CarHireoke, Castles & Kent
I recently warbled my way to a win in the TravelSupermarket ‘CarHireoke’ competition, with a delightful rendition of ‘Relight my Fire’ featuring my willing friend Laura (thanks Laura!). The prize was £250 to spend on a hotel and car hire, booked via travelsupermarket.com.
Rob and I took the opportunity to explore somewhere fairly local – we’ve only lived on the south coast for 18 months and it’s all pretty new to someone who’s never lived south of Birmingham before!
TravelSupermarket listed hundreds of options for Kent and Sussex, and we chose to stay overnight at a quirky place called Little Dane Court in Tenterden. As well as a traditional B&B in a smugglers cottage, they had a separate ‘Katsura’ Cottage in the grounds, featuring a lovely tatami room upstairs (complete with Japanese yukata robes), and a sofabed downstairs.
The cosy cottage had its own little garden – in a few weeks I can imagine their huge magnolia tree will be glorious!
We spent Saturday at the Rare Breeds Centre, about 15 minutes drive away. This had the usual Farm Park stuff – soft play, restaurant, fluffy bunnies, tractor ride, etc. – but the zipwire and ‘mysterious marsh’ (a wooden ‘assault course’ for all ages, which you tackle without your feet touching the ground!) made it lots of fun for the grown ups as well.
Oh, and of course – it’s lambing season!
On the way back from Rare Breeds we took a slight detour to visit Chapel Down Winery and do a bit of tasting. I’ve been lucky enough to visit wineries and bodegas in Spain, Portugal, Argentina and New Zealand but this was my first time tasting English wine – and it was actually rather good.
They even let Ryland to do some organic local apple juice tasting too…
On Saturday evening we dined at Ozgur Turkish restaurant – the meze is a great option to share with kids, particularly if they love houmous as much as Ry does!
On Sunday after a wonderful cooked breakfast at Little Dane Court, we drove to Bodiam Castle. I have a stash of National Trust free entry tickets I won in various competitions last year, so wherever I’m on a prize trip I look for a local NT place to visit.
Bodiam was the most perfect castle with a fantastic moat – lots of nooks and crannies to explore, spiral staircases to scale, and big important wooden seats to sit on and look serious.
If you’re lucky enough to win an overnight stay – or weekend break – it’s well worth doing your research online, and finding the local attractions and restaurants on Twitter or Facebook. Add them to a list and check the feed regularly for comps. It was only a few weeks between me winning this prize, and going – so unfortunately I didn’t have chance to source any prize meals out or free tickets, but if you have a few months notice then it’s certainly worth your while checking social media accounts for giveaways!
Oh, and when you’re on your break – don’t forget your competition props! Here I am with my bottle of Old Speckled Hen… did you know, back in the 1300s when Bodiam was built, even the children drank beer rather than the water (which was full of germs!). Ah, I guess life was one big party back then…
Thanks TravelSupermarket – this was a great prize and we had a whale of a time!