Holiday Hospitality Guest Room Essentials

Holiday hospitality guest room essentials in mi casa es su casa fashion fit perfectly into the ’tis the holiday company’s coming season.  Creating a comfortable home away from home guest room for visiting family or friends begins with holiday hospitality guest room essentials.

luggage

Our Canadian snowbird arrived home last week, officially kicking off the There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays party.  That suitcase is the ultimate holiday decoration.

“The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friends and family, Mr. Emerson.

guest-bedroom

The goal at Places In The Home is for our guests to need or want for nothing.  My darling Daddy welcomed guests with a heartfelt declaration “if we don’t have it, we will get it.”  Welcoming words for sure, and that is the objective.

guest-bedroom-essentials-quote1

When Dave the Builder and I are overnight guests at the homes of friends and family, we consider the creature comforts furnished to be not only thoughtful, but guest room life savers.  Let’s take a look at my list of guest room essentials.

Guest Room Essentials

Topping the list of guest room essentials is space!!! Dresser and bedside tabletops and drawers cleared and ready for guests to clutter set out and fill is always appreciated.  To reduce the risk of scratching the top of a dresser or bedside table(s), simply place a plush bath towel or blanket on top of the furniture piece.

clothes-hangers

wrinkle-releaser

Closet space complete with extra clothes hangers and a bottle of wrinkle releaser – thank you!

luggage-rack

Rack ’em up

I like to put out one or two luggage racks for our guests to utilize. Navigating the guest bedroom should not resemble an obstacle course.

Looking good, Billy Ray!  Feeling good, Louis!

The snowbird loves our long standing holiday tradition of watching the movie Trading Places on Thanksgiving night (Black Friday Eve).  I love the above line from the movie, and seize every opportunity to inject it into a conversation.  His and Her looking good-feeling good baskets are a big hit with overnight guests.

travel-kit-him

travel

Wrap these welcome kits up and tie them with a holiday bow for festive gifting fun.

guest-room-essentials

Gift Your Guests with the Gift of Comfort and Hospitality

Festive faux or fresh flowers, a beside water carafe, extra linens,his and her slippers, charging station for devices, reading glasses, Kleenex, extra toilet paper, room and linen spray, a mini flashlight (to avoid things that go bump in the night like toes and kneecaps), extra blanket, a scented candle, note pad and pen and trinket tray on the bedside table and dresser top my holiday hospitality guest room essentials list.

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H2O-Cone-Night-Bottle-Set-aedd8bae-47f6-4086-8bbe-d65713c526e4_600The idea is to gift your guests with the gift of comfort and hospitality.

cinnamon-candleWhen I sourced this candle I could not help but think of the Benjamin Franklin quote my aunt from Florida modified, adopted and shares with us as she leaves.  Guests, family, and fish begin to smell after three days. Thank goodness for holiday humor and scented candles.

wifi-frame

Staying connected to the world wide web while connecting with friends and family is the business and leisure routine of daily life.  Holiday sales, where to go, what to do, checking emails and social media, tracking Santa’s route- when you need to know you need the password.  Frame a WiFi password printable for beside table display so guests can connect to your WiFi network.

Downtime is the Right Time

noisli

Noisli

Travel, especially holiday travel, can be a stressful event.  Enter Noisli. The Noisli app is a little peace on earth and goodwill toward traveling men and women.  Peaceful background noises promote a serene environment conducive to a relaxing sleep.

i-read-past-my-bedtime-via-barnes-and-noble

A Good Read

Place a few best sellers, shelter magazines and the Good Book around the guest room for guests to enjoy.  A good read before bedtime can unwind even the tightest of clocks, and is proven reading often promotes a better night’s sleep.

Emily Henderson

Guest Room Service

trayserving

A tray of hot cocoa and holiday cookies served in guest room service fashion is a holiday hospitality treat.  Little details pamper and please, and this bedtime treat always goes over big with guests.  Add a zing of seasonal deliciousness to hot cocoa with a dollop of flavored whipped topping, peppermint or cinnamon sticks, a splash of Kahlúa or a generous shot of Southern Comfort.  That’s my kind of nightcap!

decorated-doors-christmas-treesDecorated Doors Cookies

A bedtime sip and snack is a token gesture of comfort, or as we say in Louisiana, a little lagniappe.

