9.24.2014

DATE NIGHT AT THE TOWER OF LONDON

When I shared this photo on instagram and facebook I got a lot of hilarious comments. Most wondered why on earth Pete and I would go to a former prison for our first date night out in London. I have to admit, it is a bit of a strange place for a date, so let me fill you all in on why we were there! It was actually a very fascinating evening put together by the Embassy that included a tour, dinner, and the chance to witness the historic key ceremony during which the Tower is locked up for the evening.
To begin the evening we were taken on a tour of the Tower by a very cheeky Yeoman Warder. Just a note on our guide--he actually lives within the walls of the Tower along with 36 other Yeoman Warders (or Beefeaters as they are also known) and their families. So cool, right?? The title, Yeoman Warder, is a very prestigious one. And while they are mostly ceremonial in nature today, historically they were responsible for protecting the Crown Jewels and for looking after prisoners. In order to become a Yeoman Warder you must have at least 22 years of military service and have been awarded the "Long Service and Good Conduct" medal--only the best of the best are given the honor. You can read more about the Warders here and here.
After the tour we stopped off in the Warders' private club for drinks and a dinner prepared by the wives of some of the Warders. I am still blown away at the fact that they whipped up a delicious home-cooked meal for us. I was definitely not expecting that. They made us all feel right at home. Oh, and I can't forget to mention the heavenly "pudding" we had after the meal. Think apple crisp topped with a heavy pour of straight up cream instead of ice cream. It was decadent. I believe one of the wives described it as "a good stodgy pudding that will put hair on your chest." Oh, I will never tire of the British and their way with words! ;)
Sadly, the most fascinating part of the evening had to go undocumented as we were strictly forbidden from taking any photos during the Ceremony of the Keys. According to our guide, if we were caught with a camera we would be shot and/or thrown in the Thames and floated off to France... "and who would ever want to go there?" (I mentioned he was cheeky, right? ;)) The locking up of the Tower of London for the night has taken place every evening (without fail) for over 700 hundred years! It was an amazing experience to get such an up-close view of history. Tickets to this ceremony are free and available to the public, although I hear they are very, very hard to come by. The process is a bit antiquated and involves sending a self-addressed stamped envelope. Regardless, if you find yourself in London I highly recommend at least trying to get your hands on some tickets! You can find out more here.

You may have noticed all of the beautiful red poppies in the photos. They are part of a breathtaking art installation at the Tower in remembrance of the more than 880,000 Commonwealth soldiers killed in the First World War. Every evening at sunset the names of 180 of these fallen soldiers are read. The installation runs through November 11th.

instagram/twitter/pinterest/bloglovin'

2 comments:

  1. Seriously fun date night! I'm going to have to try to get some tickets to this- I was just looking and it is quite the process! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You guys really should try to get tickets! It was so cool. It would be the perfect thing to do with visitors if you can swing it!

      Delete

Comments just make my day! I will respond to them here, so be sure to check back. You can also check the "notify me" box to receive an email with replies to this post so you will never miss a beat! :)

Pin It button on image hover