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22 December 2013

December - Grey #worldcolors #worldcolours

The final month of #worldcolors #worldcolours is here and this time the colour is grey.  I've thoroughly enjoyed looking through old photos this past year and rediscovering them in a different way as I hunted for examples of that month's colour.  I hope you've enjoyed them too.

Here is my selection for grey.

Elephants outside a temple in Geylang, Singapore
Bangkok, Thailand
Detail from the soles of the feet of the Reclining Buddha, Bangkok, Thailand
Singapore
Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Chinese lion, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Dragonfly statues, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
A grey day in Hong Kong
Jurong Bird Park, Singapore
Live Turtle and Tortoise museum, Chinese and Japanese Gardens, Singapore
Grey stormy clouds, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Helix bridge and MBS, Singapore
Elephant Parade, Singapore

If you missed any of the previous month's colours check them out here.

17 December 2013

Penshurst Place

At the end of our trip to the UK, as I said previously, we stayed in Kent and visited my family. My Mum celebrated a special birthday in October which I knew I wasn't going to be able to be in the UK for.  Mainly because of the cost of flights and various planned trips we already had, including a trip back to the UK this Christmas and various events (four weddings in four different countries) next year as well.  So I suggested we go out for a special day somewhere whilst I was home which should be her choice and could be her early birthday celebration with me.  



Somewhere she'd often mentioned before and never been to was Penshurst Place in Penshurst near Tonbridge, Kent so it was decided this would be where we would go.  The day was another beautiful summer one and we set off together with a close family friend.  My Dad used to be a butcher and whilst serving his apprenticeship as a teenager took many meat deliveries to the house for the family by bike.  On one of these visits he'd been lucky enough to be shown around some of the house but that was the closest any of us had got to visiting and, of course, that was sometime ago now!  

The house though is still privately owned and lived in as it was then and was surprisingly cheap to get in to compared to many other similar properties, adult tickets were only £10, children £6.50 and family tickets only £28 and it was cheaper still if you only wanted to look around the gardens!  Once you are in there is a cafe (serving coffee, tea, cold drinks and snacks), a restaurant with an excellent range of food, a well stocked gift shop, a play area for children, a toy museum and a maze to make your day complete.


We got tickets for both the house and gardens and began our day by looking around the house. Penshurst Place is one of England's oldest family homes.  It was for a time owned by Henry VIII and then in 1552 was gifted to the Sidney family and was the birthplace of the Elizabethan poet, courtier and soldier, Sir Philip Sidney.  The original part of the house was built in 1341 by Sir John de Pulteney, a wealthy London merchant and Lord Mayor of London, who wanted a country home within a day's ride of London.  It is also regarded as one of the best preserved examples of a defended manor house in England, being built at a time when these properties were no longer automatically built as castles but rather dwellings that could be defended in an emergency.


Inside the house the rooms are full of beautiful paintings and furniture as well as a collection of arms and armour.  The tour of the house begins inside the Great Hall known as the Baron's Hall.  Beneath the hall there is a crypt which I imagine would be a great place to hold parties as well as the hall naturally. From there we toured through several more rooms before ending up at a display of personal family photos.


As I mentioned it was a beautiful summer's day so after our tour of the house we decided to walk a little around some of the gardens and soak up the sunshine.  The gardens at Penshurst are one of the oldest in private ownership with records dating from 1346.  The gardens are expansive (48 acres) and include a lovely formal walled garden originally laid out in 1580, some of which can be seen in my photos.  My personal favourite part was when we stumbled across the apple orchard below.  There was seating here and it was a pleasant little spot to enjoy the good weather.


Penshurst Place is not somewhere near my parents home that I would automatically suggest people visiting the area go to, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much there was to see and how reasonable it was.  Definitely a place to consider if you are ever in Kent.



Apple trees in the orchard

04 December 2013

Rabbit Carrot Gun and the Trenchard Arms

Somewhere we've been to but I've not got around to sharing anything about on here is Rabbit Carrot Gun and the Trenchard Arms, situated in traditional shophouses on the East Coast Road.  Actually we've only been to Rabbit Carrot Gun once (and enjoyed it) but we've visited the pub part of this establishment a few times over the past few months so I thought I'd combine the two.

Interior of Rabbit Carrot Gun

We visited Rabbit Carrot Gun on a Sunday to try it out as somewhere different for a local brunch spot and it didn't disappoint.  It was very busy, in fact it always seems to be when I walk past it, but this didn't prevent us getting good service and having a very pleasant meal.  I had the eggs benedict and whilst I may not be an aficionado on this dish I thought it was pretty good.  The Game Keepers Shooting breakfast actually looked good too when I saw other people's orders come out after I had made my own.  I'm always a bit hesitant though to order a full English in Singapore as the sausages are invariably either not pork sausages (even when the menu states they are) or are just generally a bit substandard.  I reserve my occasional full English fixes strictly for when I am back in the UK.  Can anyone confirm how this breakfast compares though?  I'd like to find a decent one somewhere in Singapore!


As I mentioned slap bang next to Rabbit Carrot Gun is the Trenchard Arms owned by the same people.  The pub is modelled on a British pub and has lots of quirky features including a large model of a bulldog and one wall covered in a 'Country Life' covers collage wallpaper.  There are also a couple of comfy chairs which would totally be at home in a country pub in the UK with a roaring fire burning as well as the usual bar stools and tables.  They serve Rose wine here too which I admit to taking advantage of whenever we go.


The Trenchard Arms also offers a range of typically British pub food and snacks, including Scotch eggs and ploughman's.  We've not eaten there so not sure how good the dishes are and to me it does not seem the cheapest.  Has anyone eaten there though, is the food good?  The majority of our visits here have been on a Sunday afternoon for one or two relaxed drinks close to home but we've also been in the evening.  It seems equally as good whether you go at night or in the day.  

From our experience it's a good place to go whether it be for dinner or just drinks.  Another great eatery and pub in the East!

View from inside the Trenchard Arms

01 December 2013

November - Turquoise #worldcolors #worldcolours

Well I'm late again for my #worldcolors #worldcolours post! November was turquoise, something when I was doing my blue post earlier this year I hadn't appreciated. I did use a couple of photos that month that possibly could have featured in this month's post but I managed to find some others too, so without further ado here is my contribution.

Shophouse in Geylang, Singapore
Detail from a gravestone at Bukit Brown cemetery
Elephant for Deepavali, Gardens by the Bay
View from the Burj Al Arab, Dubai 
S.E.A. Aquarium, Singapore
River Hongbao, Singapore
Sentosa Flower Festival, Singapore
Buddha Tooth Relic temple, Chinatown, Singapore 

If you missed any of the previous month's colours, check them out here.
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