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The Corner House, Canterbury, Kent
Chef Matt Sworder is a big deal in Kent, a county that's quickly becoming one of England's top foodie destinations. After earning his culinary stripes at Gordon Ramsay's La Noisette, Sworder opened two restaurants in his native Kent - Corner House Canterbury and Corner House Minster. The Canterbury property, set in a restored medieval pub overlooking the city walls, shows off Sworder's signature cooking style: unpretentious, local and proudly British. In a city dominated by students and tourists, the Corner House is a refreshingly grown-up yet informal restaurant that champions Kentish produce and history, from its homemade pork scratchings and local ale selection, to its four bedrooms, named after some of the famous writers who have lived in Canterbury over the centuries.
The tranquil little garden is an oasis, far from the madding summer crowds of central Canterbury.
The hotel is right in the middle of Canterbury, close to its shops and famous landmarks. You can also drive to Whitstable in 25 minutes.
By car: Canterbury is 1 hour 30 minutes from London, 1 hour 45 minutes from Brighton and 30 minutes from Dover. Guests will need to purchase a parking ticket from the hotel to park nearby.
By train: Canterbury East is a seven-minute walk from the hotel and is serviced by Southeastern trains from Dover Priory and London Victoria. Canterbury West is a 15-minute walk or eight-minute drive from the hotel. Southeastern services run from Ramsgate, Margate and London (Victoria, Bridge, St Pancras). thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Oozing history but still feeling modern, the large, half-frosted windows flood the dining room with light, blocking out the road while leaving views of the city walls. Visitors to Canterbury looking for a taste of Kentish produce and history - that's off the beaten tourist track - will love it here.
Service & Facilities
Breakfast is a highlight: a butler's tray delivered to the bedroom brimming with freshly-baked bread and pastries, homemade jam and granola, local yoghurts, fruit and juices.
- Breakfast in bed
Chaucer overlooks the garden and can function as a suite, with an open-plan sitting/dining area and a kitchen through an adjoining door. Our favourite is the Attic Room: a romantic's dream with its low beams and rolltop bath - although not for the tall or stair-averse!
Dickens, Tourtel, Attic, Chaucer, Becket
Facilities include: air conditioning, ensuite with shower, tea and coffee making facilities, dressing table, wardrobe, TV, fridge, safe, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
Sharing isn't limited to starters and puddings, there's also succulent Romney Marsh lamb and juicy short rib of beef to serve two or four guests. We also love the dessert medley of gypsy tart, lemon meringue posset, sticky banana sponge pudding and honeycomb ice cream.
The Corner House: seasonal menus, Kent produce, British and European inspired dishes. Sunday roasts. Open for dinner, Mon-Sat 5.30-9pm. Saturday lunch 12-2.30pm, Sunday lunch 12-4pm. Mains from £15.