easter at the keukenhof & high tea

In the Netherlands Easter Monday is a national holiday, so we headed south to see the Keukenhof.  The weather was cool and rainy, but we decided to go anyways.  The gardens were opening early that morning, so we arrived just before 8 am in order to spend some time in the gardens before it was flooded with tourists.

The flower beds were beautiful with a dazzling array of colour in beautiful patterns.  I think we may have been a few weeks early for the bulk of the tulips, but the narcissus and hyacinths were in full bloom.  There were several pavilions on the property, but the Willem-Alexander pavilion was filled with tulips of every imaginable colour and shape and it was my favourite.  It was one of the first buildings we visited just after 8:00, so we had it all to ourselves (what a treat!).

We spent several hours exploring the gardens and stopping for coffee breaks so I could warm up.  It started raining harder and harder throughout the day.  Our last stop at the gardens was the little petting zoo.  I love animals, and their little 'Easter Bunnies' were so cute!

We had looked around the Keukenhof, but we still had a bit of time before high tea at Keukenhof Castle, so we decided to drive to Leiden to see what was there.  It's a beautiful town and I would love to go back and explore more of the historic center on a day when things are open.

After a coffee and a quick walk around the center of Leiden we drove back towards the Keukenhof and found our way to the Castle.  The tea was held in the old coach house on the castle grounds.  At high tea we were served a variety of sweets and desserts first - Trev and I hadn't really eaten anything all day, so I probably overdid it a bit on the cakes and was already feeling almost full by the time the savory foods were served.  We both had fun - and ate waaaay more than we needed to.

Who likes high tea?  This guy!

Who likes high tea?  This guy!

One more picture: yummy chocolate eggs from our local artisan chocolate shop.  What would Easter be without chocolate eggs?

One more picture: yummy chocolate eggs from our local artisan chocolate shop.  What would Easter be without chocolate eggs?