A (very) English day out – version 1

Tenterden. Biddenden. Tunbridge Wells. Cranbrook. Ashford. Bath. Salisbury. Kent. I am enchanted by these names and I have no idea why... The way the English pronounce them it has a different ring to it. A certain charm. The places themselves are  so very intriguing...

First stop then, Biddenden. Harvest festival at the Biddenden vineyards. Every weekend starting sometime in September through November(the dates may not be precise) the vineyard showcases a different stage in the harvesting of grapes for wine. They also make Cider(which is made from apples - Bramley, Russett). This time it was a tour of the vineyard, winery, grape pressing and wine tasting (all free, might I add). Missed the tour, so we went on our own for a short walk. It had rained the day before (really not surprising) so the wet mud and leaves stuck to our shoes. But tasting those grapes made the walk worth it... :) A pleasant surprise (for me), were the yard's hedges - of Holly and Blackberries (ooh yum!)

So after some tasting (wine) and shopping and tasting (in their vineyard shop), it was time for Lunch - in a pub :) The pub was so quintessentially English - Old ladies dressed in their best out for lunch and gentlemen enjoying a pint (of ale or beer or cider or whatever). The low timber ceiling, timber beams, old old paintings and motifs, classic tables - were beautiful.

On the recommendation of the hostess - we went to our next destination - Sissinghurst Castle. She said it was right there - just a 10 minute walk she said....We ended up walking some two kilometers through some fields and country lanes to reach the castle. But I am not complaining, the weather was beautiful, I was "fed up"with grilled goat's cheese and mushrooms, the castle was stunning, I would have walked more (at least, I hope I would have!). A castle being a castle, it had huge gardens, a moat, crocuses growing in feilds, ponds, pear trees full of fruit, lime trees, yew hedges, towers, turrets, fields behind, views (and for the tourist - a gift shop, an art exhibition, a restaurant). It felt like being in some scene from the Victorian era, you know, apart from the fact that all of us had mobiles, cameras and the rest of the touristy kit (although honestly there weren't any mobiles actually ringing to remind me it was actually the 21st century)!

This was just version 1 of my English day out - For further versions, stay tuned!


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