For all those Americans like myself who will never be invited to a royal dinner at Windsor Palace: Is there any place that stages a royal dinner (for profit, of course) under the guise of pure escapism for the common man and woman?
OK, it’s not quite sitting down with Her Majesty, but here are some places where you can have a bit of a nosh amid royal splendor.
• The Royal Yacht Britannia. On the British royal family’s former yacht, now decommissioned and moored in Edinburgh, you can drop by for afternoon tea in the Royal Deck Tea Room, where Queen Elizabeth II once entertained world dignitaries. Admission is about $16. Info: 011-44-131-555-5566, www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk.
• Hampton Court Palace. Traditional Tudor dishes are served the first weekend of each month in King Henry VIII’s former digs in Surrey. There’s also a regular menu, with entrees starting at about $11. Admission is about $23. Details: 011-44-20-3166-6000, www.hrp.org.uk/hamptoncourtpalace.
• Hever Castle. The childhood home of Anne Boleyn, about 30 miles from London in West Kent, is hosting a banquet Oct. 29 in the Tudor Suite Dining Hall. Bonus: a “psychic investigation” and a chance to roam the castle afterward. Cost of about $485 per person double includes overnight lodging and breakfast. Reservations: 011-441-732-861800, www.hevercastle.co.uk.
For more info on Britain’s royal trappings: Visit Britain, 800-462-2748, www.visitbritain.us.
My wife and I plan a motor trip through New England and may want to go as far as Prince Edward Island. Will we need passports? If not, what other forms of ID might we need for passage into Canada and back?
To get into Canada by land, you’ll need proof of U.S. citizenship as well as proof of identity. A passport, passport card or card from a “trusted traveler” program such as NEXUS is best, but officials will also accept a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, along with a U.S. birth certificate, naturalization certificate or expired U.S. passport.
To return to the States by land, you’ll need a passport, passport card or a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant document, such as an enhanced driver’s license or a trusted-traveler card.
Details: WHTI, www.getyouhome.gov.
I need a beach vacation desperately, and my next opportunity to get away is Columbus Day. I’d like to go to the Caribbean: Is that crazy in October? Which destinations would be best (short or nonstop flight) for a four-day trip?
Well, yeah, that’s kinda crazy. October’s still hurricane season, so you’d be taking a chance on getting stranded, or worse. That said, October is less risky than August and September. If you’re set on going, consider buying travel insurance and check airline and hotel cancellation policies beforehand. Nonstops from Washington at that time of year include Puerto Rico, Cancun and the Dominican Republic, although you might want to take a connecting flight to one of the less-hurricane-prone islands of Aruba, Bonaire or Curacao.