Brilliant little boltholes
February 02, 2021
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WORDS BY SOPHIE CULLEN

Over to Sophie Cullen, Beauty & Fashion editor…

February, a time for new beginnings. Although we may not be able to travel where we like currently, we soon will be and there’s nothing more important than having things to look forward to. My job is super demanding so, when I’m not writing, meeting PR’s and discovering the latest products, I’m planning my gorgeous beauty festival which is a one stop event for all things Bridal Beauty. It's fair to say I’m a little busy and really look forward to trips away.

I’ve curated an edit of the best staycation bolt holes that you need to visit in the South-East of England. The best bit? They're all under two hours from London. So buckle up and get ready to cruise down the A2 when we get the go ahead.

Willow & The Wisp Cabin, Bewl Water, Kent

Bordering Kent and East Sussex - this little cabin nestled in the woods is perfect for anyone wanting to completely switch off and unwind. Enjoy long walks around the gorgeous Bewl Water and, if you dare, try walking the full 12.5 miles. There's bikes to hire and pubs to rest your weary limbs on the way round. Or, perhaps you fancy a little drive to the nearby farm shop to stock up on freshly squeezed apple juice or home made bread which we can assure you tastes absolutely delicious. Perhaps you want an evening around the fire pit or to relax in the Swedish hot tub? Either way, you will come home feeling refreshed and restored.

Cabu by Sea, St Mary’s Bay

Situated on the Kent coast, this 10-acre gated community of eco-conscious cabins built along the sea has everything you need for the perfect getaway. Hidden in the gem of Romney Marsh (literally hidden) – there’s no signage, so you’re advised to look out for the black fences to mark out your destination, which is where your very handy car sat nav comes into play. From the minute you arrive, it's like you've entered another world. Your first point of call when you get there is the central hub - which is where you'll find reception and also where you can buy charcuterie; local cheeses; fresh fruit and vegetables; meat and fish for the communal ‘Sitooterie’ BBQ facilities and a whole host of other groceries, from the essential (coffee and bread) to the sublime (Aperol and organic ice cream). Complete with a communal heated pool, or perhaps you prefer your own in-cabin hot tub, the choice is yours. The cabins themselves are beautifully decorated and feature all your home comforts - these really are such brilliant little homes.

The Pig at Bridge Place, Bridge, Kent

The latest edition to the Pig Group has transformed a struggling country estate into an exceptional escape. It lies in the village of Bridge, just three miles south of Canterbury. The hotel features a collection of rooms and a two-storey suite has been made from the old stables and two family “lodges’ - so take your pick when booking your room. Make sure you check out the small, intimate sitting rooms that are hidden on various landings, a real treat for all and come complete with roaring fires. Sit back and enjoy a warm mulled wine or two. Like all the Pig Hotels, the ethos is all about the food. Everything is sourced within a 25-mile radius. Much is taken straight from the heaving garden outside and served up in some of the dishes. Our fave? Romney Marsh Lamb with all the trimmings washed down with a glass of bubbly which came from the vineyard down the road.

Leeds Castle, Kent

Now common, who doesn’t want to stay in a castle after watching I’m A Celeb this year? This quaint castle dates back 900 years and is oozing in history, romance and intrigue. There are self-catering cottages and medieval glamping tents, plus 22 elegant b&b rooms to choose from. Once checked in it’s time to get exploring. Choose from history tours, exhibition centres, falconry centre, mazes, grotto's and even a Go Ape tree-top adventure course to get stuck in with. If you prefer a more active holiday - this one’s for you. After a busy day, dress up for dinner in the 17th Century oak-beamed and timber framed castle restaurant and you’ll be pleased to know there’s no bush tucker trials on the menu. It delivers well-executed contemporary British cuisine, with plenty of local produce, such as Sussex rump steak and succulent pork belly with olive oil mash, buttered greens and rhubarb chutney. Breakfast is a good buffet plus a wide choice of cooked options, from full English and breakfast sandwiches to Scotch pancakes and smoked salmon scrambled eggs.

Although we may not be able to head to any of the above JUST yet, we are still open. So if you need a car, head here and if you need a little more Inspiration, head on over to our Instagram and give us a follow.