard out the back of the place.

The shabby-chic joint served cold drinks and was streaming chilled House tunes – right up my alley. Similar name as a luxe and expensive Brisbane counterpart (that admittedly I love), yet cheap, romantic, less sweaty and overlooking the city’s medieval structures including the Charles Bridge. With a flavoursome gin and tonic sparkling in my eyes and the sun beginning its descent across the Czech Republic, it occurred to me, this is the life. I could be an a$$ and hashtag it ‘blessed’, but…

For the first time in months, I’d say, I sat without thought, just observing in peace.

It’s been so so busy this year and I need this weekend in Prague. I don’t like to overuse the word ‘busy’ – we tout a saying in my team at work about how ‘busy’ has become an excuse, often meaning that actually, you believe your ‘stuff’ to be more important than someone else’s, when often we have no idea what others are up against, nor do we remember to be respectful of it.

That said, while I’ve tried hard to balance things, it’s been tough, and writing or blogging for myself and for this lifestyle and travel space is the last thing I have energy for. Yet, it’s in my heart. And away from the hustle and bustle of Prague’s overcrowded tourist centre (not to mention my ‘other’ routine life), yet with its best bits in my line of sight, I felt inspired again.

While I moan about the crowds (apparently Prague is the fifth most visited city in Europe), I must admit to having a moment on Friday afternoon. I was wandering the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage listed Old Town Square, and as I gazed around me at the colourful, historical architecture and felt energy of so many who had come before, my breath caught and tears came to my eyes. It was rather overwhelming and took me by surprise. Probably nothing to do with being deliriously tired following a work social the night before and a 6am flight.

 



 

In all seriousness, it’s as beautiful as I remember it, and more than that, how lucky are we to have the chance to be in such places, so far from home?

Beyond the selfie sticks and those taking more photos of themselves than their surroundings, the depths of crowds attempting to enter popular areas, and hundreds of tourist groups dripping in deep-fried ice-cream-stuffed doughnut cones (yep it’s a thing, although not even Czech, as I understand it), there is palpable magic in this city of red rooftops and a thousand spires, wooded hills, romantic views and influence from generations gone by.

Founded in the latter part of the 9th Century, Prague became the seat of the kings of Bohemia. The city flourished during the 14th Century and for hundreds of years was a multi-ethnic city with an influential Czech, German and Jewish population.

From 1939 the country was occupied by the Nazis and while Prague’s structures remained relatively undamaged during the war, most Jews either fled the city or were killed in the Holocaust. The German population was then expelled in the aftermath of WWII.

Most of us remember the Prague that was under Communist rule for over 40 years, rarely visited by tourists until after the Velvet Revolution on 17 November 1989. Freedom meant a huge economic boom and an influx of delighted visitors from then on, which only increased after the Czech Republic joined the European Union in 2004.

As mentioned, we’re destined for TBEX Europe 2018, in a place I’d never thought to have visited, Ostrava. That said, as travel bloggers and explorers we are very excited to see somewhere new! Preparing and in Prague for the weekend, Cooper and I wanted our schedule to be part (re)discovery, part relaxing, part planning for networking and the conference (which I blogged about for the TBEX Events site recently).

We stayed about twenty minutes walk from the city centre, at Hotel Kinsky Gardens in a quiet Prague neighbourhood, yet with the convenience of supermarkets, shopping mall, pubs, a delicious tapas restaurant called Miro, and tram stop not five minutes’ walk away.

The river precinct I came to love (including the ‘Riverside Bar’, gorgeous new waterfront restaurant opening this week Kalina Kampa and Belle Vida Cafe) was just ten minutes walk from our accommodation, and is perfect for anyone who has done the central Prague tourist bit and is happy to indulge in the views away from the chaos.

On Saturday night I hosted my very first TBEX meet-up (this is my sixth TBEX conference so I’m excited to have taken this step).

We met up with four locals to Prague and five visitors from as far as America, Costa Rica and another conference attendee coming from England like us. We ran the plans through the conference Facebook group and Katie (an American expat living in Prague) chose a cool pub on a hill with a view for our group’s meet-up, and Prague local Veronika assisted with finding an impromptu dining option so we could all hang out and try local cuisine.

