A Travel & Lifestyle Blog

Leeds Castle and Coastal Kent

The "most beautiful" castle in England!
Usually, I'm not one for free use of superlatives, but this castle is quite a stunner.
 

Leeds Castle is in the heart of Kent and I have to admit that once you leave the M25 with direction "Dover" your mind does hover over the coast across the Channel..."shall we just go to France, instead?" did cross our minds. I'm glad we didn't. Leeds Castle is worth your time.
 

Pick a good day to visit because part of its' charm evolves around walking in the glorious green gardens. There are lakes and waterfalls and boat rides and black swans involved! Not to mention their Knight's Glamping camp, that popped up a couple of years ago on the grounds of the castle and we still haven't managed to get availability for, it's that popular!


The castle is surrounded by a wide moat, which adds on to the romanticism of the whole scenery but bearing in mind that this castle has been a home from its' beginning up until 1974, can you imagine bringing groceries in every day?  
 
The interior is a maze that connects different eras.
From the Norman cellars with direct access to the moat for easy deliveries, to Catherine's of Aragon sombre bathroom and then on to the Art Deco rooms that lady Baillie used for entertaining in the 20's and 30's, as well as the meeting rooms that hosted great political talks for Camp David Accords and Northern Ireland Peace talks. If these walls could speak!



Since we were venturing down to Kent, I was set on having oysters!
I have been researching the best places to have oysters in UK and Whitstable came up in the top list. It's a lovely coastal town, with great variety of restaurants considering its' size. Like most English coastal towns, it does look a bit tired.
The coastline is gorgeous though and very dramatic, whatever the weather! If you stand at the tip of the port you can even spot the wind farms in the middle of the Channel, standing there like Don Quixote's windmills, defending themselves from all elements. 


We opted for Birdie's partially because that's where we could get a table, although it comes quite highly recommended in the TripAdvisor reviews as well. Birdie's has this French bistro feel to it, with checked tablecloths covering the small tables and walls covered in photos and retro ads from past decades. Everything is simple and delicious.


My dad, who was with us, has never had oysters before, although he loves his muscles and clams - especially in an ouzo and feta infused red sauce, called saganaki (recipe here). 
The truth is that you don't quite get oysters in Greece, for some reason. When I ordered mine, he had this dubious look, but I could see the little curious child in him bubbling up. After he had tried one of my oysters with lemon and shallots he mumbled...."why don't we get one more portion"...seemingly uninterested under his white beard. I love seeing my dad getting excited like a little kid and food always does it! 
Then more comments came when I ordered my skate..."we throw this to the cats" he said! Well, "we pay good money for it here", said I! 

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