Sunday June 11, 2017 – Sunday June 18, 2017
7 Days – $2,500
Reserve by April 1, 2017
Regency England, a time like no other. The madness of King George led to his son, the Prince Regent, assuming the throne and ushering in a period of artistic achievement, social upheaval, architectural genius and reckless excess such as the world has rarely seen. On this tour, we will enjoy talks by expert lecturers, walk in the footsteps of Beau Brummell and Jane Austen, stroll the promenade of the ton’s seaside playground – Brighton, tour stately homes and pleasure palaces and see how the Regent changed the world around him even as he drained his country’s treasury. Join with us as we relive the glamour and greed, sin and secrets, fashion and faux pas that shaped Regency England.
- Afternoon Tea with etiquette expert Emma Dupont
- Lectures and Regency Walk with author Louise Allen
- Walking Tour of Brighton with expert guide Jackie Marsh Hobbs
- Tours of Petworth House, the Royal Pavilion and Polesden Lacey
- Evening Soiree at Brighton’s Regency Townhouse
- Tour of Buckingham Palace and Gardens
Arrival at the 4 Star St. James’s Court Hotel, a luxury Taj hotel housed in an historic Victorian property within walking distance of both Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. Our group will gather at 4 o’clock to experience a traditional Afternoon Tea along with etiquette specialist Emma Dupont who will lead us through the social pitfalls of this thoroughly British institution. Together with award winning Regency author Louise Allen (Melanie Hilton), Emma will take us through the history of Afternoon Tea, from the Duchess of Bedford to present day. The rest of the evening is free for you to enjoy London as you wish.
Today we will stroll the thoroughfares of Regency London with Louise Allen (Melanie Hilton), author of Walks Through Regency London and Walking Jane Austen’s London. We’ll visit many of the sites associated with the Regency period, whether they be well known buildings and locations or hidden gems. Along the way, we will be stopping at landmarks well known to all Regency aficionados, including Berry Bros., Lock’s Hatters and Floris. Rest stops will be taken along the way, as well as a break for lunch. Afterwards, we will return to the St. James’s Court Hotel for dinner, followed by a talk by Louise Allen (Melanie Hilton), author of The Georgian Seaside: The English Resorts Before The Railways, on Brighton’s popularity during the Regency period.
This morning we will visit the Victoria and Albert Museum (the V&A) for a Private Specialist Talk on the fashions, social life, architecture, royals and other aspects of the Regency Period, with private access to items from the Collection. Afterwards, you will have free time at the V&A in order visit the galleries or have lunch at the V&A Café. The rest of the day has been left free for you to conduct some personal sightseeing, indulge in a bit of luxury shopping or attend the theatre.
Today we travel by private coach to Brighton, stopping first for a visit to Petworth, the late 17th
century, Grade I listed country house built by the Duke of Somerset and surrounded by a 700 acre Park designed by Capability Brown. In addition to it’s collection of important artwork by the likes of Turner, Reynolds and Van Dyck, we will view the State Rooms, as well as the extensive servants quarters, truly an “upstairs, downstairs” view of this historic property.
Once in Brighton, we will be staying at The Old Ship, a Georgian seafront hotel that is now part of The Hotel Collection. Formerly a coaching inn dating to the 1500’s, the hotel boasts authentic Regency assembly rooms and retains its atmospheric Cellars, where we will dine this evening along with local historian and guide Jackie Marsh Hobbs, who will regale us with tales of Brighton’s Regency heyday.
This morning we will again meet with our guide Jackie Marsh Hobbs and set off on a walking tour of Brighton like no other. We’ll follow in the footsteps of the Prince Regent as we tour the Marine Parade with its charming Regency wedding cake buildings, the historic pier and the Old Steine or “stony place,” where fishermen once dried their nets, but which became the place to see and be seen during the Regency. We shall listen to tales of royal lust as we stroll past the homes of both Mrs. Fitzherbert and Lady Conyngham and explore The Lanes, a narrow warren of delightful shops (with splendid antiquing) for a fascinating glimpse of bygone Brighton. The rest of day has been left free for you to explore Brighton at your leisure.
Perhaps nothing so epitomizes the excesses of the Prince Regent as does his “Marine Palace,” the Royal Pavilion, built by legendary architect John Nash. The Duke of Wellington and Queen Victoria would both be left speechless upon their first sight of the Pavilion’s garish colour schemes and over-the-top décor. Taj Mahal inspired architecture, complete with domes and minarets, fantastical chandeliers, lavish carpets and hand-painted Chinese wall papers compete for the visitor’s attention. The Music and Banqueting Rooms, the royal kitchens, bedrooms and reception rooms all combine to provide a glimpse into the private life of the Prince Regent. Following our tour of the Pavilion, you may choose to have lunch or afternoon tea before exploring the adjacent Brighton Museum.
This evening, we will gather for a tour of the Regency Townhouse in Hove, which is being meticulously restored by curator Nick Tyson and his dedicated staff. The Townhouse offers a glimpse of upstairs and downstairs life in a typical Regency home. Our visit will be capped by a Regency Soiree at the Townhouse, when we’ll bid farewell to Brighton with a glass of port or wine and a cold collation such as the haute ton would have enjoyed.
This morning we travel back to the St. James’s Court Hotel in London, stopping along the route for a visit to Polesden Lacey, the Regency house purchased by Edwardian million-heiress Margaret Greville, who proceeded to fill it with priceless art, ceramics and furniture, while making her lavish home a beacon for the cream of society including members of the Royal family and most of the peerage. “Most people leave their money to the poor, I intend to leave mine to the rich,” said Maggie. And she did, leaving her fabulous diamond collection to the Queen Mother and her house to the National Trust. After seeing the house, we’ll stroll the walled Rose Garden, containing 26 varieties of English roses, and there will be time for a visit to the café and shop. Afterwards, we return to the St. James’s Court Hotel in London. This evening we dine at the hotel.
Spend this morning sleeping in, sightseeing or shopping before we assemble in the hotel lobby in the afternoon for the short walk to Buckingham Palace, where we will take a self guided tour of the magnificent State Rooms. The majority of these rooms reflect the taste of George IV, who commissioned architect John Nash to transform what had previously been known as Buckingham House into a grand palace. Many of the pieces of furniture, sparkling chandeliers, candelabra and other works of art in these rooms were bought or made for Carlton House, George IV’s London home when he was Prince of Wales.
Afterwards, we will be given a guided tour of the highlights of Her Majesty’s gardens including the wisteria clad summer house, the stunning rose garden, the Palace tennis courts, the Waterloo Vase, sculpted from a 20-ton block of Carrara marble, presented as a gift to the Prince Regent and carved to commemorate the Duke of Wellington’s Waterloo victory before being relegated to the garden, as it is too heavy to be supported by any floor. This evening, we gather at the latest incarnation of the famous Boulestin restaurant in St. James’s Street for a Farewell Dinner.
- 4 Nights at St. James’s Court Hotel
- 3 Nights at The Old Ship Hotel
- Full English breakfast each day
- Welcome Afternoon tea
- Five Dinners
- Services of an expert tour guide throughout the tour
- Private coach transportation on travel days
- Guided walking tour of Regency London with author Louise Allen
- Guided walking tour of Brighton with Jackie Marsh Hobbs
- Entry or admission fees to all venues