A rare free weekend in my diary, so I caught a train from Charing Cross to Chilham in Kent to spend the night with my old schoolfriend Nick (of whom I am terribly proud: he’s a professional tenor who sang with the Tallis Scholars) and and his wonderful family. My beloved Fran & Jemima (above) picked me up from the train and we went into the village for the obligatory forage through the picture perfect gift shop, and gaze through the gates at Chilham Castle.


I grew up about ten miles away, so it’s always bittersweet returning to Kent, but I only have good memories of Chilham, a village where I spent lots of time as a child, because of Chilham Castle, a beautiful Grade 1 listed Jacobean house, which used to have medieval jousting displays and a falconry in the grounds

Now the home of  Stuart Wheeler (model Jacquetta’s father), when I was little it was owned by Lord Masseerene & Ferrard. His grand-daughter was in my class at school and when we went to the castle on field trips she used to take us into the private quarters to explore.

The grounds are beautiful, first laid out by John Tradescant the elder, and then redesigned under Capability Brown, but the medieval theme park and falconry of my childhood are long gone, and the gardens are only open to the public one Tuesday a month now.

After all that nostalgia Fran wheeled me sharpish in this direction:

IMG_0411 IMG_0412

Jemima had chocolate cake, F the coffee and me, well, I have been incarcerated in a health clinic for eight days, so I celebrated being sprung with this:


These scones were the size of a newborn’s head. Defeated, we smuggled the second one out in F’s coat pocket. Then it was off home for supper on laps, X Factor and late night gossiping, after the infants had retired to bed in high dudgeon, deprived of late night frolics.

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I love Chilham and the castle/gardens. It’s a beautiful place only 45 mins away from us, so we go often with friends and/or family when we want a nice day out. Love food at the White Horse Inn, by the way.


Sounds like a lovely day was had by all and yes that scone is massive


I love this post. Its like the beginning of a wonderful novel.


This is your finest blog post to date and that child is the most beautiful little girl in the garden of England. Yours objectively, Fxxx


I could probably eat everything in that last photo! So hungry now…


Extremely jealous I wasn’t there to scoff the third scone & contribute to gossip


Cream Tea! Oh how I need a good cream tea! Will be in Surrey for the Holidays and I plan on having cream tea as often as possible. (I live in Washington State.) Thank you for sharing yours with us!


Yup! Can I have your leftovers?


Scones are my weakness!! YUM!


Yum. Nothing better than an excellent cream tea. Fact. Though fraught with difficulties re: jam or cream first (I’m a jam THEN cream kinda gal, for the record).

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