Last week, I had the joy of spending a week at Hever Castle for the first ever Anne Boleyn Experience. This amazing trip was put together by Claire Ridgway who has the most wonderful web-site called The Anne Boleyn Files. If you don't already know about the site, please do check it out. It's one of the best historical web-sites out there. Over my years of traveling in England, I'd been to Hever Castle before, but staying there is an entirely different experience. I felt so close to Anne Boleyn, looking out my window in the morning, I could imagine her wandering the gardens, perhaps with her brother George, or with the King himself. When the final day came, I didn't want to leave. I'm sure there are scratch marks in the castle walls from where I clung for dear life.
Now that I've had a few days back in reality (I flew back to the States on Friday and spent the weekend in a jet-lagged coma watching the first series of Law and Order UK), I've had time to reflect on my time at Hever. Here are just a few highlights and photos from the trip. I'll have more when my pictures get developed.
- High up on the list has to be Claire and her husband Tim for putting together the trip which must have taken months of hard, hard work.
- The staff at the Castle who couldn't have been nicer, especially Kevin on our last night there.
- The Astor Wing of the Castle where we stayed which blends in so seemlessly with the castle that you wouldn't know that it was added when the Astor's bought the castle and restored it in 1903. There are 21 rooms of various sizes. I stayed in the Azalea Room which was a single. My bed was adorable with a red canopy.
- The food. Seems strange to be talking about the food but I can't tell you how many conferences I've been too where the vegetarians meals were barely edible. I've been given pasta slicked with oil and badly nuked vegetables or a badly nuked baked potato as my entrees. The food was superb. My first night I had fresh ravioli with kale and spring peas. Another night we had the most delicious tomato soup, and then I had butternut squash risotto. I'm sorry that I didn't take pictures of the meals, especially the delicious desserts and the chocolates featuring Henry and his 6 wives. Every dinner was 3 courses, and wine was included. Plus we were served breakfast every morning, and had vouchers for lunch for our days out.
- Having dinner the second night in the Tudor Dining Room in the Castle. Yes, we ate in the Castle itself.