Hollywood would like to have you believe all city folk are in desperate need to escape to the countryside. Let me tell you, although I can't deny I have enjoyed an odd walk through the Lake District and I can certainly appreciate the quaintness, this Summers work escapades in Kent have confirmed to me this is not the case.
To clarify, there are two types of countryside: the countryside that has a pub, a lake, corner shop, bakery and visible residents; and then there is the type that has absolutely nothing, some more nothing, an endless road with so many trees lining it you can't see where you are and no sign of human life to give you directions. Oh, and then somewhere in that hot mess is a wedding venue you need to be at for 7.30 am.
This, for me, is now affectionately known as: the c*ntryside.
The c*ntryside mostly describes the area around Edenbridge though it can also be found on the outskirts of Chelmsford. There are adorable Tudor houses and beautiful scenery, but that's it. Not even a dog walker in sight.
However, despite the Wolf Creek-esque silence of the area and the overwhelming concern as a supplier that you will never arrive at your destination or in fact find your way out again if you do, it is home to the stunning Hever Castle and nearby Hever Castle Golf club. Though both venues share a name they are owned by different people, but work beautifully together.
You literally feel like you've stepped into a fairy tale once you enter the grounds of the castle. The gardens go on forever and the lake is the perfect backdrop for your ceremony, providing some wonderfully romantic photo opportunities.
The perfect venue for city brides and country brides alike looking for their happily ever after.
Be aware that taxis are few and far between in the area. If guests are getting the train from London (the delight that is Southern Trains) there is no public transport from Hever station to the venue and no road signs showing which direction to walk. Reception is poor, (c*ntryside), so they will need to drive and/or have pre printed maps.
Our bride, Kate, chose to have a late afternoon ceremony in the grounds of the castle then an evening reception at the Golf club. She chose a lovely dusky pink for her colour scheme and opted for side tied sashes on her chairs.
Although a picture perfect setting, seeing the lights of London reappear before me after a c*ntryside job is done is the biggest relief.