Tuesday 1 October 2013

Moan of the Month!

One of my bugbears in life is the loss of small independent shops. The economy and rent and rates price these shops out of our high streets, it's a crying shame! Do we really want identical high streets selling the same things? I know I don't! So I try and support small shops with my custom. One of my favourite places to shop is the nearby Kentish town of Cranbrook. A lovely town with a wealth of small shops full of interesting individual things. Not only shops but cafes and restaurants and a few good pubs. Nearby Sissinghurst Castle, Leeds Castle and many more historical attractions add to it's interest. So on my last visit I took a few photos of my favourite places in Cranbrook.

You are guaranteed to find something beautiful at Spice which is housed in a lovely medieval building

The lovely Claire Hamilton who owns Spice

So much to choose from!

Beautiful china

There are two lovely florists in Cranbrook
The V. Chic Boutique specialising in nearly new clothes

Always a warm welcome from the lovely Jan Moloney owner of V.Chic

Oooh! Handbags and shoes galore as well as jewellery, perfume and everything a woman could want!

Great Italian café who does the best Panini I have ever tasted
A walk through the 12th century churchyard and straight ahead The George Hotel

The George Hotel is a beautiful medieval building

One of the lovely rooms at The George Hotel. Always meet my friends at The George

Tim Johnson outside Apicius his Michelin star restaurant and one of my favs!  

The food at Apicius is to die for!

Even my bank is attractive!

And back past the beautiful Church to the FREE car park, all car parks in Cranbrook are FREE

I cannot remember the last time I went to a big shopping centre, I have no interest in the generic shops and when I have been always come away feeling ill and claustrophobic, give me small and some fresh air and I am happy! Please try and support your small local shops if you can, otherwise they will disappear forever.

Thursday 5 September 2013

A boat, a train, a castle!

A visit to Bodiam Castle in East Sussex has been on the cards for a while now, even though  I have visited it before some years ago my interest in Medieval history has blossomed,  so we decided to catch the boat from Northiam and approach the Castle by river. I looked up the weather last week and they forecasted about 21 deg which would have been perfect but yesterday was a scorcher, 'you could fry and egg on the pavement sort of day'   not my favourite weather!! The boat takes about forty five minutes and the approach to the Castle is breath taking. Lunch at The Castle pub and then on to the Castle. It was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former Knight of Edward III to defend the area against French invasion. Most of the interior of the Castle is ruins but you can see how magnificent it would have been.

On the boat to the Bodiam, the bridge was built in 1706

Swans on the River Rother

The Castle in the distance from the boat

Lunch at The Castle pub, someone just dropped in by helicopter, hope he only had one!!

Approaching Bodiam

Waiting for my Knight haha!

The Well

We caught the steam train back from Bodiam to Northiam boat station

If you get a chance to visit Bodiam it's a great day out!

Tuesday 13 August 2013

A History Obsession!

I have always loved history, historic buildings, people and places but as I have grown older my fascination has increased, though not helped by my appalling memory I love the nerdy little historical facts, so now always take my camera with me even if I just go out shopping and in this wonderful historic county I nearly always come across a new building or place I haven't seen before. I always meant to walk down to the River Medway past the beautiful Archbishop's Palace but always seemed to be in the car, so today I did and I wasn't disappointed, the stunning 14th century church of All Saint's should be Cathedral it is just so majestic and beautiful. There was wonderful organ music playing so I slipped in to listen, the only one there I drifted off into another world imagining the people through the centuries who have sat in the same place. I took loads of photos, experimenting with sepia, so here are a few. All photographs taken in Maidstone, Kent.

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