I couldn't resist an invitation to attend this year's Seven Wonders of the Weald press day, which took place at Groombridge Place and the National Trust's Scotney Castle. It was a warm and muggy Monday with patches of sunshine. Organised by Caroline of Pennington PR, the event was well attended by press from varied publications and organisations including The Sun, Visit England and me/local indie mag Playground. We were treated to a ploughman's lunch at Groombridge Place, and a glass of Biddenden Vineyard's own Ortego and a traditional National Trust cream tea at Scotney: a freshly baked warm scone, clotted cream and blackberry jam - I know how seriously the NT takes their tea and scones. If only all work days could be like this. The goody bag included a Seven Wonders of the Weald pass and some amazing stem ginger fudge, which I'm currently nibbling on.
I love an excuse to be a tourist for a day.
The romantic ruin on the lake is the most famous sight at Scotney Castle and it's as magical as ever. However, new to me was the interior of the house on the hill overlooking the lake, open to the public since 2007. If you are a curious person, it's a great place to wander from room to room looking at furnishings, objects and art collected by the Hussey family over the years. It's a dark house with lots of atmosphere and the NT volunteers are so full of information. Outside, the roses climbing up the walls of the Walled Garden were spectacular, as were the wild orchids growing in the meadow and beyond acres and acres of estate as far as the eye could see.
For this week's How Does Your Garden Grow? Next week I'll be returning to the more humble surroundings of my own back garden.