Disneyworld Hidden Gems- Epcot’s UK Pavilion, pt. 2

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In this second part, we bridge the gap between the sheer historical monument of using preexisting buildings as the guide, and drawing inspiration from the typical architecture of the time period. In doing this, the atmosphere becomes much more casual and relaxed. That being said, it seems as though I’m walking around the garden of my Aunt Lillian when I stroll through the back path along the Butterfly Garden behind The Tea Caddy. Then I realise that Aunt Lillian didn’t live in England, nor did she live in a mite-little thatched cottage inspired by that of Anne Hathaway’s cottage on Stratford-upon-Avon. The 16th century is alive and well in that little thatched-roof cottage. (Although, I do wish that Character Paint would’ve paid a bit more attention to aging the bricks on the south side of The Tea Caddy facing the main street.)

The good news is that the thatching seems to be done authentically and with great craftsmanship. Every time I’ve walked past this shop, it makes me think of the animated Alice in Wonderland where the thatched roof is teetering on her head like a coolie hat.

Along the back path, the building delineation seems to be a bit less apparent, however at the front walk along the main walk, the next building over, “The Queens Table” is much more significant. The building is based upon typical 17th century structures complete with barge-boarded gables, intricate carvings including the clovers, chevrons and trefoils as well as the numerous glass windows. And though thatching was still a prevalent roofing material well into the 19th century, I doubt that THAT much thatching would be able to sustain against the harsh Floridian summers.

(Coincidentally, the façades overlooking Britannia Square on the back side of the Butterfly Garden  are taken directly from set drawings from “Mary Poppins”, 1964.)

Inside the Queen’s Table, the Queen Anne room brings us into the 18th century and Lords and Ladies to the 19th century.

As we  continue down the main walk in towards the back of the pavilion, we come to a smallish garden area, complete with a Gazebo (performed in by “The British Invasion”, the tribute band). If you’ve come along the back path, through the Butterfly Garden, it’ll put you directly in the front of the square, however the main path will put you at the back of the square.

Turning around, we find ourselves in the midst of the row homes in London. These seem to pull from the traditional styles of homes in and around the 19th century. (Including those on Downing Street.

(Downing Street details. Notice the overlaid brickwork.)

The “Toy Soldier” shoppe has us moving back into the 16th century with its brickwork façade with high-arched doorway and what’s more, to the left of Crown & Crest we find the most noticeable nod to the Tower of London with the clock-tower area.

Notice the crenelation similarities as well as the arched interior doorway from the clock-tower wall above and on the Tower of London moat below. This crenelation upon the tops of walls and towers proved very useful, as the lower parts gave defenders of the castle a place to fight through, all the while blocking the tops of their bodies from assault from missiles from below.

Finally, exiting the loop past the Sportsman’s Shoppe we find ourselves looking directly at The Rose and Crown Pub. This public house features FOUR differing archetypes of pubitecture. The Stone building of the “River” pub, the slate roof of the Provincial pub, the Brick-walled, flagstone terrace of a Dickensian, Victorian-era pub and finally, the street pub’s interior from the Victorian city-center.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the Rose and Crown’s motto: Otium com Dignitate (Leisure with Dignity) This is a much more attainable goal now that they’ve removed the “yard” of beer from the menu. (Much to the chagrin of many a man.)

Coincidentally, The “Rose and Crown” is also the name Elizabeth Bennett gives Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, 2005 as the place that she and her aunt and uncle are staying in Lambton.

I leave you with this: “When all is said, its atmosphere [England’s] still contains fewer germs of aggression and brutality per cubic foot in a crowded bus, pub or queue than in any other country in which I have lived” – Arthur Koestler

And now, shall we away to France?

Chip and Co Past Writers and Friends
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