Friday Postcards from Leeds Castle
Many years ago, before we had kids, my husband and I headed to London to visit friends over Memorial Day weekend. These weren’t just any friends, this was a couple we had met nine months earlier in Venice.
You see, I’m one of those people who visits new places, hears you speaking English in a restaurant, and asks if what you are eating is any good. This sparked a conversation that led to watching the England versus Croatia soccer game around the corner at an Irish Pub that same night, and a farewell meal with our new friends before we all headed back home. We stayed in touch and decided to travel to London for a spring visit. My husband and I had never been. Visiting our football (soccer) loving friends seemed like a great idea.
We rented a little apartment in London, but stayed with our friends for the weekend so we could go out to Leeds Castle in Kent to explore. Leeds is one of those Top 10 castles you need to see when you are in England. It’s on a lot of lists. This castle was originally built by a Norman baron, later passed through six English Queens and was one of the many homes of Henry VIII and his first wife. Lady Baillie, the last private resident and an Anglo-American heiress, acquired the property in 1926. Her influence on the estate is still seen in many of the rooms’ furnishings.
My personal favorite were the gardens around the grounds. The Lady Baillie Mediterranean Garden Terrace and the Culpeper Garden were smelled heavenly and were so serene. Across the water we could see sheep grazing and birds flying by overhead. It was in these gardens that I discovered apple mint being grown in one of the herb patches. I couldn’t rest until I found it in the states. The smell is heavenly and perfect in iced tea. I’m pleased to say I found it and it is thriving in my garden.
No trip to England is complete without a stop at a local pub for a traditional roast supper. Beef, veggies and Yorkshire pudding are just about as good as you can get on a cool spring day and the perfect compliment to a pint for some al fresco dining in the English countryside. I still dream about this meal. So good.
Leeds was one of the highlights of our first trip to England, but we would have a few more with these friends of ours over the years. We were invited to their wedding in the Cotswolds, but sadly had to decline since I was eight months pregnant with my oldest at the time. We were able to introduce them to our boys a couple of years ago, and have recently celebrated the joyous arrival of their own son, whom we hope to meet in the next year.
Have you ever introduced yourself to strangers while traveling? Tell us about it!
READ FIRST: Welcome to Friday Postcards, a place where I will share a small memory or “postcard” moment from our travels. I hope you will join me too. Link your favorite photo-driven post here if you have a blog so we can share the joys of traveling with each other. If you would like to spread the word, please link back to this post in your own post so others will know where to find a little travel inspiration to end their week. #fridaypostcards
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