Friday, October 7, 2011

Jaffa Cakes and a Victorian Kennel

Since we have family in England, we often go over in the summer - usually during the half term holidays and we like to use the internet to find just the right place to stay. Of course the hotels and guest houses we've stayed in have all been really nice - I especially liked the place across from a field full of softly baa-ing sheep, that was in a converted old house. We were right on the top floor and had a lovely dormer window. And the coffee and tea tray there was especially good, with everything you could possibly want to make a hot drink: just add Jaffa cakes (sponge-cake cookies with orange jelly and dark chocolate).

Ightham Mote
Because the UK school holidays and half term breaks don't always correspond to ours, we have tended to visit England in June or July. The weather is really nice then, which makes it a perfect time to visit some historic houses and castles. One of my favorite historic houses is Ightham Mote, in Kent. We've been there a few times; and I like it so much I would like to live there someday. But since is a National Trust site, that seems unlikely (among other reasons).

Kennel at Ightham Mote
Ightham Mote is one of the few medieval manor houses in England that has remained essentially unchanged since the Middle Ages. It is an inward-looking place, with 70 rooms surrounding a courtyard, a gate house, a chapel, and a moat with 3 bridges. The Mote in the name, though, was originally "Moot" or meeting place. The rooms are more Victorian in decor than medieval. But the furnishings are not overdone, and look wonderful comfortable as well as elegant.

But my favorite thing at Ightham Mote is the charming Victorian dog kennel in the courtyard, which is doubtless the only doghouse in Britain that is a Grade I listed structure. It was built for Dido, a St. Bernard dog - who was clearly a very lucky and sophisticated dog.

Visiting places like Ightham Mote and Battle Abbey are a great way to spend school holidays because it is one of the most enjoyable ways to learn a little history - while having a relaxing holiday at the same time.That is multi-tasking at its best, I think. And checking out travel sites is an easy way to plan a perfect school holiday in England. I am sure that Dido, that most stylish of creatures, would approve of this.

4 comments:

Tori Lennox said...

Though I've never been to England, Ightham Mote is one of my favorite history houses!!!!

TogBlogger said...

Ightham Mote and Battle Abbey are in a part of England that I lived close to for many years. So much history and luckily not spoilt by having London relatively close by!

Hope you get to return someday!

ceri said...

What did you think of the jaffa cakes?!

Katie said...

Ha! I love the kennel! What a lucky St Bernard. Wish I had such luck. :)