Victoria Presents: Our Hearts Are in England Tour

Buckingham Palace, London
Thyme, the Cotswolds

London and the Cotswolds, England
September 19–26, 2020

Single Occupancy: $7,550
Double Occupancy: $6,500
Hotel Add-On: $500

Editor-in-Chief Phyllis Hoffman DePiano and Editor Jordan Marxer invite you to escape to the treasured isle we love so well for seven nights and eight days of bliss. The splendor of London awaits, with quarters at a five-star hotel offering easy access to the city’s myriad delights, while a two-day excursion to the Cotswolds promises a breath of serenity.

Please note: Expected attendance for this event must be filled by July 31, 2020, for the retreat to take place. Don’t wait! Register today.

What’s Included

  • Hotel accommodations for one in London and in the Cotswolds
  • Welcome afternoon tea at The Milestone Hotel & Residences
  • Breakfast daily at hotels in London and in the Cotswolds
  • Private coach transfers to and from all event activities, as well as to Oxford, the Cotswolds, and back to London
  • Tours of Kensington Palace, Victoria and Albert Museum, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, The Wallace Collection, Oxford, The Royal Gardens at Highgrove, and Windsor Castle
  • Afternoon tea at The Ritz London
  • Lunch at Peyton & Byrne
  • Dinner at The Swan at Southrop
  • Master floral class at Thyme
  • Shopping Portobello Road Market

What’s Not Included

  • Airfare/travel to London
  • Airport transfers
  • Most dinners and lunches

What’s Included

  • Hotel accommodations for two in London and in the Cotswolds
  • Breakfast daily at hotels in London and Cotswolds
  • Welcome afternoon tea at The Milestone Hotel & Residences
  • Private coach transfers to/from all event activities and to Oxford and Cotswolds
  • Tours of Kensington Palace, Victoria and Albert Museum, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, The Wallace Collection, Oxford, The Royal Gardens at Highgrove, and Windsor Castle
  • Afternoon tea at The Ritz London
  • Lunch at Peyton & Byrne
  • Dinner at The Swan at Southrop
  • Master floral class at Thyme
  • Shopping Portobello Road Market

What’s Not Included

  • Airfare/travel to London
  • Airport transfers
  • Most dinners and lunches

Have a question about this tour of London and the Cotswolds? Contact us.


Saturday

Arrive in London and settle into The Milestone Hotel & Residences, a luxury five-star hotel located in the Kensington neighborhood, adjacent to Kensington Palace and Gardens. Enjoy a welcome afternoon tea at the hotel so you can meet Victoria Editor-in-Chief Phyllis Hoffman DePiano, Editor Jordan Marxer, and your fellow travelers.

Sunday
After breakfast, your first full day begins with a visit to Kensington Palace and Gardens, home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, for a tour of The King’s State Apartments, exhibits including Victoria: A Royal Childhood and Diana: Designing for a Princess, as well as other public areas of the palace and magnificent gardens. Enjoy lunch on your own at The Palace Café or Kensington Palace Pavilion and Tea Room. In the afternoon, travel via private coach to the Victoria and Albert Museum for a one-hour private guided set tour of its renowned fashion collection. At its conclusion, peruse other exhibits at your leisure or explore the surrounding Kensington neighborhood, offering such attractions as the Royal Albert Hall and the Natural History Museum, as well as posh shopping mecca Kensington High Street.

Monday
After breakfast, travel via private coach to Westminster Abbey, a royal church steeped in British history, for a 45-minute guided tour. Transfer to Buckingham Palace, the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen, to see the Changing the Guard ceremony, followed by a tour of The State Rooms. You will have time to enjoy special exhibit Royal Animals, stroll the garden, peruse the Official Royal Gift Shop, and eat lunch. Afterward, travel via private coach for a seated afternoon tea at the exquisite The Ritz London. You may return to The Milestone Hotel via private coach or explore the luxurious Mayfair neighborhood, where eighteenth-century mansions share tree-lined streets with such exclusive shopping destinations as Selfridge’s and Saville Row.

