Sadly no, we haven't added this to the property portfolio but we stayed in the fabulous Eastwell Manor which is now a country house hotel near Ashford in Kent. Not a bad backyard, eh?!
Our room was in the mews, converted from Victorian stable blocks. No, the Porsche is not ours either!
The mews were so so cute, they have done a wonderful job of converting them. There are three courtyards, all beautifully landscaped with lush planting and water fountains.
Each cottage has its own pretty painted door with an equally cute name to match: Lavender Cottage...
Ah, Foxglove Cottage (think this has to be my fave.)
Saturday was the most amazing of days, 31 degree heat and clear blue skies. The view from the little rooftop window in our room was pretty amazing, looking at the vast estate which surrounds the house.
But we had more pressing matters to get on with. This basically involved doing as little as possible so we headed for what is such a massive treat here in England: an outdoor swimming pool.
I can't remember the last time I lounged around an outdoor pool, indeed swam in it (without freezing), here in England. I confess that I think I was in single figures! After a dip, I settled down with my fave mag which with great willpower, I'd managed to save just for this moment.
We had a spot of lunch...
...before heading off for a massage in the "Dreams" spa. Ah, feeling relaxed now. Afterwards, Mr HH decided we needed to cool down and rehydrate. This is why I have pledged my eternal devotion to this man!
In the evening, we headed back to the manor house for dinner. It was so beautiful inside.
Wood panelled room after wood panelled room. Yes, close your mouth, Hen, stop gawping!
As the sun went down, it only looked more beautiful. This is a very special place, indeed.
The dinner was equally memorable, especially the puds! What a shame there's no time for the gym (ahem!)
All too soon, it was time to leave. If you are ever in the mood for a special break away, I can highly recommend Eastwell Manor and I certainly hope we may one day return (they have a really good offer on at the moment). But haven't we forgotten something? Someone? Where's the Munchkin? Well, the reason we adults were able to play hooky is that the Munchkin had been invited to stay with his best friend and his family at their holiday cottage. We meandered our way from the manor through the ridiculously picturesque Kent lanes to retrieve him.
Looks like the Munchkin had a lovely time too!
Just across from his friend's cottage, we spotted a sign which caused a flurry of excitement amongst the HenHouse gang.
English cherries. Well, it would be rude not to at least take a look...
I've never seen such huge cherry trees and I'm pretty certain I don't fancy going up that 80 foot ladder to pick them!
But eat them. Ah well, that's a different matter, that we can do!
Homeward bound then, we take our time meandering through winding little country lanes, surveying all the finest that this county, the Garden of England, has to offer. We pass through stunning village after stunning village until it proves too much for me and I pull over and get out the camera!
This village is Lamberhurst, just one of many equally picturesque villages around these parts.
Kent is of course, renowned for hop picking and the oast houses where the hops were dried still dot the landscape, most made into dwellings now.
Do we think these are the prettiest cottages in the village?
Oh golly, well I'm rather taken by this one with its gorgeous hollyhocks.
And this one, right near the village green with the oast house behind, is pretty special too.
I've been fortunate enough to travel to some wonderful places in the World but to me, there really is no more special place than England on a beautiful Summer's day...