For our first night in Kent County, despite mixed feelings about our road trip around France last year, we decided to do the same again this year albeit on a less intense, more manageable level. When I found out that there were rooms in converted stables next to Leeds Castle, it wasn’t long after that Teko and I jumped at the chance – the proposition was good and our higher class aspirations couldn’t resist.
We arrived too early to check in but timely enough to have a look inside the rather approachable castle. After we got an extended glimpse of English royal life, we finally got the keys to our royal quarters for the next two nights.
Plastic orchids aside – a no-no, frankly – the room we got was decent. It’s a simple room with a few minor luxuries – the Molton Brown toiletries, a view to the lake and tended gardens, and a bathtub for bath-loving Teko. It was quite warm due to its west-facing orientation and sadly no AC, but as the weather has become more reasonable lately, it wasn’t as uncomfortable as we feared.
After dinner last night at the Castle View Restaurant – aptly-named and straight to the point – along with the opportunity of staying in the castle grounds, we were able to walk around the estate at dusk, and apart from a couple with their five-year old child, the place was pretty much ours to enjoy. Walking past the quiet castle on a perfect, breeze-less 19 degree evening, the only sounds we heard were the ones coming from creatures getting ready for nightfall and the tower bell ringing in the 8 o’clock hour. Blissfully cinematic.
If our experience was anything at all like how it was 500 years ago, it’s easy to imagine Henry and Catherine with not a care in the world, viewing an empire from their very own castle tower on an equally beautiful night.