Spring is finally upon us and we have been poised for approximately 90 days (minus a few here and there for Christmas Day, New Years Eve and so forth) to sit outside in the sunshine and soak up those rays. Luckily for you we have taken all of the legwork out of finding your lifestyle inspiration and we have created a BUMPER guide to where to go out to eat, the finest dining hotspots, the most picturesque of pubs and the most gorgeous boutique hotels.
We hope you enjoy our Best of Kent guide and comment below if there are any hidden gems that you think we need to visit.
When? Open 9am to 6pm Monday – Saturday & 10am to 4pm Sundays.
We love a good shopping venue, and a food shopping venue you need not sell us on. If you love great food and farm shop style café’s then Macknade is the place for you. The 10,000sq foot family-run food hall located in Faversham, Kent was established some forty years ago and has evolved into a stunning destination shopping hall where you can find everything you could possibly desire- luxury meats, exquisite Kentish-Italian produce and the best selection of British spirits, cheeses and gifts.
Ideal for anybody looking to pick up those special, high-quality ingredients for a dinner party, the perfect place to do your plastic-free fruit & veg shop & pretty much everything you need for your kitchen under one roof. All shopped out? Stop for a coffee in their gorgeous cafe and enjoy some of the homemade treats & great menu choices.
If you’re visiting Ashford or passing through you’ll also be interested to know that Macknade have launched their second location in Elwick Place. An all-day dining & drinking experience in the centre of Ashford, on the site of the former cattle market. For more information on Macknade Elwick Place, click here.
For the gastronomic theatre-loving foodie: Thackeray’s
Where? Tunbridge Wells
When? LUNCH: 12.00pm – 2.30pm, Tuesday – Sunday | DINNER: 6.30pm – 10.30pm, Tuesday – Saturday
Looking to indulge in some haute cuisine this Spring? Thackeray’s provides the ultimate foodie indulgence and Head Chef Patrick Hill is cooking up a storm with his incredible team. We recently tried their bold-move ‘Honesty Menu‘ and you can view our full review here.
Thackeray’s, located in Tunbridge Wells, is a 3 AA Rosette-awarded eatery, described as a “relaxed form of fine-dining”. Focusing on the highest quality produce, consistently high standards and the most incredible front of house team who make the whole experience of dining at Thackeray’s totally seamless.
Serving everything from A La Carte to Sunday Lunch, Tasting Menus to Meat-Free Menus – Thackeray’s is making fine-dining French cuisine accessible to everybody. This Spring you can enjoy their stunning terrace for lunch and soak up the much-needed (and well overdue) sunshine.
The Ultimate Seaside Pub: The Pearsons Arms
When? Lunch Monday to Saturday 12.00pm to 3.00pm | Sunday 12.00pm to 6pm Dinner Tuesday to Saturday 5.30pm to 9.30pm | Bar Open | Monday to Saturday midday to midnight | Sunday midday to 10pm
Only half a mile from Whistable train station, The Pearson’s Arms is a popular seaside pub located just a hop, skip and a jump from the water’s edge in beautiful Whitstable. They serve real ales, fine wines and wholesome food to their local regulars, intrepid travellers and everyone in between.
Even though it is a seaside eatery, TPA retains all the sought after qualities we expect to see in a classic English pub: a cosy feel, friendly atmosphere and high-quality food and drink. Focusing on their location and the surrounding areas, The Pearsons Arms has access to a wealth of incredible local suppliers and producers and they use as many local ingredients and products as possible.
Also, you can regularly find local musicians entertaining at the pub. It has gained a solid reputation for having live music nights.
If you’re looking for a dreamy seaside eatery with the informal pub feel, The Pearsons Arms should be top of your list on places to visit in Whitstable.
For a seaside escape: The Clarendon Hotel
Where? Deal, Kent
Originally built in 1763, the Clarendon is unique and quirky building located right on the seafront. Offering 12 boutiquey rooms, some complete with stunning sea views, The Clarendon is the perfect seaside hotel getaway. All rooms are complete with flat-screen TV’s, Tea & coffee facilities and private bathrooms.
Upgrade to the Goodwin suite, pictured below and you’ll be treated to a stunning freestanding bathtub in your room!
5 minutes from Deal train station, the family-run Clarendon Hotel boasts a stunning seafront location in the popular seaside town. A short walk to the pier, this makes the perfect English seaside getaway.
Looking to take in some culture? There are three historical castles within ten miles of the hotel. Looking for show-stopping views? Why not visit The White Cliffs of Dover- just 6 miles down the road.
Book before the end of May and make the most of our exclusive 10% off offer for any booking of two nights or more using code ‘365MAG’.
Where? Greensand Ridge Distillery, Shipbourne
When? Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays
Greensand Ridge Distillery are a carbon-neutral micro-distillery on a mission to develop breathtaking spirits the slow way. They are honest about what they do and how they do it whilst striving to be a positive influence on their community. Producing Gins, Fruit Brandies and Rums (an unusual set of spirits) made from surplus produce or byproducts, Greensand products echo the flavours of the Weald surrounding them.
The Distillery experience is an intimate day where you’ll enjoy a cocktail while you tour the distillery, you’ll learn about the art of distilling and the different gin botanicals and how they are combined, and then you’ll distill your own full bottle of gin on an individual copper pot still, selecting from our range of over 40 botanicals.
To find out more information about what’s involved in the course, and how to book- visit the Greensand website here.
For the group-party overnight rural retreat: May Farm
You may have heard of The Small Holding, Kilndown. It’s a farm-to-table concept eatery headed up by Chef Will Devlin and his team. Well now guests who visit TSH have the opportunity to make a weekend of it with the new stunning nearby accommodation, May Farm.
In the heart of the High Weald of Kent and only a short walk or drive from The Small Holding, May Farm offers a beautifully appointed self-catered three-bedroom barn in the blissful solitude of 40 acres of farm and woodland. May Farm is both private and spacious and has been converted into a homely and well-designed space sleeping up to six guests. Dogs and muddy boots are welcome too.
May Farm is available for whole-house hire for up to six guests, while also dining at The Small Holding. Breakfast and arrival hampers are available on request to be pre-ordered.
Weekday rate £140 (Wednesday and Thursday) / Two-night weekday rate £260 / Weekend rate £600 (Friday and Saturday) / Saturday night £300