Friday, September 11, 2009
Penhurst Place and Gardens
As one of England's oldest family homes, Penhurst Place has passed through the hands of royalty and nobles for more than six centuries. It now belongs to the Sidney family, still represented by the symbol of the porcupine. (Oh, is that what that is?) The magnificent Baron's Hall, completed in 1341 is used today in many films because it is such an authentic representation of the times. Our guide was fantastic and easy to understand because she grew up in Philly - she was full of interesting facts...."after a grand meal in the Baron's Hall, the ladies would withdraw to the withDRAWING ROOM" and "the cooks would work in the kitchens nude because of the immense heat." (More than I wanted to know)
Eleven acres of hedged English gardens surround the home with thousands of roses, lavender, and ready to harvest apple and pear trees.
We enjoyed lunch in Royal Tunbridge Wells. In Georgian times this popular spa town with it's cool, iron rich water gained a reputation as the place to see and be seen among royalty and fashionable members of aristocracy.