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It’s the little touches that make them feel right at home sweet home for the holiday.

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The Celebration Countdown to 4th of July Party Ideas

The celebration countdown to 4th of July party ideas is on.  Allow me to take this opportunity to express a very big thank you in patriotic colors to the Earth, sun, moon and calendar year 2016 for the three-day weekend we have to celebrate Independence Day.

thank-you-noteZazzle

The big blogging plan to share with you pops of 4th of July party ideas for your copying, ordering, and/or purchasing consideration fizzled out like a firecracker with no pizzazz.  An area wide internet outage hit the Places In The Home neighborhood last week, and with it went my connection to the world wide web.  That’s two internet outages in one month, but’s who’s counting?

internet-outage

Meet Jeremy, the at&t man with the get you back online ASAP plan. Jeremy, your good deeds and expert skills are greatly appreciated.  You’ve got a well deserved three-day weekend coming your way.

thom-filicia-fire-pit

Now comes the disclosure portion of this post.

Disclosure:  As it in life and disclosure policy compliance with FTC rules, honesty is the best policy. This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on one of the product links and make a purchase from the retailer, I receive a commission from the sale. To read the entire policy in full (fun, fun) please read my disclosure page. 

Our 4th of July three-day holiday weekend plans are set to serene with an emphasis on slow and easy.  Outdoor living spaces furnished to the hilt in summer style and let’s get the patriotic party started creature comforts in mind deliver just that.  Let’s take a look at some, shall we?

white-hanging-chair

 

The Willow Swingaswan is a stylish throwback to the hanging chair glory days of the swingin’ 60s & 70s.  Just add a decorative pillow, a refreshing beverage or summertime treat, a good read and you’ve got yourself a rest and relaxation haven for the 4th of July three-day weekend.

loop-siclesPopsicles and champagne come together to make Summer’s Sweetest Sparkling Sipper.

How to Make Rainbow Sangria from Country Living Magazine

lemon-icebox-pie-ice-cream

Lemon Icebox Pie Ice Cream 

Ingredients

3 to 4 lemons

2 cups half-and-half

1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers

Directions

Grate zest from lemons to equal 1 Tbsp. Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice from lemons into a measuring cup to equal 1/2 cup.

Whisk together half-and-half, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice. Pour mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. (Instructions and times may vary.) Stir in graham cracker crumbs and lemon zest; transfer to an airtight container.  Freeze 2 hours before serving.

~Southern Living via My Recipes

 

okl-historical-documentsA good and patriotic read ~ American Historical Documents

 

A star spangled theme is instantly recognizable as the traditional theme of 4th of July celebrations.

Eagle-glasses

In keeping with tradition, the American flag meets and greets neighbors and friends, but I opt to decorate with items such as fabric and serveware in a broader range of holiday patterns and colors.

flying-the-flag

The activities, food, sports, colors and celebrations generally associated with the summer months give great inspiration. Pick a favorite as your 4th of July party ideas theme foundation and go 4th from there.

summer-fabrics

OnlineFabricStore

Wallpaper and fabric closeouts can be a great source for affordable and stylish patterns to use as tablecloths, table runners, napkins, basket and serving dish liners.

4th-of-July-party-ideas

Handbag charms as napkin rings?  Absolutely!  I picked up six of these long fringe handbag charms on clearance at Rue21 for $1.20 each to use as napkins rings and parting party favors.  Love the look, the price and the dual purpose.  Blooming blue hydrangeas from the yard of a very generous and giving neighbor will star in the centerpiece arrangement along with a trio of small American flags.  Simple.  Affordable.  Appropriate.

