Tag Archives: Windsor Castle

Working in Windsor

David BurianBack in July 2013, I came to Windsor for a job interview.  Coming from Hungary and having lived only in London, I hadn’t heard of Windsor before so I did some internet research about the town prior to the big day.  I read about the attractions, the restaurants, the social life, the transport and from every angle Windsor seemed a great place to live.  However, back then I was more worried about getting the job and not so much about the town.  So when I got off the train at Central Station on the day of the interview, my thoughts were focussed around the upcoming questions and I wasn’t thinking about the town too much.  And yet as I stepped off the train I was amazed.

“How can a train station be so charming? And if the train station is so lovely what should I expect from the town?”

As I left the station I was impressed by Windsor Castle, the charming cobbled streets and shops, by the happy, relaxed people all around me. I loved every little detail: the River Thames, the Windsor Bridge, Peascod Street, the narrow alleyways and Alexandra Gardens. I had a feeling that I had found the perfect place to live! I was so surprised I couldn’t read the map properly (most unlike me) so I had to ask for help to find the way to my interview at Alma House.

Luckily for me it went really well and I was offered the job and asked to move in on the same day.  Since then I have learnt more about the town and I still think Windsor is the greatest place to live.

It was love at first sight!

My role at at the company is very varied; I do a fair bit of cleaning of really fantastic apartments as well as maintenance jobs and looking after guests if they need anything out of office hours. This means I work closely with all of my colleagues from Housekeeping, Maintenance and in the Office too, not just from one Department.  The most exciting parts of my job are that I always can improve my English, learn something new and meet new people every day.  I love to chat with guests about their travelling, impressions of Windsor or our Bed & Breakfast.  A fresh pair of eyes is always helpful and it’s great to share stories and places to visit in this wonderful town.

What’s On this Christmas in Windsor & Eton

With shops full of gifts and decorations and several party invites on the mantelpiece already it must be nearly Xmas…!  Here’s our list of what’s on locally to help you plan your diaries:-

Eton Christmas Lights Switch On takes place this Thursday 22nd November.  Starting with a Service in Eton College Chapel between 6.30-7.00pm and then a procession and Light Switch on at the Community Xmas Tree in Jubilee Square from 7.20pm.

 

Windsor Street Gallery is an open air fine art show taking place on Peascod Street, Windsor.  Open for browsing and sales on Sunday 25th November between 11am and 5pm.

Carols by Candlelight will take place at Windsor Theatre on 28th November from 8pm.  The Locrian Ensemble will perform Carols and Christmas tunes accompanied by strings, harp and West End soprano Jill Washington.  A great start to the Xmas season!

Windsor’s Farmer’s Market has been taking place since 2005 on St Leonards Road between the Firestation and East Berks College.  Saturday 1st December 2012 will have a Seasonal theme with decorated stalls and advice for how to make Christmas dinner extra special.

Windsor’s most popular Christmas event returns also on 1st December this year. You can see the LIVE Reindeer and Father Christmas on a sleigh parading through the Town Centre between 2pm and 4pm.  Children can have photos taken with Father Christmas on his sleigh before he returns to Lapland.

Windsor Emporium takes place on Sunday 2nd December between 10am and 4pm at Windsor Guildhall.  A truly delightful and alternative Xmas shopping experience featuring hand produced Arts & Crafts.  There will also be a Vintage Tea Room serving homemade cakes and light refreshments.

Entry to The Savill Garden is free from 1st – 31st December allowing you to enjoy a variety of winter plants – gardens are open 10am-4.30pm.  There will be a Victorian Christmas theme in the café and Father Christmas will be visiting The Savill Building between 11am-4pm on 20th and 21st December (£5 per child – please book 01784 435 544 to avoid disappointment!) 

Father Christmas will make his grand entrance on a festive horse and carriage at The Savill Building at 10.45am on 1st & 2nd, 8th & 9th, 15th & 16th, 20th & 21st December.  The carriage will then be available for all the family to enjoy. 

Tickets are now available for Theatre Royal Windsor’s Panto - this year Jack and the Beanstalk will be showing from 5 December 2012 – 6 January 2013.  Starring Matthew Kelly, Bond girl Brit Ekland and playing Jack is pop star Anthony Kavanagh.  Contact Box Office for further details.

