Monday, 6 May 2013

A Really Lovely May Day Long Weekend

With only 13 weekends left, several of which G's parents will share with us, we decided to make the most of whatever the weather threw at us and planned to do a few short day trips to places of interest.

Saturday didn't start off too well weather wise, so we opted for an indoor destination. We chose Lullingstone Roman Villa simply because MissM's has been learning about the Greeks and Romans in history, and has taken to Horrible Histories and the entire exhibit was indoors (as it was forecasted to rain, and it did indeed pour)

She wasn't as into it as we'd hoped, but long enough that G and I had our cultural/historical fill for the month.

Lullingstone Villa was built during the Roman occupation of Kent. Constructed in the 1st century, perhaps around A. D. 80-90, the house was repeatedly expanded and occupied until it was destroyed by fire in the 5th century.

It was amazing! From the minute you enter, and see what's left of the villa, you can all but imagine people living and working here centuries ago. The information boards were very good too, and targeted children and adults with the way in which the information was presented.

We saw some very unique (in the true sense of the word) artefacts, not least of which is the Chi-Rho fresco, believed to be the earliest Christian symbol found in Britain.

If you live, or visit nearby, it's definitely worth a visit. It's not a whole day experience, but by the time you drive there, spend a hour or so there, have lunch and drive home it's a pleasant day out.

We had a lovely lunch at a pub nearby, and then drove to Knoel House. Neither of these places are on our bucket list, but we're so glad we took the time to see them.

Knole House is very large (356 room, 52 staircases, 12 entrances and 7 courtyards) , very old (built early 17th century), very musty and very dark (to help preserve the interior from damage to sunlight). 

It has a very long and interesting history, and has been in the hands of the Sackville family for centuries. It's worth a visit for the artwork alone - so many famous painters are hung here, on very dark walls, with very little light so they are hard to view,  but they are still incredible to see.

Most notably, among the Sackville descendants, these include writer Vita Sackville-West (apparently, her Knole and the Sackvilles, published 1922, is regarded as a classic in the literature of English country houses); her friend and lover Virginia Wolf wrote the novel Orlando drawing on the history of the house and Sackville-West's ancestors. 

Original manuscript (not sure I should have taken their of these photo
but I couldn't help myself, knowing friends are avid readers)

It was a really big day trip, about 186 miles (299 kms).

We woke to MORE sunshine on Sunday and after skyping with G's parents for an hour or so, we decided to make the most of another glorious day. We headed to one of our favourite locations, The New Forest, and the water.

We took G's new car again - he isn't a car dude like some guys are, but he loves driving nice cars (as most guys do) and he LOVES his new car. We 'burnt rubber' as MissM kept saying and had a ball.

Took a while but we finally found a water front location, and a pub for lunch.

THe Mayflower had a beer garden, and sunshine and seagulls, all that was missing was the smell of a BBQ. We had a yummy lunch in the beer garden, MissM played on the gym equipment and patted a few small dogs. We walked along the sea wall and around the marina, thoroughly enjoying the majestic boats in the water and on dry dock.

MissM and G had an ice cream.

We walked.

We talked.

We laughed.

They skipped stones together.

Last night was a very easy dinner.

How lucky were we to wake up to another day of Sunshine and blue skies.

I feel like such a Brit, talking about the weather like I do, and exclaiming in full voice THE SUN IS SHINING but after months and months of grey bleak skies and wet windy days this is glorious.

We sat on the patio in the sun, reading while MissM played in the vegie gardens, and G did some prep work for tomorrow. We had lunch out there too; and when G brought out the iPod speaker and turned up the volume and started shakin' his bootie I couldn't help but smile and join him.

We've had a super weekend, hope you did too,

With friendship


  1. You were in our hood! Glad you had a fab w/end, we did too - with this horrible, terrible British weather I've heard is legendary but have yet to experience. Hope that doesn't bite me in the bum. Hmpfh.

    1. Oh, what a coincidence! Where are you Margarita? I'm guessing sarcasm towards the weather or you've recently arrived? Which is it :)