Eggciting times ahead at Mount Ephraim

There’s plenty to get eggcited about over Easter at Mount Ephraim Gardens, including an Easter Egg Trail over the Bank Holiday Weekend.


Over Sunday 21 and Monday 22 April, families can enjoy seasonal events at Mount Ephraim; and looking ahead to the May Bank Holiday, the popular Pat-a-Lamb event returns. The Gardens and Tea Room will officially open next week, on Weds 3 April.

Image (c) Mount Ephraim Gardens

Whether you’re eggstatic about Easter or feeling a little sheepish, find out what’s going on online here.

(No more puns, we promise…)

‘Have A Go’ Crafts Day at Mount Ephraim Gardens Sun 28 June

This Sunday, Mount Ephraim Gardens is hosting a ‘Have A Go’ Crafts day, offering you the opportunity to try an array of crafts.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

If you’ve yearned to try your hand at stained-glass, wo0d-turning, jewellery-making or knitting, these are just some of the activities available between 1-5pm on Sunday 28 June. Activities will take place in the normal garden, for which the usual entry fee applies.

Crafts Centre opens Easter weekend at Mount Ephraim Gardens

With spring set to burst into life, you’ll find Hernhill Crafts Centre doing much the same thing on Easter weekend – and beyond.

Situated in the Stable Block at Mount Ephraim Gardens, a few yards from the entrance Kiosk, the  Centre opens on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, April 5th & 6th from 12 noon until 5.00pm. each day. The centre will then open every Sunday and on Bank Holidays until the end of September.

The crafts centre offers a wide variety of attractive items including jams, chutneys, jewellery, greetings cards, knitwear and pottery; a great opportunity to find that last-minute birthday present, or to find something a little out-of-the-ordinary as a special gift.

Find it at Mount Ephraim Gardens, just off the A2 between Faversham and Canterbury; it all starts Easter weekend!

Feeling sheepish: Pat-A-Lamb at Mount Ephraim

Mount Ephraim Gardens will be hosting its annual Pat-a-Lamb on Sunday 4 and Monday 5 May, as families can get up close to lambs only a few weeks old as well as enjoy the scenic views and gardens in one of Kent’s popular visitor attractions.

DSC04364 (1)The weekend has been entertaining children and families for twenty-eight years, and this year visitors will be enchanted and delighted by well-loved children’s tales read by the creator of comedy acting troupe and regular visitors to Mount Ephraim, The Pantaloons.

The glorious blossoms should be in full bloom throughout the gardens and in particular in the magnificent arboretum, as also should the farm’s orchards for the Bank Holiday.

Visitors can enjoy the ten acres of Edwardian gardens including the Japanese rock garden, water garden, lake and the grass maze ideal for picnics and with a play area for children. The gardens also boast the Topiary Tea Rooms for a delicious cream tea whilst overlooking the stunning topiary and herbaceous border.

Pat-a-Lamb Day is open from 11am until 5pm on Sunday 4th and Monday 5th May; entry is £6 for adults and £2.50 for children. For more information visit Mount Ephraim Gardens website or call 01227 751496.

Being Fruitful: Cherry Day at Mount Ephraim Gardens

There’s a celebration of Kentish cherries and family fun next weekend, as Mount Ephraim Gardens hosts its annual Cherry Day event on Sunday 30 June, with the best of Kentish cherries on a real family-run farm.

Visitors can enjoy walking tours of the award-winning cherry orchards, showing how cherries are grown commercially on a working farm and a chance to sample them fresh off the trees!

Cherries will also be available for tastings and for sale, and there’s also a Best of Kent Farmers’ Market with a fine selection of Kentish foods including breads, cheeses, meat, fudge, chutneys and much more.

Younger guests can be entertained by The Flower Fairies with storytelling in the Willow Circle, face-painting and the opportunity to try out the new Animal and Nature trails. The Hernhill Crafts Centre will be demonstrating wool-spinning and guests can have a go on a pottery wheel to try their hand at making pottery.

20130622-114206.jpgOr you can take a stroll and enjoy ten acres of Edwardian gardens including the Japanese rock garden, water garden, lake and the grass maze ideal for picnics and with a play area for children. The gardens also host the Woodrose Tea Rooms serving delicious cream teas and cherry-based recipes, whilst overlooking the stunning topiary and herbaceous border area and enjoying music from local musicians.

Cherry Day is open from 11am until 5pm on Sunday 30th June. Prices are £6 for adults and £2.50 for children.

For more information, visit Mount Ephraim’s website here or call 01227 751496.

Vintage Day at Mount Ephraim

Join in the fun at Mount Ephraim on May 12th.