Carols on the Hill takes place at King Henry VIII Gate on Friday 14th December from 6-7pm.  Join the Band of the Blues and Royals for a spot of carol singing in front of Windsor Castle. 

Festivo takes place in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Tuesday 18th December at 7.30pm.  Tickets remain for Quires seating only (no view); this popular programme features favourite carols, devotional readings and lighter seasonal items. 

Finally, Alexander Gardens will once again be transformed into a Winter Wonderland with the arrival of the Christmas Ice Rink on 8th December until 6th January open from 9.30am to 10pm.  Windsor Ice will feature a private function room, Santa’s Grotto and a Victorian Christmas Market with evening entertainment.  

Whatever your plans, AWL wishes one and all a wonderful start to the Christmas season.  www.accommodationwindsor.com.

 

The Royal Phone Box

Fabulous Ring-a-Royal Art Box will be located outside Windsor Castle until the end of the year. The phone box, designed by Timmy Mallett, is one of a hundred created by artists across the country in aid of Childline to celebrate 2012 and 25 years of the charity.If you get a chance to visit, let us know who you think the Royals are all talking to…

Diamond Jubilee Weekend Celebrations

So much going on in Windsor this weekend… How are YOU celebrating?

Sat 2 June 2012
A 21-gun salute takes place on the Long Walk to mark the start of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend  at 12 noon
 
Sat 2 June 2012
Diamond Jubilee Windsor Farmers’ Market and St Leonards Road Street Party, 10am to 2pm.  Street stalls, children’s competition, special shopping discounts and much more.
 
Sat 2 to Tues 5 June 2012
Diamond Jubilee carpet planting in The Queen Elizabeth Temperate House in The Savill Garden at Windsor Great Park.
 
Sun 3 June 2012
Big Picnic takes place in Alexandra Gardens from midday with a 1950s theme.
 
Sun 3 June 2012
Eton Street Party (TICKETS SOLD OUT)
 
Sun 3 June 2012
Windsor Emporium Arts and Craft Fair at Windsor Guildhall – 10am-4pm free entry.  Around 30 local craftsmen present their hand-produced work.
 
Sun 3 and Mon 4 June 2012
Windsor Vintage Market at the Windsor Royal Shopping http://lipstickandgearstick.com/article/windsor-royal-jubilee-vintage-market
 
Mon 4 June 2012
Ox Roast takes place in Bachelors Acre from midday until 6pm.  The Ox Roast is a traditional Jubilee celebration.
 
Tues 5 June 2012
FREE Hog Roast and paella tasters in Windsor Royal Shopping including 50s theme village market, vintage cars and live entertainment from lunchtime.

Royal Windsor Horse Show

The family were thrilled at AWL’s invitation to the Windsor Horse Show.  Wellies on, tickets in hand, we walked along the river towards Home Park, soaking up the horsey atmosphere.  The ponies and tack were looking extra shiny in honour of the Queen’s Jubilee.  With jumps, dressage and carriage racing, our two year old daughter was in raptures.  The Berkshire Food Festival offered plenty of delicious pit stops and we ended the day watching the Italian Cavalry charging through the main arena to some fantastic live scoring- a great start to the weekend.  Thank you AWL for a great family outing, it was a nice reminder that Windsor does pageantry better than anyone!

We will be back next year.  Joe, Jen and Poppy x

Love is in the Air

Following hot on the heels of Valentine’s Day, this year February 29th offers girls the advantage of being a Leap Year.  Traditionally on this day usual laws were suspended including the rule that only men were allowed to propose.  This meant that just once every four years women got the chance to pop the question.  Custom also dictated that if he turned you down he had to buy you an expensive gift – it’s a win-win situation!  If you’re thinking of taking the plunge this Leap Year here’s our guide to Windsor’s most romantic locations.

