Are you a Harry or a Meghan (or even a Megan)?

If you are entry to Hever Castle is free for the day of the Royal Wedding, Saturday 19 May.  Also watch the wedding service at noon on a large TV in the Moat Restaurant. 

A great way to celebrate with special commemorative elderflower and lemon flavoured cupcake topped with white chocolate mascarpone also on sale in the restaurants based on the flavours of Harry and Meghan’s wedding cake. 

So much better than . . .

. . . a hotel said recent enthusiastic visitors to a Simply Sevenoaks B&B!   What a fantastic accolade of approval, and how true we say!

So come and stay this May Bank Holiday in one of our welcoming guest accommodations and experience for yourself just how much better than a hotel our brilliant B&Bs and self-catering cottages are.  

Relaxed and stylish rooms with individual decor; mouth-watering breakfasts using locally sourced produce; and every little thoughtful extra to make your stay special together with the warmest of welcomes from your hosts is what you'll find if you book a Simply Sevenoaks accommodation.

Don't just feel tempted, be tempted and book now!

 

Festival Fever hits Sevenoaks

Festival fever has hit Sevenoaks with a vengeance!  Whether you're a fan of books, drama or music there's something on offer for you!

Bank Holiday weekend, May 6/7 is the date for the 2018 Chiddingstone Literary Festival, a literary feast with Ian Rankin, Adam Kay, Diana Henry and so many more - all set within the intriguing setting of this quirky Kent country house. 

Celebrating its 35th anniversary season is Hever Festival Theatre. Booking is now open for an eclectic range of music and drama.  There's definitely a treat in store for all the family here. Take a picnic and make it a real occasion.

Sevenoaks itself launches its 2018 Festival Programme on Saturday 23 June. Don't miss out on this annual cornucopia of delights and book now!

 

THE Flowers of Spring!

Bluebells are THE flowers of an English Spring.  The Evening Standard reported recently that Sevenoaks district has some of the best displays of these brilliant massed blooms.

So come and visit to admire the cerulean carpets of this Spring classic! Stunning displays can be seen at Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, NT Ightham Mote, Chartwell and Emmetts Garden.  All are within a short drive from Sevenoaks, so why not make a bluebell visit a weekend trip? See www.simplysevenoaks.co.uk for some great accommodation choices.

 

 

SDAF Owners Dine Out

Chiddingstone's The Castle Inn and The Wheatsheaf at Bough Beech hosted some very special visitors recently!  This is what the pubs wrote afterwards:

We have lots of  tourists popping  in to refuel after a day out exploring our stunning countryside or soaking up the local history.

Some of them have been signposted to us by one of the many B&Bs in the area. So, we thought it was high time we said thank you and invite the B&B owners in for dinner. 

They were all members of the Sevenoaks District Accommodation Forum and thanks to its chairman Penny Cracknell, we had a lively group of owners join us for a fun evening, hosted by our very own proprietor, Jo Naismith. 

“Nobody has ever invited us before as a collective so this was a first,” Penny told us. “It was a really super evening. The hospitality was brilliant, the staff were enormously enthusiastic and we enjoyed lovely food.”

New and long-standing members of the SDAF met for the first time and within minutes they were swopping ideas and sharing anecdotes.  Members are all the proud owners of one, two or three bedroom B&Bs or self-catering accommodation within the Sevenoaks area - from contemporary chic to historic, four-poster 16th century homes.

Among the party were Drew and Debra Farish, owners of The Barn at Hildenborough, who told us that they had their very first date here at The Castle Inn.

The evening was a two-venue affair – dinner was at our pub then the party moved to our sister pub, The Wheatsheaf, for dessert and coffee.

“It was a lovely idea to split the dinner, as we didn’t realise how close the two pubs were,” added Penny. “As B&B owners, we often recommend The Castle and The Wheatsheaf to our guests as lovely places to go for food, but now we can say that with complete confidence.”