Tuesday
After breakfast, travel via private coach to Hertford House in Manchester Square for a 75-minute private guided tour of The Wallace Collection, considered to be one of the UK’s best collections of paintings, porcelain, and furnishings. Offering tantalizing European dishes based on traditional fare, its courtyard restaurant, Peyton & Byrne, is the perfect spot for a leisurely lunch before departing for an afternoon of shopping nearby Regent and Oxford Streets, home to haberdashery V V Rouleaux and iconic Liberty London. You will have the remainder of the afternoon to shop and explore at leisure.

Wednesday
After breakfast, check out of The Milestone Hotel to depart via private coach to Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires, which both royalty and scholars have called home for more than 800 years, for a 90-minute guided walking tour of its historic buildings, colleges, and botanical garden. Spreading from the vaulted fourteenth-century Old Congregation House of the University Church into a garden facing the Radcliff Camera, nearby restaurant Vaults & Gardens provides a beautiful setting for lunch before departing via private coach to the idyllic Cotswolds hamlet of Thyme. Upon checking in, you are free to explore this enclosed collection of restored historic buildings with elegant drawing rooms, restaurants, gardens, and farm, or luxuriate in a treatment at its Meadow Spa. In the evening, gather at the village pub, The Swan at Southrop, for a cozy feast of locally sourced fare.

Thursday
After breakfast, join Thyme’s head florist to master one of the most important of floristry skills, the spiraled hand-tie, to create a keepsake bouquet comprising a wonderful mix of British-grown flowers, foliage, and herbs from Thyme’s own cutting gardens. Midday, transfer via private coach for an afternoon excursion to the private residence of HRH The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, The Royal Gardens at Highgrove, considered to be among the most inspiring and innovative in the UK. There, an expert guide will provide unique insight into family life on the estate and lead you through these extraordinary gardens. At its conclusion, return via private coach to Thyme, where you may enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure.

Friday
After breakfast, check out of Thyme to depart via private coach to Windsor Castle, home to The Queen and more than 900 years of royal history. Taking the ceremonial route, you will see the main State Apartments that are used today by the Queen Mother and members of the Royal Family, including the Grand Reception Room, along with the Semi-State Rooms. Included in the tour is Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful and featuring the work of more than 1,500 of the finest artists of the early twentieth century. Enjoy lunch at a local village pub before departing via private coach for London to check in to The Milestone Hotel, where you will be free to enjoy the evening at your leisure.

Saturday
After breakfast, check out of The Milestone Hotel and, leaving your luggage with the concierge, depart via private coach to experience the unparalleled delights of Portobello Road Market, a premier destination for antiques and boutique shopping. Midday, return via private coach to The Milestone Hotel, where you will collect your luggage and depart for home.

The Milestone Hotel, London
Kensington Palace and Gardens, London
Windsor Castle
Portobello Road Market, London


Accommodations in London

Located in the Kensington neighborhood, adjacent to Kensington Palace and Gardens and close to the Royal Albert Hall, The Milestone Hotel & Residences is a five-star historic hotel that’s steeped in British style and charm. Each room features fine fabrics, fresh flowers, antique furnishings, and rare artworks.

We have a limited number of rooms available for Friday, September 18, and Saturday, September 26, for those who plan to arrive in London a day early or depart a day later. To include one of those rooms in your package, when you book your reservation for the Our Hearts Are in England tour, place “Hotel add-on for Friday, September 18” or “Hotel add-on for Saturday, September 26” in your cart for checkout.

We will do our best to arrange for double-occupancy rooms with two beds, but due to the uniqueness of the hotel where we will be staying, we cannot guarantee separate beds. If there are not two beds, guests will be provided with two sets of linens on one bed.

Accommodations in the Cotswolds
Tucked into an idyllic countryside village, cozy Thyme is an enclosed collection of restored historic buildings with elegant drawing rooms, restaurants, gardens, farm, and spa.

We will do our best to arrange for double-occupancy rooms with two beds, but due to the uniqueness of the hotel where we will be staying, we cannot guarantee separate beds. If there are not two beds, guests will be provided with two sets of linens on one bed.