    • Snow Hill in front of the Copper Horse – Take a stroll down the Long Walk heading up to the Copper Horse, with breathtaking views across Windsor and the distant Castle.
    • River Boat Cruise – Suggest a delightful trip along the River Thames and soak up the stunning backdrops of Windsor Castle and Eton College.
    •  VIP Champagne Ride on the Royal Windsor Wheel - Enjoy the panoramic views from Alexander Gardens across Berkshire and all the way to London as you get down on one knee.
    • Horse-drawn Carriage in Windsor Great Park - Surprise your loved one with a horse drawn carriage through the park, champagne and roses optional.
    • The Pink Bench at Ascot Racecourse – The tradition of proposing on the Pink Bench dates back to the Regency period and has the added advantage of great odds for an acceptance.

Continuing the wedding theme, this coming Sunday 26th February Windsor is playing host to its first ever Windsor Wedding Fayre.  The event will be jointly hosted by The Macdonald Windsor, Harte and Garter and Mercure Castle Hotels and promises to offer a fabulous showcase of banqueting suites and bridal packages.  There will also be tours of the famous Windsor Guildhall – wedding venue to Royalty and Celebs including Prince Charles & Camilla and Sir Elton John & David Furnish.  To register your interest or book an exclusive viewing email windsorweddingfayre@macdonald-hotels.co.uk

If you would like to visit Windsor whether to make a proposal or to make wedding plans you can book a stay with Accommodation Windsor Limited for short stay apartments in Windsor and Eton.  Likewise, Alma House  Bed and Breakfast has a special offer during February and March if you book 2 nights together over the weekend your stay will be reduced and includes a free bottle of wine and box of chocolates to get you off to the perfect start.

Many thanks to superb Wedding Photographers Plenty to Declare for sharing their lovely photos with us.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

 
Queen Elizabeth was born on 21st April 1926 in Mayfair, London and at the time third in line to the British throne after Edward, Prince of Wales and her father, The Duke of York.  She spent her earliest years at Whitelodge in Richmond Park before moving with her family to the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park at the age of 6.  Here Princess Elizabeth was presented with her own house called The Little Cottage which was given to her by the People of Wales.
 
When her grandfather, King George V died in 1936 her Uncle took the throne of England as King Edward VIII but within a year, and amidst much scandal he abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson who was a divorcee.  At this point Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, was crowned and Princess Elizabeth became next in line to the British throne.  Throughout her childhood years Princess Elizabeth was home schooled by her father on topics such as Politics and History to prepare her for the life she had ahead.  She was also educated on religion by The Arch Bishop of Canterbury.

During the Blitz Elizabeth and her family sought safety and refuge at Windsor Castle where they spent most of the War years.  Whilst the country was still recovering from the devastation caused by WWII Elizabeth married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten at Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip have now been married over 64 years and they have four children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

In the 1950s her father’s health began slowly deteriorating until his death on Wednesday, 6 February 1952. Elizabeth was in Kenya on a royal visit when she received the news and immediately flew back to England as the new Queen.  Her Coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953.  The procession was viewed by crowds of people and the ceremony was broadcast over the radio across the world.

During her reign Queen Elizabeth II has seen many changes in the world including the first man on the Moon, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the invention of modern television, mobile phones and internet.  She is an avid animal lover who has taken a keen interest in the breeding of both dogs and horses.  It is also less known that she has an interest in Scottish country dancing and performs each year at Balmoral Castle to neighbours, staff members and the local community.

The Queen celebrated her Golden Jubilee, a milestone to mark the 50th year of her reign in 2002, and a large number of people threw street parties, garden parties and many other events to celebrate with her.   Now the country is looking forward to celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this summer to commemorate 60 years since her Coronation. The only other Monarch in British history to have celebrated their Diamond Jubilee is Queen Victoria who at the moment holds the title of longest ruling Monarch after her reign of 63 years.

The Diamond Jubilee Central Weekend takes place over four days in June 2012, celebrating 60 years of The Queen’s reign, see the diary of events below.

Saturday 2 June

The Epsom Derby

Sunday 3 June

The Big Jubilee Lunch

The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant

Monday 4 June

The Diamond Jubilee Concert

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons

Tuesday 5 June

Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral

See link for further information on events taking place during the Diamond Jubilee weekend http://www.bbc.co.uk/diamondjubilee/index.shtml