A Weekend in Sandwich

Last year I was racking my brains wondering what to get my partner for Christmas, what do you buy a man who already has everything? So instead of buying him some sort of object, I thought what about a weekend away? But where? And then it came to me… We both love watching a bit of Gogglebox on a Friday night, so why not a weekend at ‘The Salutation’ in Kent, also known as the humble abode of Steph and Dom!

Booking was easy, I picked a weekend and within a few minutes it was all confirmed. You have the choice of staying in the main house in one of the suites, or in the outer buildings. All the rooms are beautiful, but we chose the main house to get the full experience.

Sandwich itself is located close to the eastern coast of Kent, around 14 miles from the beautiful city of Canterbury. This picturesque town looks like it has come straight out of a period drama, with winding, narrow lanes and rickety old buildings, it is a delight to visit.

What’s even better about this historic settlement, is that it doesn’t seem to get overrun with tourists. We visited on a weekend in May and it was relatively quiet, as soon we stepped into the hidden back streets, there was no one around!

The Salutation itself was easy to find, located in the centre of town it is ideally placed. As you drive in you are greeted by the grand main house, with a large pebbled drive, it was easy to find a space to park. The one downside is that it was hard to get a good photo of the front façade due to the parked cars. Once in the front door, we were greeted by a young girl who was happy to see us, she checked us in, gave us a key, and showed us to our room.

We enjoyed dinner at the Bell Hotel, a short stroll from the Salutation and on the quayside. The Bell offers light bites as well as an evening a la carte menu, providing fresh Kentish ingredients.

After dinner we made our way back to the B&B, upon arrival we noticed a merrier atmosphere than when we left, but this seemed fitting to the two owners. We enjoyed some time in our room before getting an early night, there was a bit of noise from downstairs but we did expect this seeing as Steph and Dom are known for their alcoholic tastes, that being said, everything was quiet before midnight.

The bed was comfortable and the bathroom luxurious, unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to enjoy the bath! Sleep quality was excellent, however if you are used to a King bed rather than a double, you may want to opt for one of the larger suites.

We were shown around and told the tea and spirits were complimentary (bonus!). Our room was the Farrer Suite, this was spacious with a living area, bathroom with a full sized bath, and a cute bedroom with a double bed and dressing table.

We left our things in our room and went straight out to explore. We walked down Upper Strand Street and reached the centre of town within minutes. Sandwich is a medieval town and signs of this can be seen everywhere you look, the town itself contains the highest number of listed buildings per head of population in the country. This was the first town in Britain to have a preservation order put on the whole town. The street plan itself still follows that which is recorded at the time of Domesday in 1086, with some houses and churches still standing from the 13th Century.

The next morning, one of the niggles we did have was the breakfast service. Whilst breakfast was delicious and cooked to order, the service was very slow and we had to wait a fair while before our food arrived. We checked out in the morning and this was even quicker than checking in!

Before we left we took some time to wander around the beautifully landscaped gardens on the grounds.

In total the gardens span 3.5 acres, pretty impressive for a house so close to the centre of town. After years of neglect, these gardens have been nurtured into a blooming flurry of fauna and flora. The gardens were re-opened in 2007 to the public, and after flooding once again in 2013, the grounds are back to their marvellous state.

Unfortunately by lunch time it was time to leave, we took it upon ourselves to stop off at Bluewater shopping centre on the way home though!