TheGayUK – May 27th 2015

If you’re looking for an excuse to escape London and see the sea, sand and scenery, then head to Kent! Here you’ll find the beautiful seaside town of Whitstable, famed for its oysters and only a short drive down the coast, you’ll find the up and coming art scene of Margate.

★★★★

While in Whitstable, why not stay in a retreat of absolute relaxation and solitude, the Crescent Turner boutique hotel. This hotel is perched at the top of Wraik Hill, with views over Whitstable town and out to sea, encompassing the famed oyster beds and only a 10 minute drive from Canterbury. The 18 bedroom boutique property, also boasts a seaside staple and an iconic Whitstable Beach Hut the ‘Sundowner’, complete with kitchen, BBQ, chandelier and 3 canoes for guests for daily exclusive use, and also a chef to cook for you for the day too.The hotel’s bedrooms are all individually designed, with luscious soft furnishings, and details such as exposed brick and nooks to while away the hours reading and relaxing. Designed with distinct headboards, each covered in a different fabric to create layers of interest. Each room also features ornate mirrors and eclectic furnishings to complete the boutique aesthetic.

The food is exquisite thanks to new Head Chef Mark Kember, a Whitstable local who has developed a menu of classic British fayre such as fillet of beef, potato fondant, smoked garlic and mushroom purée, sea-bass, sweet potato hash brown and kale and rich desserts such as dark chocolate torte, berry soup and raspberry sorbet. Afternoon tea is made from scratch (apart from the clotted cream) where the strawberry, raspberry and fruit jams are made from local berries and the scones, and cakes including sticky toffee sponge and carrot cake and sandwiches made on site.
All produce is sourced locally as much as possible, supporting local Whitstable suppliers Salvatori, Whetwhelks and Chapmans who all help to ensure a local flavour. A trip to Whitstable would be incomplete without sampling the Rock Oysters, which are available in the hotel from just £1.40, (for one) to as many as you can fit. Eaten plain or with a chilli and mango salsa, they have been paired by the GM come Sommelier Toni with Chenin Blanc, Riesling or Grillo, or Champagne. If staying in Whitstable you can sample the famed Oysters of Whitstable, which have been a delicacy for over 2000 years, when the Romans discovered them and shipped the delicacy across Europe back to Rome.

There is no doubt that Whitstable is the family-orientated and fashionable seaside town, famous for its beach huts, Oyster Festival and quaint harbour. There is an eclectic and quirky mix of independent boutique shops and galleries, Whitstable Castle and an increasingly popular arts festival,the Whitstable Biennale. However if you’re looking for something a bit livelier, Canterbury is only a 10 minute drive away and also accessible by bus.

Visit Whitstable Castle, which also has a lovely Tearoom and a pirate inspired wooden playground for the kids and beautiful gardens. Jojo’s Tankerton, just a few minutes on from Whitstable and Tankerton Slopes is JoJos right on the beach with views of the sea which has a coffee shop and lunch & dinner menu with meze and Mediterranean salads, fish and meat. There’s also Crab & Winkle Way, which is a lovely countryside cycle route all the way to Canterbury.

For more details: The Crescent Turner Hotel, Wraik Hill, Whitstable Kent, CT5 3BY
Classic Double’s B&B from £110 per night for two
Suites B&B from £145 per night for two
Exclusive rental of the Whitstable Beach Hut from £150
Reservations: info@crescentturner.co.uk or 01227 263 506
www.bespokehotels.com/crescentturnerhotel

Only a little bit further down the coast, you’ll find the Crescent Victoria in Margate. The sister hotel to the Crescent Turner, this 14-bedroom boutique escape by the sea, is a hop, skip and a jump from the Turner Contemporary Gallery. The Crescent Victoria and Crescent Turner are the first 2 hotels in the Crescent Groups portfolio.

Only a little bit further down the coast, you’ll find the Crescent Victoria in Margate. The sister hotel to the Crescent Turner, this 14-bedroom boutique escape by the sea, is a hop, skip and a jump from the Turner Contemporary Gallery. The Crescent Victoria and Crescent Turner are the first 2 hotels in the Crescent Groups portfolio.
The Victoria Margate offers individually designed bedrooms and a plethora of opportunities for convivial eating and drink, the Hotel boasts a restaurant, bar and courtyard lounge area and an enviable location for exploring a quintessential English resort.Victoria Margate embodies the changing face of this historic seaside resort. It is home to artists, galleries and vintage shops peppered along cobbled streets overlooking the beach with fishing boats lining the shore. General Manager Mat Pugsley said “The Victoria Margate aims to be a sanctuary by the sea. Celebrating the great British coast and offering a modern take on seaside heritage.”

The restaurant with attached courtyard, will serve delectable food throughout the day with afternoon teas being a highlight with everything from the jam to the petit fours made from scratch. The chefs will seek out the freshest local produce from suppliers he has worked with for many years; they’ll be found wandering down from the hotel to Mannings daily on the seafront to find out what the catch of the day is.

Margate has been a popular seaside haven for over 250 years, drawing busy Londoners to its peaceful Victorian winter gardens and the restorative sea air of its beaches. The hometown of Tracey Emin, its recent regeneration has firmly established its place on the British art map. The town’s new Turner Gallery – just a stone’s throw from the hotel – celebrates British artist J M W Turner, who described the skies around Margate as the loveliest in all Europe. In neighbouring Broadstairs, you’ll find Bleak House, Charles Dickens’ summer home, on the clifftop of a pretty old smuggling town.

For more details: The Crescent Victoria Margate, 25 – 26 Fort Crescent, Margate, Kent, CT9 1HX
Classic Double B&B from £100 per night for two
Reservations: reservations.victoria@bespokehotels.com or 01843 230 375
Website: www.bespokehotels.com/crescentvictoriahotel

Read the article on TheGayUK site here.

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