From 11am-5pm, the fabulous surroundings of Mount Ephraim Gardens will host a vintage spectacular with wedding suppliers, kitsch and stitch stalls, home-wares, vintage clothing, retro caravans, kitchenalia, afternoon teas, and VW Beetles.

There will also be children’s entertainment in the glorious gardens.

Entrance is £6 adults and £2.50 children (aged 4 – 16). See details online here.

The Pantaloons are coming!

Wild, whacky, inventive and delightfully entertaining; the Pantaloons return to Mount Ephraim Gardens on Monday 27 August at 4pm with their production of Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest.

Company image
Image credit: Pantaloons’ website

Currently on tour throughout the country, their visit to Mount Ephraim last year with Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales was a fantastic and inventive evening’s entertainment for grown-ups and children alike (you can read our review of the occasion here).

Tickets can be booked online here, or find out more about The Pantaloons on their website here. Not to be missed…

Endlessly inventive Pantaloons tell a Tale or twenty

With over twenty stories, not including the General Prologue, it would seem nigh-on impossible to cram nearly all of the Canterbury Tales into a mere two hours. Yet with breathtaking scope, dazzling virtuosity and some serious multi-tasking, that is exactly what The Pantaloons have done with their production of Chaucer’s mighty epic.

Image (c) The Pantaloons

Playing last night to a large and enthusiastic crowd gathered at Mount Ephraim Gardens, the company display a chameleon-like quality, with a mere six players each changing character in the blink of an eye to bring all the characters in the Tales alive. With such a small company, there’s no respite either; when not acting, then they’re usually providing some musical accompaniment to the action – guitar, clarinet, bass clarinet, melodica, recorder, accordion, including quotes from Mission: Impossible, all make an appearance, and all the cast sing, bursting out into with arias, duets and even barbershop when you least expect it.

Before the play begins, the cast provide musical entertainment or wander amongst the audience in character to welcome them, harangue late-comers, or peddle their medieval wares of dubious quality (not, of course, including the programmes!).

There’s a real sense, too, of warmth emanating from the players towards the audience, which is reciprocated in equal measure. The players have fun with the audience, involving them – there’s a moment or two of audience participation, including turning them into an Angry Mob complete with fist-waving as well. The play is peppered with the occasional nod to contemporary culture too, in knowingly anachronistic asides which add to the fun.

What impresses the most, however, is the sheer variety with which the Tales are realised. There’s riotous action, but there’s also puppetry, limericks, rap, improvised comedy, and a tale-in-thirty-seconds as well; the puppet-show realisation is narrated whilst faceless puppets act out the tale, and is in places equally funny and beautifully moving. The Miller’s Tale, with its famous poker-and-posterior moment, is a lively romp; the Reeve’s Tale, with its nocturnal mistaken bed-hopping, brings the bedroom-farce alive with terrific humour; in contrast, the Second Nun’s Tale becomes a lightning-quick opera packed with famous musical references including the ‘Flower Duet’ from Lakme and more, delivered with real musicality.

Chaucer as pilgrim in the Ellesmere manuscriptThe play works for both adults and children alike, with Chaucer’s famous vulgarity handled with delightful aplomb. Ranging from farce to ribald humour, romance and slapstick, the rich variety of Chaucer’s social commentary as he pokes fun at social class, mocks religion, greed and lust, is all presented in a vibrant, dynamic production that keeps its tongue firmly in its cheek throughout.

It’s a very physical production, with the hard-working players climbing in and out of the window, dashing around the stage, mock-brawls, moving in and out of the audience, and generally seeming to fill three times as much space as the set would seem to allow.

The play finishes with improvised comedy, as the Squire finally gets to tell his Tale by taking ideas from the audience and making up a tale on the spot, in song, accompanying himself on the guitar whilst the rest of the players act out his impromptu tale.

The company tours extensively throughout the year – check out their diary on-line and don’t miss the opportunity to see them if they turn up at a venue near you: you won’t be disappointed. Their tale is done: God save all the rout!

The Canterbury Tales at Mt Ephraim 28th & 29th August

Open Air Theatre ‘Canterbury Tales’

The Canterbury Tales

Sunday 28 August at 7pm & Bank Holiday Monday 29 August at 5pm – The Pantaloons Theatre Company bring Chaucer’s pilgrims to life in this brand new adaptation of the medieval classic with a contemporary twist. Expect music, laughter and tears as the pilgrims tell their tales of deception and redemption, magic and majesty, life and death. Oh, and talking chickens. Before the show, audiences can enjoy the ‘Medieval Marketplace’ as the pilgrims attempt to sell their wares and create an authentic Chaucerian atmosphere. Dress for the British summer and bring something to sit on!

Tickets available from Mount Ephraim ticket office and the Woodrose Tea Rooms or view for more information