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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Chee

Hever Castle & Gardens: A Charming, Historic Stay in Anne Boleyn's Childhood Home in Kent

KENT


Facebook: Hever Castle & Gardens

Set amongst the tranquil grounds of Hever Castle in Kent, Hever Castle Luxury Bed and Breakfast combines simple pleasures with luxury living. Set in 125 acres of expansive green, the award-winning gardens provide a perfect day out for families. Guests are welcome to explore the meticulously cultivated topiary bushes, as well as the wilderness beyond. There is nothing better than an escape to the country over a long weekend, and not only does Hever Castle provide this, but it also enables guests a glimpse of the history of England. The experience provides a perfect departure from the bustling city of London, it is merely an hour's drive and you are immersed in the tranquility of the English countryside.


Hever Castle Luxury Bed and Breakfast has gained numerous achievements over the years, solidifying its five-star claim. Securing its five star Gold status and a Breakfast Award in 2022 as Visit England states that staff at Hever Castle offer “an excellent standard of accommodation” with “superior standards of housekeeping.”


Instagram: @hever_castlestays


Travel Back in Time

Instagram: @hever_castlestays and courtesy of Jennifer Chee


Saturated in history, the grounds of Hever Castle were home to the late wife of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn. Built in the 13th century, the castle is accessible for guests, who can take headphone tours of of the historic establishment. Guests are also welcome to wander the grounds, which feature an archery field, water maze, and Italian gardens, as well as a picturesque Lake Walk. My guest and I took the Lake Walk in the morning following our stay, which provided an idyllic experience strolling around their expansive lake. Views of the extravagant Italian Gardens from the lake, and the daffodils growing in the wilderness created a glorious picture of spring blooming.


The bed and breakfast itself echoes this history, with grand oak panelling and Tudor-style exteriors. A little courtyard is nestled in the centre, providing a moment of serenity in the middle of the English countryside. Alongside this, the billiards room in the Astor Wing provided a cosy escape with their plush armchairs, perfect for an afternoon of rest and relaxation following exploration of the castle and its grounds.


Photos courtesy of Jennifer Chee


Hazel


After checking in and enjoying a glass of wine in the sun-dappled courtyard, we were kindly escorted to one of 27 rooms in the property. The Edwardian Anne Boleyn and Astor Wing's all provide ensuite bedrooms that range from twin to double bed and all equally reflect the tradition Tudor interior that is consistent across the entire property. We stayed in the Hazel room, located in the Astor Wing, which provided access to a billiards room and tennis courts and direct access to the grounds, set behind the hotel. The simplistic luxury transports you back to the historic 13th-century castle beyond, setting a completely royal experience.


The union of eclectic floral inspired wallpaper created a modern twist amongst the traditional Tudor history. Hazel's emerald and fuchsia interior perfectly echoes the extravagance of the castle grounds and natural landscape. This classic room echoed history throughout its interior, as the bedside candlesticks and arched bed-frame signalled to the hotel's historic influence. Luxury modern aspects were incorporated seamlessly amongst the interior, as we were welcomed by a tea, coffee and hot chocolate station and a large TV providing access to the Netflix application.


The bathroom continued this union of history and modernity, with marble tiling and fuchsia floral wallpaper nodding to the neighbouring bedroom armchairs. The bathroom, amongst containing the essentials, was fully equipped with Noble Isle amenities perfect for a wind-down in the claw-footed bath.


Photos courtesy of Jennifer Chee


Breakfast in The Tudor Suite Dining Room


We dined in the morning in The Tudor Suite Dining Room, which provided a feast fit for kings. With gorgeous views of the grounds and five-star service, we were well-catered for before our Lake Walk and tour of the castle. Continental options were on display buffet-style, and carefully crafted menus provided guests with the opportunity for alternative cooked options. Our table was laden with a spread of pastries, cooked and continental options, alongside tea and coffeee - a hearty start to our day.


The quintessential British Breakfast was well-met at Hever Castle as the array of food options reinforced the classic lifestyle. The menu optioned traditional English plates, including the Full Hever Breakfast - their take on the classic English Breakfast and Bacon or Sausage Sandwiches. However, equally impressive was their nod to international breakfasting, as options included the Egg's Benedict, Egg's Florentine, and classic American Pancakes. Catering to all taste's, it was no wonder that Hever Castle Luxury Bed and Breakfast achieved the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence every year for the past five years (and also qualified for the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame).


Photos courtesy of Jennifer Chee



I chose the 'Smashed Avocado', with poached egg, which came with oven-baked tomato and grilled mushroom. The plate itself presented a simplistic but colourful array of flavour and the presentation of our dishes was exceptional. The yolk was the perfect runny atop of the hearty sourdough, and the fresh avocado paired with the grilled vegetables provided a hearty meal to begin my day. Resting atop of the ensemble were fresh pea shoots, adding a subtle yet crisp addition to the dish.


My guest and I then both opted for a coconut dairy-free yoghurt option with berry compote and granola from their Continental station, which was a refreshing palette cleanser after our meal. The creamy coconut yoghurt made for an excellent fair alternative, which was well-paired with the tart and bright berry compote.




Photo courtesy of Jennifer Chee


My guest chose the 'Scottish Smoked Salmon' with scrambled eggs for their option. The salty and smoky flavour from the salmon made for a perfect combination with the creamy scrambled eggs and fluffy sourdough. Resting on the side were spiralled lemon slices, to add an extra combination, a tartness that cut through the dish.


My guest then finished off the feast with a Chocolate Torsade - a party intertwined in a twist and filled with creamy vanilla custard and chocolate chips. The sweet creaminess of the custard combined with the rich chocolate was an indulgent finish to the courses. As a collective, the experience made for an extremely aesthetic breakfasting.






Photo courtesy of Jennifer Chee


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Address: Hever Road, Hever, Edenbridge TN8 7NG | Phone: 01732 865224 | Website: www.hevercastle.co.uk | Email: info@hevercastle.co.uk | Instagram: @hevercastle | Facebook: @hevercastle

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