Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Leeds Castle - oddly in Kent

On Saturday, we had a little jaunt. We hopped in the car and zoomed along lots of M's - 25, 26 and 20 - to meet Lord R and his flock at Leeds Castle. He's not really a Lord, but he was the poshest person we'd ever come across at University and the title stuck. He arrived on the first day with a trunk embellished with his initials, a side parting and an expensive bottle of whisky. And then he got married in a cathedral! Astonishing.
Anyway, Leeds Castle. What a fantastic place. Beautiful grounds and brilliant for kids. Now - not having children, I always worry about spending time with them. I never know what to say, I catch myself sounding insincere and then feel like a fool. And whilst they might be too young to remember, the potential for over thinking on my part is huge. Lord R has two, B is 4 and O is 2. We last saw B when she was coming up to 1. You know - the stage where an age is defined by months not years (in my case 417). I was a little nervous. Anyway, it went swimmingly - the biggest trump card was buying a tub of bird feed with our entry tickets. B and I, hand in hand, talked about princesses, secrets, secret doors and pretty things. O was more concerned with finding a hungry duck.
With my penchant for vino, I fell in love with their cellar. How fabulous to have lived in a household that required numbered vaults. Oh, to have the space. Mr M and I rather love this modern twist on a cellar. It would be so incredible to have something like that beneath our kitchen, but unless we win the lottery, we can only dream.
A view that feels as vast as an ocean. Imagine how neverending it must feel when a mist tip toes along the ripples.
An unexpected, tranquil courtyard - Tudor in feel with all those beams. I blame Catherine of Aragon.
Good solid doors, surrounded with straw stuffed leather draft excluder's. We could do with some of those around the cottage.
Stunning detail on one of the many fireplaces.
An early Oscars selfie...
A 1960s sketch that looks astonishingly like the many teens hanging around Covent Garden - swap the violin for an iPhone and the parrot for a reflection.
The castle is full of stunning hand carvings - whether it's a doorframe, a banister or a twizzle for no reason. B and I agreed that it would be a lovely place to be a princess. You do need to keep an eye ouT for the quirks. The shell doorstop as you leave (war not beach), the basket made from antlers, the miniature organ in the church, the stuffed birds of paradise...I could go on. If you do have little ones - there are two fantastic (or so it appeared to a non-parent) play areas - both castle themed, one for littles and one for bigs. And they have falconry for the bored Dads and coffee and ice cream for the Mums. I'd love to go their Glorious 1930s Castle House Party - Rolls Royce, afternoon tea, prohibition cocktails with a dash of Atonement. The beginning of the end for many of these great houses.

1 comment:

  1. I don't live far from the castle and it's a delight to visit - and it's lovely to see your photos and think 'ooh yes, I know that bit!' Now you've got your tickets, you'll have to visit again.
    It's nice to read your words and admire your photos: thankyou!