Hastings, 1 July 2009
On the way to Bodiam Castle this afternoon, we passed a handyman's truck with the logo "William the Concreter". It was one of those moments missed because I had no camera to hand at that moment, and an indicator of local humor. There is also a local barber shop called "Sweeney Todd's".
Bodiam Castle is fairly well preserved, despite Cromwell having gotten to it. It's a 14th century castle erected by a landed knight, and was built as both fortress and home. Most of the castles I've seen so far have been more heavily one or the other. Bodiam is pretty much the stereotypical medieval castle, complete with moat.
The outer walls are mostly intact, although the inside is in ruins - yet another curse upon Cromwell. There is a colony of bats in the main gatehouse, and we could hear them chittering even at midday. There were also several informative videos. Plate mail was a real pain to get on, which I knew, but I'd not previously gotten a good sense of just how big and timeconsuming a pain it was!
My favorite exhibit, though, was a couple on the green giving information and displays on medieval medicine and surgery. Having someone demonstrate how things were used was quite informative, and made me thankful for modern medicine!
After Bodiam, we drove to the Biddenden Vineyard and Ciderworks. We didn't try any of the wines this time, but all of their ciders were very good. They even had a "Special Reserve" cider aged in oak casks that had been used previously for sherry and whiskey. If you can imagine a cider as a port, you might be close.
We drove by Bayham Abbey but got there after closing, so we headed back to Hastings for dinner.
Dinner was at a Nepalese restaurant called Gurkha Chef. Very excellent food and wonderful service. I had never had Nepalese before, but this place made me wish that either we were staying longer or that we had such a place back home. I had Manang Khas, which is almost a sort of lamb curry - very tasty. DD had a Yogi Tarkari with prawns, which was very mild and a bit sweet. She actually ate the whole thing despite it being a largish portion, and she had not yet done that with any meal so far here. DH had a mixed grill, and all of the meats were delightfully seasoned. if you're ever anywhere near Hastings, you really must give them a try. I almost wish we could stay for their Sunday buffet, to sample more of their cuisine!
4 hours ago