Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Discovering the royal palace (Hampton Court Palace) & Chinese food (Imperial China) @ Middlesex, UK

If you've been to Kensington Palace and Tower of London in London, remember to visit another historic royal palace, the Hampton Court Palace in your next trip! This palace is located in Middlesex and was the royal residence of King Henry VIII. Although not as big or grand like Windsor Castle, Hampton Court has its own uniqueness, majestic and charm. We took a tube from Earls Court to Richmond via District Line and from there, sis and hub drove us to the palace. Their website suggested a couple of ways to get here. 
Apart from the palace itself, there are also gardens, a maze, royal tennis court and the largest grape vine in the world to explore. Make sure to put aside a couple of hours to fully wander around all the attractions. There are audio guides and maps for visitors and even formal royal gowns that can be worn while you're exploring the place!
King Henry VII's royal chamber. So drappy and I feel so warm by just looking at it @__@. Ok, to be fair, it was really warm at the chamber section.

Brekkie of chicken pie and mash peas at Privy Kitchen with a 16th century dining hall atmosphere.
Beautiful and majestic work of art!

Once done wandering around the palace, we explored the gardens and palace ground. Weather was wonderful and sunny so, lots of selfie, wefie, sakai-ing and walking! Mum, sis and hub did not enter the palace so they wandered the grounds and took the horse drawn carriage ride (if walking is not your thing;p).We made a mistake of spending too much time at the start of the visit (listening attentively to the audio guide) that we had too little time to actually explore the gardens (okay, maybe too much time wefie-ing as well). We had to skip the maze but we did take a peep inside; so remember to set aside some time for this! 

Visit their website for more info, getting here and admissions: Hampton Court Palace 
Address: East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU, United Kingdom

After the royal visit during the day, we had dinner at Imperial China Restaurant, Teddington as an early birthday celebration for mum. We were probably their first customer for that evening! Nice-looking Chinese restaurant with Cantonese-speaking servers. After some disappointing meals at some Chinese restaurants in Saskatoon, I was not expecting much from this. Surprisingly, I would say they are quite good and in fact, it fits my taste bud. Quite close to what we usually get in Malaysia although certain things like the lemon chicken was just mediocre (I thought the batter was too thick). The spicy udon and lotus leaf-wrapped rice were my favourite. The udon looked like your typical udon dish but it has the wok-hei and the spiciness added to the tastiness of it. Same goes for the rice; good consistency, not too greasy, generous amount of ingredient inside and of course the wok hei to make it taste even better! If you like salted fish, you will like the to fu hot pot :) The prawn basket was unique with the 'gold and silver' referring to a mixture of coated, fried prawns while the other is without the coating. Fresh, huge and generous portion of prawns. Unfortunately the 'potato basket' is a mere deco and not edible (we tried eating it and it tasted terrible @__@ lols).
Gold and silver prawns in a potato basket

L to R: Lotus leaf-wrapped fried rice (hor yip fan) and mixed vege hot pot.
Clockwise from top L: Lemon chicken, spicy udon, to fu hot pot
Overall, food and ambience was good, price was ok and servers were attentive and helpful. Came with a complimentary dessert and here's a tip; discounted rate if you're paying by cash, so prepare your pounds! I can't remember how much discount was it but just check with the servers. We were not aware of it till the servers actually asked us for our method of payment. Parking may be a little tight. This place also serves good dim sum so I've heard. 

Address: 196-198 Stanley Rd, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 8UE, UK
Website: Imperial China Restaurant

Imperial China on Urbanspoon

Other places in London that you might be interested with:

Old style trolley dim sum @ New World, London, UK
The English breakfast @ London, UK
Noodles for everyone @ Wagamama, Earls Court, London, UK

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