Lincoln_Square_Farmers_MarketLincoln Square Farmers Market

Our star spangled celebration menu takes a celebratory cue from the best part of the summertime bounty- fresh from the farmers market fruits and vegetables.  I am entertaining the thought of developing a recipe for s’mores cake to debut over the 4th of July holiday weekend.  Fresh beans, roasting marshmallows, and bursts of color on the table and in the sky. That’s how we snap, crackle and pop a 4th of July party in the USA at Places In The Home.

fresh-squash

These 4th of July party ideas place an emphasis on fun, easy, delicious, stylish, and affordability.  Celebrate smart, safe and stylish this 4th of July holiday weekend.

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Our Home For The Holidays

Happy Holidays friends!  We are T-3 to Christmas 2015, and the joy of the season is electric by way of white Christmas lights and treasured traditions.   Welcome to our Home for the Holidays where the theme of comfort and simplicity is well represented.

grape-vine-tree

Our tour is of the dining room and the part of the foyer decked for the holidays. The dining room, a forever work in progress, has seen several design and decor changes in 2015, and will continue to see more in 2016.  The walls are devoid of artwork (the piece you see in this photo is part of the kitchen gallery wall) and the style jury is unable to reach a unanimous decision on accent rug vs. hardwood floors.  The dining room isn’t the only space getting a makeover.  My Mother’s Day gift from our son was paying for the new wallpaper I fell in love with at first sight but took several months to decide if I really had to have it. Turns out I did. Dave the Builder began the project, but real life obligations and unexpected circumstances stepped in and halted the foyer beautification project.  Patience is not only a virtue it is a necessary tool of the trade in design and decorating.

our-home-for-the-holidays

On the Monday before Christmas, my true love gave to me.  A single Santa leopard-ing

Santa-dinner

and a Christmas goose in the foyer displayed in front of the new zebra wallpaper sitting pretty (pronounce it prit-tee and it rhymes with tree.  Get it?  Partridge. Pear Tree).

Christmas-Goose-in-foyer

A  holiday table centerpiece of magnolia leaves and holly is indeed so Southern, so holiday, so easy and so beautiful.

magnolias-berries

angel

Bob’s Sweet Stripes as swizzle sticks and crystal finial ornaments as wine charms? You bet!

home-bar

I purchased these vintage mini framed Madonna prints for my kitchen gallery wall.

place-setting

Inspiration is everywhere.

ring

The subject matter is holiday appropriate, and the petite size of the framed prints sealed the DIY deal.  Napkin rings it is!

frame-napkin-ring

mother-and-child

I have collected Victorian inspired Santa Claus figurines for years.  Due to the epic move aka the gift that keeps on giving, combining two households into one and the renovation of my childhood home into our new to us home, most of my Santa collection now resides in climate controlled storage.  These inexpensive stand-in Santas have no great provenance or famous artist signature assigned to them, but I do love the colors and facial features of these old world replicas.

Santas

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this perfectly imperfect image serves as a visual reminder of my personal design and decorating philosophy.  Perfection, style and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  The life lived within a home comes alive through personal style and taste, and there is nothing more gorgeous than a home that beautifully illustrates personal style lives here.  Design and decorate it with a sense of you!

dining-room-table

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

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Holiday Prep and Decorative Detail

Holiday prep and decorative detail time is upon us here at Places in the Home. All is merry and bright with the help of caffeine, precision planning, patience (lots of merry patience), swift kitchen detail and keeping a cool and relaxed tude to guarantee a cool yule.

holiday-china-crystal

I tapped into the decorations closet of Christmas past for inspiration and holiday show this year.   Everything is new again is the holiday decorations running theme.  It’s a great way to reacquaint yourself with treasured favorites and to fall back in love with them all over again.

Christmas-centerpiece-light

I had more fun pulling vintage, antique and new accents from here and there and grouping them together in holiday harmony.

table-accents-light

Items that immediately identify with and tell the story of  individual tastes, collections and personality are always in the best of style, your style.

