10 gorgeous summer stays in Kent
- Credit: Frasers
Yes, you could go elsewhere - but when you see what's on offer within our own county, we don't think you'll want to! Lovely locations, great service, unforgettable decor, delicious food: here are 10 stays in hotels, pubs and B&Bs to book into right now
The Ferry House, Harty Ferry
Reasons to stay here? First, the location in deepest Sheppey– you'll feel in your own little world as you gaze out across the Swale Estuary. Thoughtful top-notch dinners make the most of local food and produce from the kitchen garden, and the breakfast menu is equally imaginative. There are lovely rooms in the original 16th-century building, but we stayed in the contemporary annexe: boutique-style luxury, a divinely comfortable bed and a great shower. Look out for kestrels and sometimes even seals by the waterside on walks - or bring your bike and head off down peaceful lanes. Afterwards, book a restorative massage in the Ferry House's Treatment Rooms. Fabulous! Rooms for two with breakfast from £125. theferryhouse.co.uk
Updown Farmhouse, Betteshanger
We’re so excited about this one: as we write, 17th-century Updown Farm, just outside of Deal, is due to open its doors, under the stewardship of chef Oli Brown who set up acclaimed London restaurant Duck Duck Goose and his partner Ruth Leigh (daughter of leading chef Rowley). Out on the terrace, Oli cooks on a wood-fired grill - think pork chops with sage and butter and crisp fried pizza dough topped with crab and fennel - and afterwards, guests can stay the night in the atmospheric farmhouse or in one of the newly renovated rooms in the farm's stables. Sounds like the perfect bucolic bolthole. Rooms for two with breakfast from £220 updownfarmhouse.com
Nestled deep in beautiful Kentish countryside you'll find Frasers, an award-winning eco estate and working farm. Book a room for a couple of nights, or consider one of the larger spaces for groups - Stag's Barn can sleep up to 10 stylishly with an Oast House conversion and pretty Pond Cottage up for grabs too. A great on-site restaurant means you don't have to cook if you don't want to, and there's loads to see and do around the farm itself, with wildflower-planted fields, woods, streams and a six-mile network of footpaths to explore. From £340 for two for two nights with breakfast. frasersegerton.co.uk
Twentieth Century B&B, Birchington-on-sea
Just a four minute walk from the beautiful Blue Flag beach of Minnis Bay - famed for its sunsets - Twentieth Century B&B is an unique Art Deco house built in 1935. Rooms are decorated after eras, so the largest guest suite complete with its own balcony features authentic furniture from the period, the Amy Johnson room has a quirky aviation theme, there's a room furnished in classic mid-Century style and in the David Bowie room you'll be able to take a shower with the legendary musician - or at least with a full-size image of him, anyway. Room for two with breakfast from £85 twentiethcenturybandb.com
The Reading Rooms, Margate
Book yourself into this adults-only townhouse, for a stay that's oh-so-stylish. Built in the 1770s and named after the reading rooms that were the height of fashion in the town's heyday - the B&B has two spacious guest-rooms, each covering an entire floor, with windows overlooking a tree-lined Georgian square. Enjoy breakfast in your room, complete with freshly-baked sourdough bread, pastries and juice, then head off to explore the delights of Margate, from the Turner art gallery to the Old Town with its vintage shops, and the beach just five minutes' walk away. Two-night stays for two with breakfast from £500. thereadingroomsmargate.co.uk
The Marquis of Granby, Alkham
With four AA stars and a rosette for culinary excellence, come to this rural, pretty inn to enjoy great food and feel you’ve escaped from the hurly burly. There are terraces for al fresco dining, lovely views across the pretty Alkham valley and great walks to explore all around. Guest rooms are in the original 19th-century building, sympathetically restored and decorated, and in the newer extension, with a sleek, more contemporary feel. The food is a real treat – a sample summer menu offers local asparagus with pink fir potato, salad cream and Wingham watercress and confit pork belly with glazed pigs cheek and pickled carrot. Room for two with B&B from £140.
The Dog at Wingham
Eight glamorous guest rooms featuring super-comfortable Hypnos beds to fall into and an a la carte menu starring locally sourced food and drink (imagine pan-fried trout and Kentish lamb, washed down with a bottle of Gusbourne’s finest...). Just two of the reasons this award-winning pub, restaurant and B&B attracts such a loyal following. But its location is undoubtedly part of the lure: lovely countryside all around, Canterbury’s just a short drive away, if you’re a fan of golf, the team can lay on excursions to nearby clubs such as Faversham – oh, and there’s Wingham Wildlife Park just down the road, too. From £99 per person for B&B and a three-course dinner.
Albion House, Ramsgate
Elegance abounds at this 18th-century house just 100 metres from the sea. "Original features restored, modern luxury added" say the owners, and inside and out you'll find a wealth of period features from open fires and plasterwork ceilings to wrought-iron detailing. Rooms are luxuriously furnished to maximise sense of space, while a room that Queen Victoria stayed in as a child has a balcony for fine views towards the sea. The in-house restaurant service locally caught seafood and meat dishes, and they can shake you up a mean cocktail before dinner. Room for two with breakfast from £150 albionhouseramsgate.co.uk
Romney Bay House Hotel, Littlestone
Sea-lovers, architecture buffs and anyone who loves gorgeous accommodation will appreciate the charms of Romney Bay House, built in1922 by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis (creator of the Italianate Portmeirion in North Wales) and a space that has played host to everyone from American Actress Hedda Hopper to Noel Coward and the Astors. As we write, the hotel is in the last stages of a renovation and is set to reopen later this summer, having been bought by the team that owns the Gallivant at Camber, Rye - which means we can look forward to a relaxed vibe, great food and a touch of luxury, all in a timeless location. For enquiries and future bookings contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Port Lympne, Hythe
How to go on safari without leaving the country: book yourself into Port Lympne's hotel and a reserve that's home to creatures including lions, tigers, apes and bears. While the accommodation in the boutique hotel itself offers traditional glamour and comfort, there's a host of other options available to get you as close to nature as possible - set amongst towering pine trees, Pinewood is a cosy camping pod that will see you snuggled up near Amur tigers and African lions. From £209 for two, pod only. aspinallfoundation.org/port-lympne