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The best places for a Kent short break in 2024

Beautiful view across the Alkham Valley from Alkham Court in Dover CREDIT Good Hotel Guide
Beautiful view across the Alkham Valley from Alkham Court in Dover CREDIT Good Hotel Guide

Kent is blessed with a wide choice of great hotels, pubs with rooms and very special B&B’s. With the new edition of The Good Hotel Guide now available online, and free to visit, we asked the editors to share some of their favourites.

BEST FOR A ROMANTIC GETAWAY

Great British Life: The Pig at Bridge was built for was built for Sir Arnold Braemes, who accompanied Samuel Pepys at the Restoration CREDIT Good Hotel GuideThe Pig at Bridge was built for was built for Sir Arnold Braemes, who accompanied Samuel Pepys at the Restoration CREDIT Good Hotel Guide

The Pig at Bridge, Canterbury.

In a village close to Canterbury, a 17th-century redbrick mansion and former music venue is part of the burgeoning Pig chain. The house was built for Sir Arnold Braemes, who accompanied Samuel Pepys at the Restoration, and has gone through a shabby-chic restoration of its own. Seventies disco trapping have given way to mismatched furniture. In panelled rooms hung with oil portraits, squashy sofas cluster around blazing fires. Accommodation ranges from a snug bedroom with 4ft carved four-poster, to romantic hideaway hop-pickers’ huts in a water meadow. A 25-mile menu features dishes created around the day’s harvest from the prolific kitchen garden (zero-miles mushrooms on toast, say, or roasted heritage carrots with whipped ricotta and spiced seeds) or locally sourced (maybe Brogdale pork chop, garden greens, Jake’s Cider sauce; chalk-stream trout or South-East coast fish stew).

Rooms, double from £179, breakfast from £15.95, à la carte £45.

thepighotel.com

BEST FOR MOULES, MOON BEARS AND MEERKATS

Great British Life: The Dog at Wingham is a well-regarded gastropub-with-rooms CREDIT Mike BartlettThe Dog at Wingham is a well-regarded gastropub-with-rooms CREDIT Mike Bartlett

The Dog at Wingham, Wingham.

The A257 between Canterbury to Sandwich passes through it, but Wingham is a lovely village with historic houses, broad green verges, and Marc Bridgen’s well-regarded gastropub-with-rooms. It’s more drinks lounge and restaurant than local boozer, though by all means drop in for a pint. Bedrooms, designed by Marc’s mother, Marilyn, each with ensuite shower room, range from a compact double to a family suite, and a four-poster suite with vaulted, beamed ceiling. Chef Rob Mantegna’s cooking takes pub fare to a higher level, with seasonal menus of such dishes as mussels, nduja, Kentish Pip cider and black olive sourdough; portobello mushroom and sweet potato pithivier, roasted artichoke sauce and spiced enoki bhaji; and aged sirloin of beef cottage pie. There’s a children’s menu and great Sunday roasts. The animals at Wingham Wildlife Park await your visit.

B&B doubles from £150, single from £99, à la carte £50.

thedog.co.uk

BEST FOR HISTORY BUFFS

Great British Life: Dine like a King or Queen at Hever Castle CREDIT Good Hotel GuideDine like a King or Queen at Hever Castle CREDIT Good Hotel Guide

Hever Castle B&B, Edenbridge.

If Anne Boleyn’s moated, battlemented childhood home looks like an American’s dream of a fairytale castle, thank tycoon William Waldorf Astor, who, over two years, from 1903, Disneyfied it, adding, a picturesque ‘village’ of guest cottages, landscaped parkland with a lake, walks and mazes. And yet, at the heart of it all is a genuine 14th-century castle to which overnight guests have complimentary access. Anne’s book of hours and two illuminated prayer books, inscribed and signed by her, are on display, along with a fine collection of Tudor portraits. There are 27 bedrooms, those in the Anne Boleyn wing less grand than those in the Astor Wing, with its panelled lounge and billiards room. In the morning there is a full English (the Tudors liked their bacon and eggs, along with potage), eggs Royale (of course), smashed avocado (the Tudors never had that.)

B&B doubles from £185, singles from £115.

hevercastle.co.uk/stay/bed-breakfast/

BEST FOR CHANNEL HOPPING

Great British Life: Farmhouse B&B, Alkham Court, is a perfect base for exploring White Cliffs Country CREDIT Good Hotel GuideFarmhouse B&B, Alkham Court, is a perfect base for exploring White Cliffs Country CREDIT Good Hotel Guide

Alkham Court, Dover.

With glorious views over the Alkham valley, Wendy and Neil Burrows’s farmhouse B&B is a perfect base for exploring White Cliffs Country, or for extending your continental holiday by a couple of nights, with the ferries and Eurotunnel close at hand. New arrivals are welcomed with tea and home-baked cakes by the log burner or in the garden. The three bedrooms (two on the ground floor) are beautifully presented, thoughtfully supplied with fresh flowers, an espresso machine, silent fridge, Gilchrist Soames toiletries, and guests have use of a spa barn with hot tub and sauna. Breakfast brings local apple juice or freshly squeezed orange juice, an Aga-cooked full English, smoked haddock, eggs from the hens, artisan breads and Kentish honey. On request the hosts can supply a packed lunch, with soup and crusty rolls upon your return.

B&B doubles from £155, two-night min. stay, (three-nights over bank holidays).

alkhamcourt.co.uk.

BEST COUNTRY PUB IN TOWN

Great British Life: Mount Edgcumbe has six super stylish bedrooms CREDIT Good Hotel GuideMount Edgcumbe has six super stylish bedrooms CREDIT Good Hotel Guide

The Mount Edgcumbe, Tunbridge Wells.

Some come to Tunbridge Wells to drink the health-giving, mineral-rich waters from the Chalybeate spring. Others prefer a pint of Harvey’s in the sandstone cave snug at this dining pub with rooms. Minutes from the town centre, it stands in an almost bucolic situation overlooking the common and Mount Edgcumbe rocks. The six bedrooms are super-stylish, mixing vibrant paint finishes and fabrics with white plantation shutters and touches of gentle wit. Room one has an in-room rolltop bath. All have air conditioning, an espresso machine and Bramley toiletries. The seasonal menus mix pub classics (fish pie, burgers, steaks, haddock and chips) with sharing platters and such dishes as Budha bowl, and lamb shank with red wine jus. Then, if you do have one tipple too many, those spring waters are said to do wonders for a hangover.

B&B double from £135, single from £95, à la carte £36.

themountedgcumbe.com

goodhotelguide.com/hotels-in-kent/

READ MORE: Ashford-based Boys Hall Hotel wins Cesar Award for 2024



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