John 3:16

The centerpiece is one of those “it all just came together” accents, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.  A big thank you to the florist at Kroger for her well timed and generous markdown on the roses, and to my brother who showed a magnolia tree and juniper bush who was boss with his mad clipping and cutting skills.

fresh flowers

No shrubs or trees were harmed in the making of this Christmas centerpiece, just pruned and picked.

centerpiece

From all of us here at Places In The Home, we wish you a Places In The Home for the Holidays very Merry Christmas filled with peace, joy, fond memories old and new, blessings, love, relaxing times with family and friends and a joyous celebration of the beauty of the season in your places in the home.

 

Love your style!

 

Gift Guide For The Deck The Halls Decorista

I received a wonderful holiday delivery via email week before last.  Christmas came early to this decorista, and it was my Pinterest pleasure to create a gift guide for the decorista board with all things house that make a home goodies in mind.

Pinterest-email-post1

I recently ran across an article stating  home decor and home furnishings would be high on the all I want for Christmas list of the very merry kind for the holidays.  Sounds beautiful to me!  Inspiration is everywhere, and Pinterest is the showcase of choice for holiday gift ideas for the Deck the Halls Decorista.

The National Retail Federation reports the average shopper will spend $738 on holiday gifts this year. With that being said, considerate price points sprinkled in with a few a decorista can dream luxe items complete my Gifts Ideas For The Deck The Hall Decorista board.

green-home-for-the-holidays

Want to see more?  Click on the image below to head over to the complete Pinterest Gifts For The Deck The Halls Decorista board where you can check out my fabulous and festive finds of the season and resource information.

gifts for the decorista

Holiday Shopping Season: Keep Calm And Be Very Merry!

The holiday express has left the Black Friday stop and is heading straight into Cyber Monday station.  Do all the deals, steals and doorbusters of the holiday shopping season have your head spinning?

Home Alonevia

Savvy planning and a determination to stretch a dollar like a rubber band gets the holiday shopping job done.  I keep things in check by making Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping an enjoyable activity to participate in online between the prep, serve, clean, relax and end of the Thanksgiving weekend.  I learned a long time ago to take the holiday focus off the retail and place it where I feel it rightfully belongs.  It’s the holiday priority formula that keeps the real reason for the season in check without me bouncing one!

holiday shopping season

Keep Calm and Be Very Merry is a lovely sentiment and sound solid advice.  If you find ye olde holiday gift giving budget or lack thereof is taking the jingle out of your bells immediately Keep Calm and Be Very Merry!   Everyday life isn’t in the habit of pausing for holiday budgets, and I swear it’s no coincidence that unexpected expenses pick this time of year to make their presence known. When and if the aforementioned applies give yourself the gift of permission- permission to realize, accept and create festive fabulous with what you have.

IKEAvia

There’s no better time to embrace the art of editing from within to repurpose and refresh existing Christmas decorations. Decorating for the holidays is a beautiful and festive experience, but it is an expense that can get away from you quickly. ‘Tis the season to tap into imagination!  Don’t pack away those Pheasant feathers, pine cones and burlap anything and everything that adorned fall and Thanksgiving vignettes and tablescapes just yet.

pine cone decorationsvia

With inspiration and imagination you can take one holiday’s accents way beyond the rinse and repeat theme.  If you think you created decorative magic September through November with these gems, wait until you see the decorative impact they bring to the Christmas decorating scheme of things!  A pine cone takes to a can of spray paint, a glue gun and a dusting of glitter in holiday colors like a shot of bourbon takes to a glass of eggnog.

Whitney clockvia

Time is a precious commodity.  For a gift that basically is cost free, it is one of the most expensive things you will ever give to someone because you are giving a part of you.  My Las Vegas is showing when I quote Wayne Newton, but his words resonate my point. “You can take of a man’s money, but when it’s all said and done, you’ve only taken his money. When you take of a man’s time, you’ve taken a part of his life.”  The time and love put into decking the halls of your home’s interior and exterior is a gift of color, wonder and talent.  It’s the ultimate to/from tag addressed to family, friends and neighbors.

to from tagvia

Please feel free and festive to email me pictures of your holiday creations in all their Christmas decorating splendor.  I would love to see what you all do with your do and share the beauty with fellow readers.  Let’s holiday show and tell!