SDAF would like to thank both The Castle Inn and The Wheatsheaf at Bough Beech for their hospitality.  We are always keen to promote Kent produce and Kent businesses by encouraging our guests to visit and enjoy the many delights on offer throughout the Sevenoaks district.  There is so much to enjoy, that one visit simply isn't enough to sample everything on offer!

Mount Vineyard and Celebratory Bubbles

Lizzie Buxton, Head of Marketing and Event Planning at Mount Vineyard, Shoreham, and a judge for 2018 SimplySevenoaks photo competition, was thrilled to present a bottle of celebratory bubbles to competition winner, Louise Wilden.

Talented amateur photographer and Riverhead resident, Louise has frequent opportunities to practice her skills world-wide as her day job is as a BA long-haul flight attendant.  

Louise said that her early interest in photography came from her father, a professional photographer.  We think that Louise has definitely inherited the family talent as her stunningly atmospheric Kent lavender field photograph shows. 

The winning image can soon be seen on the front cover of the 2018 edition of tourism booklet Spend Time in Sevenoaks, shortly to be found on SDAF's tourist information stands.  If you'd like to see more of Louise's work, visit her website, www.lawildenphotography.com

Race your Pancake for Charity!

Why not join this seasonal fun event, all in aid of charity?  Run fast with your pancake, to benefit Breast Cancer Care.  Tuesday 13th February 9.30 am - noon, on Sevenoaks Vine Gardens.  £1 per entry.

Confirm your entry or find out more information by emailing osl@sevenoakstown.gov.uk.

Living with Nature at Hever Castle - Half-term family fun

Discover more about conservation and local wildlife as part of Hever Castle’s February half-term event, Living with Nature.
 
Following on from the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch  and the Big School’s Birdwatch families and individuals are invited to visit the historic castle in Kent between 10 – 18 February to enjoy ‘Living with Nature’ aimed at school aged children.
 
Find out how to create habitats and encourage wildlife into your garden and join the RSPB workshop.
 
Join RSPB volunteers on a stroll around the grounds to learn about natural and manmade habitats or take a self-guided ‘Wildlife Detective’ walk to investigate animal footprints and tracks. Learn about nature throughout history from how fur was used to keep warm to which birds belong to the Queen.
 
Encourage creepy crawlies into your garden by building a bug house* (*additional charge) or buy a bag of bird food (50p per bag) and feed the birds and ducks.
 
For further information please visit the Castle's website or T: 01732 865224.
 

This IS Kent!

We have a winner!  Congratulations to Louise Wilden, whose glorious image will be the front cover of our 2018 edition of Spend Time in Sevenoaks tourism leaflet.

Amateur photographer Louise Wilden's daytime job is as a BA long-haul flight attendant. Louise has travelled the world, and has seen and photographed some stunning landscapes around the globe. We think this prize image shows that the Sevenoaks District in Kent is as beautiful and has just as much wow factor as any far flung corner of the world!

So what more can we say than Visit Kent and especially Visit Sevenoaks!

And thank you Louise for making our beautiful Kent lavender fields look simply stunning! Simply Sevenoaks!

Spring Fever!

There's much to love in February as not only is it St Valentine's month, it's also the month to celebrate the delights of Galanthus Nivalis, the snowdrop, that great harbinger of Spring and spring sunshine.

Celebrate this fabulous spring bulb at Great Comp Garden's Snowdrop Sensation Plant Fair on Sunday 18 February.  The plant fair itself, with its tempting array of those delightful nodding blooms, runs from 10 am to noon.  The gardens, themselves a spring delight, remain open until 4 pm.

An additional attraction is a lecture on spring bulbs by Val Bourne, acclaimed garden writer. photographer and lecturer.  The 1130 am lecture requires advance booking and tickets are limited so book now!

Wishing you Happy Christmas!

SimplySevenoaks and all our SDAF members say "Happy Christmas".

We hope that when you're looking for guest accommodation in Sevenoaks district for 2018, that you'll visit our website www.simplysevenoaks.co.uk where you'll find a fantastic offering of welcoming guest accommodation, be it bed and breakfast or self-catering.