It was immensely fun to meet other travel bloggers and content creators in Prague this weekend and part of the reason we’re so pleased we continue to develop our little corner of the web here, for love and a hobby.

Prague is easy to do as a city break – you can walk around the old town, to the castle, up to view points, catch trams to gardens, boat-ride around the Vltava, enjoy a little jazz, join a free walking tour and get cultural in museums.

A weekend in Prague: practical tips

Be careful of taxis, they can be unregulated and rip you off. Go with a pre-booked service or use the trams and trains as they are very well run and cheap, but DO buy a ticket as if you get caught without one or if you have not validated it the fines are hefty.

Try the beer (it’s the home of Pilsner, after all), and as always, get out of the tourist areas of a cheaper experience when it comes to food and dining.

Take your money out of an ATM that’s associated with a bank and be careful of the exchange outlets that say ‘zero commission’ (usually they are hiking up hidden charges).

Importantly, be curious. In our case, this weekend in Prague was for us as travel bloggers: an unexpected low-key treat and reminder of how much I’ve gained from travel – the people met, surprising and inspired moments, lands wandered at early (or late) hours, and the fulfilment that pursuing creativity provides. We are lucky, but I too am grateful.

Onwards to Ostrava…

Got a question on where to stay, how to get around or things to do in Prague? Drop us a line in the comments – we love to chat and share

Royal Wedding Aussies live from London

Royal Wedding Aussies live from London

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I’m not going to lie, we got pretty excited about the royal wedding!

Well, I did, and I dragged Cooper down with me.

We had the exciting task of dipping our toes back in old familiar waters, and ended up as London correspondents for a number of Aussie breakfast radio shows.

Royal Wedding Aussies live from London

Throughout the week we talked all things royal wedding as Aussies live from London on River (Brisbane), Power FM, and a host of other stations across Queensland and New South Wales. We were a little tired by the end of it, but it was good fun.

We were also tipped-off by channel nine that they would be broadcasting live from Buckingham Palace, and I fortuitously ended up at a royal rehearsal in Windsor!

Take a look at these Instagram Stories highlights for the best of the royal wedding, Aussies live from London.

Congrats Harry and Meghan! What a lovely, sunny, romantic and historic event to be a part of.

Let us know in the comments how you celebrated xo

 

Summer in London – Skylight rooftop bar

Summer in London – Skylight rooftop bar

This past week we had the chance to attend the summer launch party for Skylight rooftop bar at Tobacco Dock in east London.

We didn’t know Skylight rooftop bar existed but wow, what a venue! We’ll definitely be back. Spread across three huge levels, Skylight includes undercover spaces (for when London weather isn’t playing nice), games, comfortable seating and unbeatable views over London.

Summer in London is here, and it means our rooftop bars are beginning to open their doors again, just in time for May’s first long weekend. After a long cold winter, we are ready to play.

Take a look around Skylight …. see you soon for summer in London.

 

Find out more about Skylight London

 

Travel in Killarney Ireland vlog, and find out about TBEX

Travel in Killarney Ireland vlog, and find out about TBEX

Attending my fifth TBEX Future of Travel Media conference, I had the chance to also travel in Killarney and Kenmare in Ireland.

I produced a vlog on the experience to share so you can see highlights like seals, donkeys, history, nightlife, traditional dancing and much more.

Ireland is amazing! If you want to know more about TBEX and why you should go, press play, or search TBEX on this blog for learnings and adventures from over the past few years in Costa Brava, Athens, Stockholm and Dublin.

If you’ve been to TBEX or have questions drop us a line and say hi in the comments.

Want more Ireland? View this photo essay on travel in Killarney and Kenmare

 

LoveFit 2017: music and fitness festival UK

LoveFit 2017: music and fitness festival UK

 

Congrats to the producers of this weekend’s LoveFit 2017 festival in the UK – the first of its kind – that combines dance music with health + fitness activities.

It was fun to be invited along.

While in this instance we did more spectating than participating in classes, we applaud the overall message from wellness experts and speakers like Andrea Corbett about fitness being the best way to a happy mind and life.

Here’s a sneak peek behind the scenes: