Biddenden Vineyards, Kent - Image credit: Devashree Sanghvi
Studded with lush countryside greenery, rolling hills, beautiful towns, exquisite vineyards and delicious food, Kent is the oldest county in England and is just a few hours from London.
I embarked on an incredible food and wine tour of South East England with VisitBritain in September 2019 and Kent was one of the finest regions we explored. It has been aptly called as the ‘Garden of England’.
Here is a 2 day Wine, Food and Travel Guide Through Kent :
Day 1 :
Hop onto a fun food, wine and cheese-tasting tour with English Wine Tasting tours based in London which will help you gain insight into the blossoming British Wine Industry.
English wine Tasting Tours at silcocks Farm, Kent - Image credit: Devashree Sanghvi
Chapel Down - Image Credit: Devashree Sanghvi
Make a trip to Chapel Down, one of the most well know vineyards in the UK. Here with English Wine a Tasting tours and with their wine expert you can walk through the beautiful vineyard, learn about the variety of grapes grown, the wine making + storing process followed by an intriguing wine tasting session of their sparkling and still wines.
Pair some of your favourite Chapel Down wines with delicious food at The Swan Kitchen Restaurant where fresh, local food meets an elegant ambience surrounded by the lush green vineyard.
Next visit the gorgeous, family run Silcocks Farm you can see and learn about the local cheese making process and sample some incredible local cheese. Silcocks farm with its delicious, fresh organic produce and a quaint garden café is a must visit.
Next head to Biddenden Vineyards, located outside of the lovely, historic town of Biddenden. This family owned British vineyard is spread across 23 acres of gorgeous slopes and is famous for the Ortega, used to produce a delicious fruity white wine. One of the regions oldest wine makers, their wines, ciders and apple juice made with fresh Kentish apples are a delight to savour. Embark on an interesting wine tour of these vineyards and learn about the 11 grape varieties grown here followed by an exquisite wine tasting session.
Leeds Castle, Kent - Image credit: Devashree Sanghvi
Coming to the most exciting part of your journey through Kent, arrive at the majestic, 900-year-old Leeds Castle that will be your abode for the next two nights.
Surrounded by lush green lands, reflecting beautifully on its waters this incredible castle is bathed in rich architecture, impressive history, and just immense beauty.
Start off with a guided tour of the castle, exploring some of its many incredible halls, rooms, and libraries filled with plush upholstery, intricately carved walls, and lots of stories that will transport you to the Tudor era.
Leeds Castle, Kent - Image credit: Devashree Sanghvi
You can spend your time with activities like walking through the maze, punting on the lake, grotto, adventure golf falconry experience, and Segway rides through the spectacular scenery. Just sitting by the crystal clear waters, watching the black swans glide gently over the reflection of the incredible 900-year-old castle feels enchanting.
You can stay at their iconic holiday cottages surrounded by beautiful gardens and lake views and enjoy a delicious meal at Castle view restaurant famous for its stellar location and divine food.
DAY 2 :
Whistable, Kent - Image credit: Devashree Sanghvi
Kick off the next day with a visit to the charming seaside town of Whitstable. Also known as the Pearl of Kent this quaint and beautiful town is an absolute must visit with its gorgeous cobbled streets, crystal clear waters, cute beaches, fascinating local shops and of course its exquisite, fresh seafood. The Oysters here are popular all over the world and are a must try in Whitstable.
Macknade, Kent - Image credit: Devashree Sanghvi
Next, visit Macknade, a true foodie heaven. One of the UK’s largest independent food halls and markets that is over a century old, Macknade has a huge variety of fresh local produce, cheese, jams, breads, bakery items and lots more. They also have a bustling café where you can devour a delectable meal made with incredible local produce.
Take a trip to the gorgeous, medieval city of Canterbury, famous for its cathedral that will enchant you with its Gothic and Romanesque architecture, stained glass windows and intricately carved stone façade. A UNESCO world heritage site, this city is best explored on foot and you can experience its various museums, cafes and parks.
Fordwich Arms Pub and Restaurant, Kent - Image credit: Devashree Sanghvi
After a day well spent, drive to the magnificent Fordwich Arms, a Michelin star restaurant located in Fordwich, the smallest town in England. It’s eye-catching red stone façade, elegant interiors and delicious food make for a wonderful dining experience. Chef-patron Daniel Smith is a young culinary genius who incorporates rich, fresh local produce into an impeccable menu with top of the line presentation and taste.
After a scrumptious meal, drive back to Leeds Castle for a good nights rest.
You can go back to London or continue exploring the beautiful South East England region. For a detailed Food, Wine and Travel Guide through South East England (Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey) click here.
Blog contributed by By Devashree Sanghvi, Thecrazyindianfoodie