Think stony country back roads, unrelenting rain, and a whole load of scrabble with Kentish ciders in hand, and you’d be spot on. We had a really great break away just the two of us in Kent the weekend before last.
We stayed in the grounds of a beautiful home surrounded by woodland, overlooking a lake, a skip and hop away from Sissinghurst village. It was an Airbnb place we found called The Gamekeeper’s cottage; a small annexe that sat opposite the family home of hosts David and Henrietta. A steal at £150 for 2 nights.
We were early for check in, so we stopped at Tenterden, a small picturesque town in Kent for a quick cuppa and a mooch around the interior shops first. You can’t tear me away from them! Then drove on to the house weaving through country lanes (the sort that make you mistrust your sat nav!)
It turns out much of this part of Kent is made up of B-roads, not a great deal of main roads or traffic, so you can imagine the eventful trips we had, dodging potholes and overtaking horse and traps. At one stage we even saw a Pomeranian puppy on the loose! Neil had to slow down while we saw it’s (probably new?) owner try and tame the little cutie back into the boot of the car. And then there was the trip back from the pub one rainy evening - pitch black it was! That’s the charm of country living.
It’s when we’re on breaks away or hiding from the weather in a country pub, or strolling around old villages that I get interior inspiration.
Our house isn’t oldy-worldy like some of the places that inspired me on this trip, but it’s definitely not a modern look home. I like to try and bring in the odd country touch to give the place a bit of character, inspired by the countryside around us.
In fact, something we have been discussing since our trip is to purchase dried hops – often seen hung in country pubs or draped on beams at weddings and events – to hang somewhere in our home. It’s something we always admire when we’re having a pint together.
On the Saturday, Neil put some pins in a map so we could spend the day exploring what was around us. We took a long drive into Wye, Godmersham, Chilham, Canterbury and Fordwich. One of our favourite stop offs had to be a tiny village on a hill called Chilham, in Kent.
Tudor Lodge was a really sweet shop that reminded me a lot of National Trust shops, selling gorgeous soaps, escapist books and very lovely Morris accessories. I was entertained for a good 20 mins in there while Neil was outside taking pics of the village.
Lovely church there too which we took a walk around. In fact all of the buildings, the Tudor houses and the church stole the show for me…
We stopped off for a pot of tea in Shelly’s Tea Rooms to warm up. If you’ve ever been to an establishment inside an old wonky cottage like Shelly’s, you’ll know what I mean when I say you leave feeling a bit dizzy! Walking on wonky floors and up stairs of buildings built without a plumb line in sight does it to me!
Or is it just me? :)
And then came Canterbury…
Neil remarked on how character-filled, clean and attractive Canterbury was in comparison to Brighton. And I agree. Perhaps as we’re local to Brighton we’ve lost our love for it, but when you come home after a weekend in a lovely UK location, it hits home how little funding our council have to repaint our Regency buildings and clean up our streets… Is Brighton going a little downhill or is it just us? Anyway…
We had such a lovely weekend away in Kent, and plan to return in Summer, maybe to go camping there, who knows.
Our next excursion away will be the stunning, rugged coastline of Donegal in March. My twin is getting married there, and we can’t wait!
Thanks for reading.
Fifi and Neil xoxo