Booking
The full price of the trip (100%) is due at booking. Your reservation will be confirmed upon receipt of payment. We accept payment by American Express, VISA, Mastercard, PayPal, and Amazon Pay. Trip prices are in U.S. dollars.

Travel to and from London
Guests are responsible for getting themselves to London and to The Milestone Hotel & Residences on Saturday, September 19, when the retreat commences. At the conclusion of the tour, guests will be responsible for getting themselves from The Milestone Hotel & Residences to their airport or next destination on Saturday, September 26.

Costs
The price of the trip includes all hotel accommodations, afternoon tea on two days, all breakfasts, one lunch, one dinner, all tours, a master floral class, and private coach transfers to and from event activities. It does not include airfare or ground transportation from or to the airport. Single- and double-occupancy rates are available.

Since the trip is nonrefundable, we suggest buying trip insurance through a company such as Travelex. You can also check with your credit card company to see if they provide travel insurance. If you don’t purchase travel insurance, you agree to indemnify us against any charges that might otherwise be covered by your insurance. You further agree that we are not responsible for any costs of cancellation by you.

Your credit card will be charged by Hoffman Media, the parent company of Victoria.

Cancellation
We will cancel the event if fewer than expected participants have signed up by July 31, 2020. If Victoria initiates the cancellation, we will refund all payments. If cancellation is initiated by Victoria, Victoria is not liable for any other expenses incurred in the event of trip cancellation.


Have a question about this tour of London and the Cotswolds? Contact us.

The Milestone Hotel, London
The Royal Gardens Highgrove, Cotswolds
The Ritz London


Can I extend my stay at The Milestone Hotel & Residences?

We have a limited number of rooms available for Friday, September 18, and Saturday, September 26, for those who plan to arrive in London a day early or depart a day later. To include one of those rooms in your package, when you book your reservation for the Our Hearts Are in England tour, place “Hotel add-on for Friday, September 18” or “Saturday, September 26” in your cart during checkout.

Can I extend my stay at Thyme?
No, we will arrive and depart as a group.

Is breakfast included?
This package includes daily breakfast at both the London and Cotswolds hotels.

Are any additional meals included?
Yes, seated afternoon tea at The Milestone Hotel & Residences, seated afternoon tea at The Ritz London, lunch at Peyton & Byrne, and dinner at The Swan at Southrop.

Are children able to attend this retreat?
All participants must be 18 years old or older to attend this retreat.

What will the weather be like in London in September?
On average, highs in September will be in the 60s (Fahrenheit), with cooler nights. It’s always a good idea to have a rain jacket handy, as events will take place rain or shine.

What should I plan to wear?
Temperatures in England can fluctuate this time of year. We recommend a lightweight sweater or jacket for early morning and evening, as well as comfortable shoes for walking.

What should I plan to wear for afternoon tea?
The venues at which we will be having afternoon tea in London recommend “smart casual attire.” Women should feel free to wear dresses, skirts, or slacks, and men may wear sport jackets, if they wish. Hats are not required. Please avoid wearing jeans, T-shirts, torn garments, sneakers, or flip-flops.

Can special diets be accommodated?
Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available for most meals, if mentioned at registration. Vegan options might be available but cannot be guaranteed.

How much physical activity can I expect?
Although we will have a private coach for most of our activities, walking will be required for tours and other sightseeing. Participants should be able to walk approximately ½ mile in less than 15 minutes and/or to climb a flight of stairs without extreme shortness of breath or other physical ailments.

If I book a double-occupancy package, will the hotel room have two beds?
We will do our best to arrange for double-occupancy rooms with two beds, but due to the uniqueness of the hotels where we will be staying, we cannot guarantee separate beds. If there are not two beds, guests will be provided with two sets of linens on one bed.

Will we have any free time in London?
You will have free time in London each evening after our day’s activities to explore on your own, catch a concert at nearby Royal Albert Hall, or take in a show at one of the many theatres. We will equip you with our list of favorite restaurants for dinner.

Is the Thyme floral class hands-on?
Yes, you will create your own bouquet of British flowers with the guidance of Thyme’s head florist.

Buckingham Place, London
Portobello Road Market, London
Radcliffe Camera, Oxford