 

 

 

 

Holiday Inspiration and Festive Favorites

The holiday season is in full swing, and there are so many sites and sights to see.  This is the time of year when treasures, goodies, ideas, and pretty images flood the day in the best possible way.  Holiday inspiration is all around.

holiday inspirationPinterest

Olive by Farrow & Ball is festively featured in the gentleman’s study designed by Tammy Connor at  The Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Christmas House.

the night before Christmas

The 12 Days of Christmas crackers from Williams-Sonoma are a Noël novelty done elegantly and festively right.

George Sheridan KnowlesPinterest

The Duet by George Sheridan Knowles masterfully exhibits the allure of green in shades of trend.

vintage ChristmasPinterest

When I can’t sleep I don’t count sheep, I try to recall the stores and shops that lined the downtown area from when I was a kid.  Do you remember shopping downtown at Christmas time?  Santa Claus in his red house with white trimmed windows, Christmas lights and tinsel stars strung from store front to store front, and department stores display windows decked out in holiday finery.  Lerner Shops, Bakers, JCPenney, W.T. Grant, S. H. Kress & Co., Rexall, Morgan & Lindsey’s…

Charlie Brown Christmas

Christmas time is here!  Have a great weekend!

Welcome Holiday Guests Not Holiday Stress

Stress free holiday entertaining ideas put the merry in a holiday good time.  From the planned casual holiday soiree to the not so planned we saw your lights on holiday surprise drop-in, these stock items can cut the stress, welcome guests, ward off the holiday bah humflubug, and make things festive.

wreath on front doorTraditional Home

Let me share with you some of the staples I keep on hand and filed under tried-and-true stress free holiday entertaining ideas.

soaps

Bath & Body Works

Mingle responsibly.  It’s not only the holidays, but the cold and flu season as well.

alice-cut-glass-votive-cup-o

Alice Cut Glass Votive Cup

Votive candles instantly add that cozy and homey feel to the setting.  I don’t know if it’s the warmth they exude or the soft glow, but votive candles create a relaxing atmosphere.  Stock up on these home decor and entertaining staples.

homefortheholidayscoirchristmasdoormatoverheadshotsiloimage

Put out the welcome mat.  Head off mud, slush and dirt at the door.

alton brown hot cocoa recipevia

Festive need not be expensive.  The package sells the product, and a festive presentation impresses the harshest holiday critic.  My darling maternal grandmother taught me through her gracious example.  She loved Lady Borden Vanilla ice cream- her signature dessert offering.  She lived alone, and with single serving sizes not yet on the market, the large container ice cream would often fall victim to  freezer burn.  What the ice cream lacked in taste was more than made up in serving presentation.

dessert-dish

She always served two scoops of Lady Borden Vanilla in a glass sherbet dish accompanied by a sterling silver ice cream spoon.

hot-cocoa-recipe

A simple white coffee or decorative holiday mug from the dollar store filled with hot cocoa and garnished with a peppermint stick and marshmallows or red hot apple cider garnished with a cinnamon stick is holiday comfort in a cup!   I recommend this recipe for homemade marshmallows from Thomas Keller’s  French Laundry Cookbook and a fitting Christmas video featuring Dean Martin’s version of A Marshmallow World.

Marshmallows (French Laundry)

Ingredients:

3  envelopes of unflavored Knox gelatin

½  cup cold water

2 cups granulated sugar

2/3 cups corn syrup

¼  cup water

¼  teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Confectioners’ sugar for dredging

Directions:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for 10 minutes.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute.  Pour boiling syrup into gelatin and mix at high speed.  Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes.  Add vanilla and incorporate into mixture.  Scrape into a 9 x 9-inch pan lined with oiled plastic wrap and spread evenly. (Note: Lightly oil hands and spatula or bowl scraper).  After pouring marshmallow mixture into the pan, take another piece of plastic wrap and press mixture into the pan.

