Groombridge Gardens

A few weeks ago we visited Groombridge Gardens, near Tunbridge Wells. This place is fantastic. They have traditional English Gardens, Japanese Gardens, tons of squawky peacocks, and a raptor centre. Not to mention an “Enchanted” forest offering plenty of hiking options.

Despite a bit of a shower, we enjoyed the day.

Advertisements

Coupla Parks & a Priory

After almost a year here, I’ve learned two things:  in England, the weather can rotate through all four seasons in one day, so you’d better bring layers galore, and two, the countryside does bring a little bit a heaven to go with the little bit of hell you might have to endure with the weather, etc.  I can’t drive on the motorway yet so haven’t been able to go to the gajillion nearby gardens I’ve been dying to visit, but today, I’m afraid for C., he was cornered.

Now that the house is pretty much done, C. and I can have time together on weekends to do things as he’s not so busy with DIY, which = significantly less fantasizing about fleeing to South Carolina.  Last weekend we got to go see the X-Men movie (great, definitely worth paying the $ to see in the theater), and we visited a Priory close by.

Today we went to Groombridge Gardens in Tunbridge Wells (pics in separate post).   Last week I walked through two parks in London–Regent Park & Green Park–on my way back to Victoria Station.  It’s been a nice, green week despite the rain.  Or, maybe because of it.

Regent Park, Queen Mary’s Gardens

Green Park, London

Aylesford Priory, Kent

Aylesford Priory is just about a half hour from us, and it’s a great opportunity to see a thirteenth century site with some gorgeous grounds.  If you’re into quiet contemplative places, they have spots for folks to find a little peace, quiet and solitude.  Aylesford Priory was also a resting place for pilgrims on their way to Canterbury, which is about a 45 minute car ride away.


Friar. And me.

The Goods Shed, Canterbury

The other weekend, after a long and frustrating morning changing our Sunday plans eight billion times before noon, C. and I decided to go to the Dockyards Art Show in Chatham.

Even though it’s 15 pounds for a year, we’re on a bit of a spending moratorium right now.  So, we bailed on that, and decided to go to Tunbridge Wells, which is supposed to be pretty.

But it was a really cold, crappy day, so I wasn’t that thrilled about walking around outside.

I’m a sun-worshipping American, OK?   C. would call almost every day either “quite mild” or “quite pleasant.”  The closest I’ve ever heard him come to a weather complaint was that it was…wait, I can’t think of anything.  Even on the most bitter days, or once when he had to walk five miles back in the snow when the train stopped, there was no complaint.

Warning, warning Will Robinson–you have married a charming android.

So, we get on the highway, or, as they say here, the motorway, and about 3/4 of the way there we changed our minds again and decided to go to The Goods Shed, a food market and restaurant I’d seen online.

We’d make it about an hour before they closed.  I was psyched.  A few pretty views along the way, sheep, etc. and we arrived.

So nice.

Yes.

We got some local honey to help with springtime allergies, some nettle tea, and had a few bites of a spicy falafel patty.

The solution to all life’s problems?

I love you, beautiful Goods Shed peeps.

We then walked towards the town center

and met C.’s friend, on a whim, at Café Boho. That was nice.  I had some Thai sweet potato soup with cilantro, which I am definitely going to try and make at home.  (Sorry–camera battery ran out–no more pics!)

And then we talked to C.’s pal about living in Canterbury, still not sure where we’re going to live, and added it to our list of places to research.  The tourists in summer would be bad, but so many great little restaurants and cafés.

(Note–looked it up later and it’s off list due to $$$.)

The trip really did cheer me up.   I’ll definitely head back to The Goods Shed.  Even though it wouldn’t pay that well, I kind of wish I could work there just to be in such a beautiful place for a while.  Maybe a few summer hours…?

%d bloggers like this: