Uber-stylish yet comfy house for a romantic getaway or family escape
When the owner of this house looked to buy a property in London years ago, she saw over 100 before choosing. But when, years later, she decided to move back to the coastal area she grew up in, she saw just one. She and her family instantly fell in love with a gorgeous old house in a pretty Kent village, and saw huge potential in the garage/workshop in its 100-ft garden. So much so they demolished it completely but for 2 walls! But those 2 walls became the building blocks for a weather-boarded little grey house that cleverly channels New England, Art Deco and boho-chic all at the same time. Parquet flooring is warmed by striped rugs; colourful Etsy cushions line an enormous sofa, and exposed stone walls and vintage bric-a-brac add wonderful character. In our houses the mix would look insane but en vogue shades of Farrow & Ball brilliantly pull it all together and the result is style personified.
For masses of space, come a deux, and revel in the romantic blush-pink bedroom with its clawfoot iron tub. If you’ve kids in tow, they’ll be enchanted by the bunk room and (hopefully) engrossed by trampoline in the shared garden, meaning you’ll have an opportunity to chill out in the hammock. Day trip to Rye and Camber Sands, walk amongst unspoilt grassland in Romney Marshes and stroll to the village pub for a drink. Time will fly.
Getting there: drive or train to to Rye or Ashford then taxi (20 mins).
The hideaway’s main USP is that most of the furniture and crockery is vintage/antique/charity shop/flea market. The owners tried to buy preloved as much as possible.
- Walk in the glorious Romney Marshes – easy strolls through pristine grasslands and willow scrub, or more serious round hikes along shingle paths out to the coast and back.
- Meander along the Royal Military Canal path, past wooded hills and quiet villages.
- Spend a day in Rye: charming cobbled streets, excellent independents and antique shops. Brunch or lunch at Whitehouse.
- Kids and dogs will love the vast emptiness of Camber Sands.
- Port Lympne is a 600-acre sanctuary for rare and endangered animals including black rhinos and giraffe; great for a family day out.
- Day trip to atmospheric Dungeness, Britain’s only desert, almost eerie in its sparse beauty. Watch the sky for hundreds of swallows, swifts and martins in the spring and autumn – this is a migration hotspot.