A weekend away at The Restoratory with friends was exactly what I needed for relaxation and rejuvenation.   Coming down from London, we were on what felt like our own private beach in less than two hours – minus the hassle of airports and security queues. The main Tudor house provided a beautiful backdrop, but having our own separate drive gave us the privacy and seclusion we craved.  The photos on Unique Homestays didn’t do justice to the amazing location - right on the beach, with huge open skies, and views over the bay to Ramsgate.  Grabbing the keys from the key safe, we were greeted by a wonderful hamper of local Kentish products: Whitstable Pickle, Kent crisps, local honey, marmalade, and chocolates.


The house is beautifully decorated, with amazing attention to detail - I loved the retro light fittings.  The kitchen had beautiful tiles, and open shelves with everything we could possibly need, and the bathroom was replete with Neal’s Yard products.


The house is perfectly set up for relaxation: a massive roll top bath; an extensive collection of DVDs available in the playroom; throws to snuggle up with on the sofa enjoying our hamper of goodies; a well-curated selection of coffee table books; and an ice bucket for emergency wine chilling – it turns out that the hamper came stocked with sparkling wine!


Picture-perfect Sandwich is just down the road, and ideal for breakfast – I recommend fresh croissants and coffee from the No Name Deli.  Sandwich is the oldest of the Cinque Ports, and is really unspoiled.  It’s lovely just wandering around the main street – The Strand -  apparently has more medieval and Tudor buildings than any other street in England.  However, I’d recommend getting the boat that goes up the river to see the Roman forts and a surprising number of seals! We went on a lovely walk down the beach to Deal for lunch on the pier with views back to the town.  Deal itself is bigger than Sandwich, but also lovely and a welcome change of pace from London.


I meant to do much more during my stay: one of my closest friends has been raving to me about the Turner Contemporary in Margate; and Dreamland in Margate has recently re-opened – I have fond memories from my childhood days! However to be honest I loved the house and the beach so much I couldn’t bring myself to leave, and my friends and I passed a weekend curled up reading books, watching DVDs, swimming in the sea (I was dared to – it’s pretty cold!) and walking on the beach.

After such a wonderful long weekend I was really sad to leave. However, as Sandwich Bay is so easy to get to from London - I’ve already booked in my next stay!