In March, Outings Secretary for Romford-based Havering Ladies Club, Thelma Houghton, took 22 members on a tour of the Houses of Parliament in London’s City of Westminster, followed by afternoon tea in the buildings’ Pugin Room.
The Houses of Parliament are a short walk from Westminster tube station and, as Thelma explains, this suited her group, “Most of us took the district line on the London Underground from Elm Park tube station, which we are based nearby, directly to the City of Westminster.”
Thelma found out about the group visits to Parliament when reading coverage in GTO and thoroughly enjoyed the tour. She says, “We took the audio tour option, which meant we could stop and meander as we pleased. The commentary was fantastic. It covered the building’s 1,000 years of history, the art and architecture and even touched upon modern day politics.”
One of Thelma’s favourite parts was the Queen’s Robing Room. She explains, “It’s here that the Queen puts on the Imperial State Crown and ceremonial robes before making her way to the House of Lords for the State Opening of Parliament. It was great to be allowed somewhere usually closed to the public and gain a deeper insight into the ceremony.”
After the ladies had completed the tour, they headed to the historic Pugin Room in the House of Commons where afternoon tea was served. Thelma says, “The room was beautiful and it had a wonderful view overlooking the River Thames. The cream tea itself was lovely and included sandwiches, scones and delicious cakes, plus there was a huge selection of tea.”
Of the whole visit, Thelma says, “The tour was excellent and I’d definitely recommend adding on an afternoon tea. It was the finishing touch!”