I was very fortunate to experience two wonderful places in Kent this week.
I come from a family where we grow flowers for the flower markets in Latvia, so I love flowers so much. I have always wanted to visit the lavender farms in the South of France and I was surprised to learn that in Kent there is the biggest lavender farm in the UK! I was reading the Waitrose magazine and there was an article describing Castle Farm and the lavender fields. I had to go!
Castle Farm is a working family-owned farm of 600 acres deep in the Kentish countryside near Sevenoaks. Of the 600 acres, 90 acres are set aside for lavender. They also rent a further 40 acres from other local farms nearby.
Lavender growing is a heavy, labour intensive farming operation where instant rewards are not given! It will be a number of years for the lavender to mature and cultivate to deliver the flowers. Thankfully, they do cultivate other crops at the farm.
The tour was made up of ‘lavender lovers’ for all ages attracted by the scent and colour of this plant. Lavender has many benefits to humans, be it medicinal, aromatherapy, decorative and food.
The tour was an eye-opening experience of how intensive it is. 5000 plants are planted for every acre! Machines cannot always plant them so manual human planting is required.
The shop was wonderful. I did go a little mad in the shop! I bought honey, chutney, jam, hand cream, tea, culinary flowers (to add in cakes, biscuits) and of course some lavender!
If you have a chance to visit Castle Farm, please visit https://hopshop.co.uk. To visit the lavender in full bloom you need to book a tour as they have dates available.
We then went to the home of one the greatest Englishman that has ever lived. Chartwell near Westerham was the home of Winston Spencer Churchill from 1922 to 1965.
It is a beautiful home and garden overlooking the Weald of Kent with stunning views. Churchill said he bought the property because of the view.
It is a homely, peaceful house and it was a wonderful to experience British history and see more of this beautiful country.
‘A day away from Chartwell is a day wasted’ he said and you can see why..