Let mixture sit for a few hours.  Remove from pan, dredge the marshmallow slab with confectioners’ sugar and cut into 12 equal pieces with scissors (the best tool for the job) or a chef’s knife.  Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners’ sugar.

Yield: 12 large marshmallows

These cookies taste just like….

Homemade?

Girl Scout Thin Mints?

Like the ones my grandmother used to make?

That’s the idea!

holiday-semihomemade-cookies

These holiday cookies pack a powerful please that give the baker and holiday treat maker a break.  Presentation is everything!

fleece-throws

Baby, it’s cold outside.  I pick up inexpensive fleece throws when I find them on holiday special.  This little touch of  homey and cozy is a big hit with our guests as we celebrate the holiday moments of our lives.

raffia

Tie them up with raffia,

gift-tag

attach a holiday gift tag,

seagrass-basket

and place them in a basket.  The inexpensive fleece throws make a nice holiday “from our home to yours” parting gift.

White-Christmas

Hand them out to your guests to ward off the chill while watching a classic holiday movie or hanging out listening to holiday music.  Let’s not forget that a holiday playlist queued up and ready to shuffle is always a hit.

Holiday music video #2~ 

Holiday get-togethers as well as the unexpected drop in visit often turn out to be a stress free and fun time.  Stock up, de-stress and enjoy!

Love your style!

Holiday Potpourri

I really wanted to title this post “What to do with all the left over fruit that did not make the holiday fruit salad cut” but Holiday Potpourri recipe had a much better ring to it.  Apples, oranges, homegrown fresh lemons (thanks, Mrs. JoAnn!) and spices of the season do a house good as they come together over low heat.  Our Thanksgiving celebration ushered in the first hint of Christmas with the simple yet perfect scents of the season simmering in the crock pot to welcome family, guest, and delicious memories.

fruit-for-potpourri

Holiday Potpourri

Ingredients

3  apples, sliced

3 oranges, sliced

1 large lemon, sliced

4 cinnamon sticks

1 Tablespoon whole cloves

2 teaspoons ground cloves

2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

2 bay leaves

6  cups water

Directions

Fill stoneware liner with water.  Turn setting to high.  Slice apples, oranges, and lemon and place in water.  Add spices.  Continue with setting on high for at least 2 hours.  Reduce setting to low, careful to monitor water level.  Add water as needed.

Graphics Fairy

I sincerely believe music is the core note of holiday celebrations, and Places In The Home is full holiday celebration mode!  I’ll Be Home For Christmas is the core sentiment of our holiday celebrations.

Love your style!

 

Let Your Lights Shine!

Christmas lights from around the world brought to you by holiday spirit, magnificent talent, skill and style extraordinaire, and historical architectural wonders of the world as seen through the lens of talented photographers.

Fifth Avenue~ New York, New York

Mann’s Grauman Chinese Theater~ Hollywood, California

Jackson Square~ New Orleans, Louisiana

Empire State Building~ New York, New York

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele~ Milan, Italy

Shops in Seiffen, Germany

U.S. Capital~ Washington, DC

Sydney, Australia

Caesars Palace~ Las Vegas, Nevada

Auckland, New Zealand

Rockefeller Center~ New York, New York

Melksham, United Kingdom

calle de Alcala~ Madrid, Spain

Champs-Élysées~ Paris, France

Buckingham Palace~ London, England

 La Grande Place~ Brussels, Belgium

 

Photo sources:

Fifth Avenue: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

Mann’s Grauman Chinese Theater: Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

Jackson Square: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Empire State Building: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Seiffen, Germany: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

U.S. Capital: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sydney, Australia: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Caesars Palace: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Auckland, New Zealand: Sandra Mu/Getty Images

Rockefeller Center: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Melksham, UK: Matt Cordy/Getty Images

calle de Alcala: Liesa Johannssen/Getty Images

Champs-Élysée: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Buckingham Palace: Steve Finn/Getty Images

La Grande Place: Mark Renders/Getty Images