Friday, 16 May 2014

Back again after a short break

I have been to Kent for a couple of nights with my friend N, and we stayed with my son, G , his wife and my two 'Kent' granddaughters, aged 5 and 3.

We were blessed with glorious weather and the county looked at its best.  We were not due to arrive until after 4.30pm so we went to Smallhythe Place, which was where the great Victorian/Edwardian actress Ellen Terry, spent her final years.  She loved the place and we could well see why.
Look closely at the levels!! 
She had a very long professional association with Sir Henry Irving and the house is full of the artifacts of her profession and some of her costumes and there were many pictures, engravings, theatre programmes, letters, newspaper cuttings etc.  Very personal and intimate and the floors upstairs were completely uneven as the photo shows.
Ypres Tower

The following day was spent exploring Rye, one of the Cinque ports, which has one of its original gates to the castle, the Landgate, the Ypres Tower with its guns and St Marys church.We also managed to fit in a little retail therapy, visiting many little boutique shops, though regrettably for them we did not spend much, but we did have a coffee on the terrace of a little cafe,basking in the hot sun and enjoying the view towards Rye Harbour in the distance.

Next stop was Winchelsea, another beautiful and historic town and we walked round it admiring the gardens and old houses.  It is reputed to have the largest collection of medieval wine cellars in the country. We went into the churchyard and saw the grave of comedian Spike Milligan, who has a Gaellic epitaph, that when translated says "I told them I was ill".  We had a delicious lunch of antipasta of salami, bread, cheese and olives in a courtyard, which was so hot that N's butter had to be poured onto the bread!!

The highlight of the day was the afternoon that we spent at Great Dixter the home of the late Christopher Lloyd .  We could have looked round the house and gardens but decided to leave the house until another day.  The gardens suited N and I because they didn't appear structured and were just a profusion of plants, wonderful topiary and for me, a beautiful pruned fig tree!
A pruned fig tree!
The long border with a wild flower meadow in the foreground
Are these topiary mice?

I thought these were mice, but N didn't.  What do you think?

Well we did spend some money in their nursery and we came home with plants as a souvenir of our short break in Kent. 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. What a wonderful few days, you certainly fitted in a lot. We lived in Kent, and just know there are some wonderful places to visit, but we didn't always find the time. Love the photos of the houses and gardens.....

    18 May 2014 09:41