We look forward to greeting you in 2018!

Shop local this Christmas!

Are you struggling to do your Christmas shopping?  Is it a headache?  A nightmare?  Or just plainly (or painfully) stressful?

If so shop local in Sevenoaks!  We have some fantastic shops where you'll be bound to find that very individual gift!

Consider The Chinaman for special Christmas decorations; Sevenoaks Bookshop for a good Christmas read; The Danish Shop for chic interiors; Lovell & Vie at Hollybush for indulgent lingerie; Chic et tralala - well the name says it all for this desirable interiors shop!  Or for gifts with a difference try Lark, at London Road.  Or treat yourself to an early gift from Grace Accessories in central Sevenoaks; buy your loved one a diamond from Francis Jones; a mouthwatering selection of chocolates from The Chocolate Shop and then sneak to The Compact Disc for a CD of carols to put you in the Christmas mood!

And where is all this to be found? In SimplySevenoaks of course!

Happy gift hunting for a happy Christmas!

Traditional Christmas Carols at Hever Castle

Christmas will really sparkle at Hever this year as visitors can experience an interactive Twelve Days of Christmas trail, which winds through the stunning castle grounds.  Don't miss your chance to walk through the Five Gold Rings tunnel or write messages of love for the Two Turtle Doves trellis!

The castle decorations this year follow the theme of The History of Christmas Carols, through floral displays and musical accompaniment. 

Christmas at the Castle at Hever Castle takes place Wednesdays to Sundays from 25 November and daily from 11 to 24 December.  Christmas prices: adult: £16.90; children (5-15): £9.75; under 5s free.

 

Shop Christmas @ Pashley Manor Gardens Gift Shop!

Excitement! The delightful Pashley Manor Gardens gift shop is open for Christmas shopping from Thursday 23 November - Sunday 3 December, 10am - 4pm.  Enjoy mulled wine and mince pies whilst you browse.  You must surely find a gift for everyone at this most tempting of gift shops - plus easy parking too!

NB: Free entry to the shop, as the gardens and cafe are not open at this time.  

For history buffs . . . Eden Valley Museum

Pause your Christmas preparations to visit Eden Valley Museum!

Saturday open morning - 2nd December

Enjoy tea and cake while exploring objects and photos not currently on display. Free, first come first served (limited to 10 visitors, no booking required).

Museum Tour – 7th December

Join a member of the Museum Team for a 30 minute gallery tour, spanning Stone Age artefacts to modern-day local heroes.  Free, 10.30 am, no booking required.

 

Congratulations to SDAF member, The Bull at Wrotham

Warmest congratulations to SDAF member, The Bull Hotel at Wrotham, Kent for their entry in the 2018 Michelin Pubs to Eat in Guide.

The Bull offers accommodation, and a restaurant with a creative menu and a rolling programme of entertainment.

Well done to this innovative local hotel, and a Sevenoaks District Accommodation Forum member too.  We bask in reflected glory!

Switzerland in Sevenoaks!

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, in conjunction with Tonbridge Old Fire Station, are offering a unique Christmas experience!  Skating, warming seasonal refreshments at an Alpine cafe, breakfast and afternoon tea with Santa, and Christmas lunch and parties are all available from 1 December to 7 January.

Skate under the stars, nibble a seasonal treat and celebrate in atmospheric style!  What better way to slide into the Christmas season.

Chiddingstone Castle's Christmas Fair

'Tis the season to be jolly when you visit Chiddingstone Castle's annual Christmas Fair on Saturday, 25 November, 10 am - 4 pm.

The array of stalls will surely provide something for even the most difficult gift choice!  There is literally something for everybody here so book now.  If you want to visit just one Christmas fair, this is THE one to choose!

Chartwell and Clementine Churchill

Chartwell's winter exhibition, entitled Clementine Churchill - Speaking for Herself, promises to be a fascinating visit!  The many personal items on display will provide an insight into Clementine from a new, and very personal perspective.

Open 18 November - 18 February 2018, 11 am - 3 pm.