Much more interesting house than I thought before going although it seems to be a relatively small section open. It's older than I thought however with the first hall you enter dating to 1341. The next door bit is modern (15th century :-)) Some interesting portraits and every room has a guide sheet which adds to the visit.
Gardens are nice but not wow (bear in mind this is an October review however). There is also a woodland walk but we didn't have enough time to do all of it. There is a very big kids play area for 16s near the entrance which has all sorts of climbing gear, swings etc. The setting and the village of Penshurst are both lovely so it's a good trip just for the drive really.
The only let down was the Garden Room tea room and that drags my overall rating down. We had been looking forward to this as it sounds good on the web-site (of course). We started looking at the various hot meals laid out under heat lamps which looked OK and were then told by a somewhat miserable woman behind the counter that we serve lunch from 12 this was 11:48 and the food was waiting. So we had to make do with a coffee and cake and they had to miss out on the extra revenue strange business sense. Never mind, they make it up on the coffee. £2.10 for a capuccino out of a (fancyish) machine. Quite possibly the smallest mug I've ever seen however (they must get them specially made!) nothing like feeling ripped off to make your day out. Ah, but the famous Lady d'Isle apple cake will make up for it; Do you have any apple cake? we enquired. No. said the miserable woman.
By the time we'd sat down (11:55) someone else had arrived and was being served lunch d'oh!
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