Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fancy China and Edinburgh

Edinburgh was my favorite day of the trip--the Royal Mile had all the "big ticket" items I wanted to see within, well, roughly a mile, and I ended the day with a new three piece set.  
We started the day at Edinburgh Castle, which has been a fort and royal residence since the 11th Century, and has served, in more recent times, as a military garrison.
 The castle included a display of the Scottish crown jewels (which are older than the English jewels and date to 1540) and the Stone of Scone (the stone of destiny),

The Royal Palace, where Scottish royalty would have lived

(Fireplace in the Great Hall)

(Great Hall with its display of arms)

(Scottish National War Museum)
 (St. Margaret's Chapel.  St. Margaret was a Queen of Scotland who lived in Edinburgh castle, which is also where she died in 1093.  For a long time it was believed that St. Margaret worshipped here herself, but now it is believed that the chapel was founded by her son, King David I of Scotland)

(St. Margaret stained glass window in the chapel)

(Robert the Bruce stained glass window also in the chapel)
After leaving the castle, we started down the Royal Mile

We stopped into Gladstone's Land, a merchants home dating from the 16th century to the 17th century.  This house was interesting to see how the different tenants added on through the centuries.

We eventually reaching St. Giles Cathedral

The Cathedral had beautiful stained glass windows:
(St. Margaret)

(Unicorn & White hart)

 (close up of stained glass window in memory of Robert Burns)
Here is a bit of a poem by Robert Burns to Edinburgh:
Edina! Scotia's darling seat!
All hail thy palaces and tow'rs,
Where once, beneath a Monarch's feet,
Sat Legislation's sov'reign pow'rs:
From marking wildly scatt'red flow'rs,
As on the banks of Ayr I stray'd,
And singing, lone, the lingering hours,
I shelter in they honour'd shade.
From the Cathedral, we continued down the Royal mile, stopping for lunch in a pub, and then passing by (and into) stores full of wool and cashmere, shortbread, and other fun gifts, until we reached the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which has stood at the end of the royal mile since the 14th century.
(Holyroodhouse Palace)
Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures in the Palace (which was the preferred home of Mary Queen of Scots, and is currently one of Queen Elizabeth II's palaces).
Also on the grounds of the Palace are the ruins of an abbey originally founded in 1128.

(view of the Abbey from the park around the palace).
So in one day we saw a castle, an example of a 16th-17th century merchant's home, a cathedral, a palace, and abbey ruins.  That in itself was enough to make for a wonderful day...and then I stepped into the gift shop at Holyroodhouse and saw this:

There was a whole set of the china.  I was drawn to the luncheon plate

Here is a close up of the beautiful design in the middle:

If you look closely at the crest, there is a rose, the symbol of England, under the lion, and a thistle, the symbol of Scotland, under the unicorn.  This set is from the Royal Collection by Old Durham Road and is made in England.  This particular pattern is based on a highly embellished version of the Coat of Arms of King George IV and King William IV, found in the pantry of Buckingham Palace.

Just a quick note on the lilacs.  These lilacs are from my father's cuttings of lilac bushes from my grandparents' home (which had been the country house of my Great-great Aunt before them) in upstate New York.  The original bushes were huge and 100 years old; there was a tall hedge of them along the road that we would pass before reaching their house.
I'll leave you with one last picture from Edinburgh that supports my choice of china pattern:
(The gate at Holyroodhouse Palace with the royal Unicorn).
Today I've joined:
Friends sharing tea at Bernideen's
and Tea Cup Tuesday at Martha's favorites and with Martha's co-host Terri


  1. That china is incredible. I have that movie "The Queen's Palaces" and saw this in the movie. It looks amazing through your eyes!

  2. What a day! Every place looks amazing and interesting. The stained glass is stunning. And your tea cup is elegant and regal. A wonderful cup in your collection.
    Your lilac blooms must smell divine.

  3. What beautiful pictures! The palace is amazing. Love the tea cup. Thanks so much for sharing all the pictures. I love seeing things like this. Have a wonderful week. Blessings, Martha

  4. What a wonderful trip. I have friends who traveled to Edinburgh to get married. They loved it there. I imagine I would too. And SUCH a pretty china pattern.

  5. All of your stained glass photos turned out so well! I'm jealous! Mine are not nearly that clear. And I love seeing your china again. :-D There were so many pretty options to pick from but I still really love the one you chose!

  6. The stained glass window of the unicorn is breathtaking. The china is absolutely gorgeous!!! Thank you, for showing us your trip. xoxo


Thank you so much for your comment! I hope you have a wonderful day :)