Jane McDonald’s ‘lovely commute to a restaurant’ from her river cruise – ‘like in Venice’

Jane McDonald reveals her top tips when packing for cruises

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Jane McDonald is cruising the Thames River with her closest friends on a trip made to discover “England’s great heritage”. She is onboard a four-berth private luxury river cruise with two of her best friends, Sue and Olwen, for their 70th birthdays.

They have been sailing the River Thames for weeks in order to enjoy the beautiful English countryside.

The trip started in Hampton Court, stoping in Windsor and Cliveden before finishing at Henley-on-Thames.

When they decided to set off for a birthday lunch in Windsor, they encountered a minor problem: their cruise ship couldn’t park.

Jane explained: “Our river cruiser is the biggest boat this side of the Thames, which means that it can’t always park up on a mooring if the water is too shallow.”

The crew onboard the ship arranged a transfer with a smaller boat to take Jane and her friends to their restaurant.

“What a lovely way to commute to our restaurant,” said Jane.

“It’s like being in Venice!

“We don’t have a gondola but we do have a little 1960s motorboat called Fringilla,” explained the presenter.

“And what a way to arrive!” she said when arriving at their lunch spot.

“We actually feel a bit like royalty here, don’t we?” she asked her friends.

“It’s very posh, isn’t it? What we call posh up north,” her friend said.

To what Jane replied: “They call it posh everywhere, Sue!”

Although theirs wasn’t a proper gondola, as Jane would have liked, it’s a very similar way to commute to that they use in the city of canals.

In Venice, big boats can’t get on the narrow canals, and gondolas have to take tourists to the city centre.

As opposed to what many people think, residents of the Italian city don’t use gondolas to move around.

It is reported that although there are only a few hundred gondolas left in Venice, almost none of them are used as private transport by local Venetian families.

When returning to the cruise at night, Jane commented on how relaxed the life of those living on boats was.

“This is a really relaxed way of life, isn’t it?”

They continued their journey towards beautiful Cockhand and Hurley and finished in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

“As the river is deep enough here, we can moor up next to the shore,” explained Jane this time.

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