Wednesday 17 August 2011

Patterns of fairytales.

I've been wanting to go to the Enchanted Palace forever - even before Ellie posted about it last year - and finally decided that, damnit, I had my birthday off work, and I should do something I'd always wanted to do. I was sad to hear that they didn't allow photography inside, though, so I decided to be a bit cheeky and emailed the press office asking if they'd consider waiving that rule so I could blog about it. Although they said no, they offered me free tickets instead - what an amazing birthday present! So I persuaded my friend Anne to book the day off work and we made our way to Kensington.

(Somewhat ironically, when we got there we discovered they'd amended the rule just to restrict flash photography - so I was free to snap away!)

Basically, they're renovating Kensington Palace, so they've opened up the Royal Apartments and turned them into an experience tour, focusing on the seven princesses who've lived in them. Or, as they put it: Kensington Palace is being transformed. As the walls of the palace are being shaken by a £12 million renovation project the rubble and the dust is unleashing powerful and secret stories about the lives of Kensington's princesses... 

I loved the simple silhouette effects they used in some of the rooms, such as in the Gallery of Dancing Shadows, where images of a couple dancing were projected onto the ceiling.

Also... DRESSES. I don't know if you've noticed, but I like dresses. The ones on display were STUNNING. I loved this one on the stairs - the stance made it seem as though there was an invisible girl inside it, hurtling down the steps.

I adored all the fairytale references, too. Princess and the Pea, anyone? (Seriously, that bed looked COMFY.)

It was MAGICAL. Part stately home, part museum, part art installation, I cannot think of anyone I know who wouldn't enjoy it. It's actually quite clever, because although there are a lot of activities to do for children, it doesn't feel like a child's tour because it's all so interesting and beautifully done. I would love to go back with my 8 year old niece - I know she'd get as much out of it as I did. 

The gardens are beautiful too, with more little works of art - members of the public have written their secrets and put them in little red globes hanging from the trees.

I can't recommend the Enchanted Palace enough, really - I think that's clear from how photo-heavy this post is! It was the perfect way to spend my birthday. I utterly adored it and can't wait to go back. I want to live there.

Disclaimer: even though the tickets were a gift, I was always intending to visit the Palace, and all the gushing in this post is my own!


  1. How lovely! I've never heard of this place, but the photos look amazing & look something I'd enjoy.
    glad you enjoyed your birthday then, and great that you got it free :)

  2. I absolutely love this! I love the concept and how picture perfect and clever everything is. I would love to have the opportunity to see this but I probably won't - seeing as I'm broke in the U.S. Thanks so much for sharing! Stunning, stunning.


  3. Amazing photographs. I went to this a couple of months ago and got told off for taking a sneaky picture.
    I loved the exhibition, it was really nicely put together. x

  4. How amazing, I've never heard of it in my life. Looks fantastic xx

  5. I hoped you'd post about it when I saw on twitter you'd been! I'm a real museums and heritage geek and I've been meaning to go for ages - this post encouraged me to get moving, but it also gave me far more of a sense of being there than a lot of press reviews I've read. It's frustrating about photography, but rest assured they're not being petty, light is srsly damaging to many historic objects. So thank-you for this post, I loved reading about it and looking at your pictures :D x x x

  6. Oh yes please I want to go! It looks beautiful, thank you for sharing your photos!

  7. Wow this looks amazing! I'd never heard of it until now, might have to take a trip there. Your pics are lovely by the way :) xx

  8. Blogger trip? Needs to happen.

  9. Looks so nice here, awesome pictures as always. Very interesting post x

  10. I loved this place when I went last December, now I want to go again so badly...I'm such a history nerd but the exhibition's so beautifully put together as well, it's amazing. Very jealous xxx

  11. wow - this looks amazing! I especially love the garden actually; amazing colours. what an added bonus that you got free tickets! sounds like you had a brilliant day out! :) xx

  12. WOW!

    This looks amazing. Another entry to go on my list of places to go.

    X x

  13. The enchanted Palace looks amazing. I really want to visit as well.

  14. This looks gorgeous! Such a pretty place.
    The dresses are amazing. xx

  15. Why is this place all the way down in London? Damn. Will have to pay it a visit one day

  16. Those dresses are fantastic and this place looks wonderful :) Glad you enjoyed your birthday too :)

    Maria xxx

  17. This place looks mental, amazing but mental! I've never even heard of it!! The dress are so pretty though :)


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