The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Kent Edition

Category: Travel

Alex Brown: My Favourite Places

14 May 2016

Alex Brown is the bestselling author of five books and launched her career with the hugely popular Carrington’s series set in a seaside town department store. She now writes warm, witty and heartfelt novels centred on the cosy community spirit of village life. Alex lives in a rural village on the Kent and Sussex border, with her husband, daughter and a very shiny black Labrador. Read on to find out which bits of the Kent countryside inspire her stories…

Black timber-framed buildings on Canterbury High Street

I love everything about the county of Kent, in fact it’s the inspiration for the fictional village of Tindledale where all my books are set, detailing the gorgeous little villages with their high streets of black timber-framed, white wattle-walled shops with mullioned windows, surrounded by lush, undulating fields full of hops, hay, lambs, cows, strawberries, buttercups and delicate pink cherry blossom that swirls all around like confetti in a breeze.

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Muddy Gets Creative: with Annie Sloan Workshop

2 May 2016

It is just possible that you, like me, love the idea of upcycling but are put off by all that faff. (D.I.Y? *yawn*). There are several old pieces in my house that could do with a facelift (I heard that! No I’m not talking about me…) but, at the same time, the idea of sanding and priming wood is about as appealing as de-nitting the dog.

Which is why I was excited to hear that Dovetails Vintage in Sevenoaks does one of the best Annie Sloan chalk paint workshops in the South East, if not the UK peeps! 

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Wouldn’t you though?

30 Apr 2016

*Snort*. Where am I? Oh, my apologies, you woke me up. This is what happens when you stretch out on the world’s sexiest beach towel – it transported me to the Ibiza sunshine, where I was having a Sea Breeze cocktail under sail… Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?

*Sigh*. If for you, like me, the St Tropez beach scene isn’t happening anytime soon, you’ll be glad to know the aptly named Dreamers tasselled towel also comes in mighty useful in the back garden, out on picnics or even at festivals.

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Muddy Tries: Food foraging and Wine day

1 Apr 2016

I have discovered a new passion. Foraging. And no, I’m not referring to my rummaging around the back of the kitchen cupboards for some out-of-date pistachios to accompany an early evening G & T. I’m talking wild foraging – the search for foliage, flowers, fruit and fungi out there in its natural habitat. I know, it comes as even more of a surprise to me than you. I’m the person who made their seven-year-old son wear marigolds to clear up the apples that had fallen on the orchard floor surrounding our house because, you know, they were a *tad* mouldy.

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Muddy day trip: taking the treasure trail

31 Mar 2016

Kids are arguing over the Xbox controller. Already? Aaaargh!! Do not despair. I’ve just found something totally cool and different to do with the Mini Muddies in the hols and it’s so cheap it’s almost free. It not only gets you out and about but allows you to explore some of our great county’s wonderful towns in a really fun way. It’s self-guided themed Treasure Trails and it screams ‘holiday saviour’ if not for this Easter, then definitely one to keep up your sleeve for the epic summer holiday break *hyperventilates*.

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Fancy a Spring fling with Tom Hiddleston in Mallorca?!

25 Mar 2016

It was bound to happen. We could never keep Tom or his filming locations to ourselves I suppose. Humph. At a cost of £3 million per episode BBC1’s espionage thriller The Night Manager (final episode on Easter Sunday!) certainly flits around some stunning locations: Mallorca, Marrakech, Madrid, Monaco, Zermatt, and uh, Devon… oh don’t you start, I know it’s very pretty!

Prestige Holidays is one of the first travel companies to pick up on the stunning places featured on the island of Mallorca where a lot of the pivotal scenes were filmed, and realise we’d all want a piece of the action.

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Win a luxury £1000 spa escape!

17 Mar 2016

In I float, a vision of loveliness, wearing my flounciest, bouffiest sparkly fairy dress, waving my magic wand – brrrrrrriiing! –  giving you the chance to win the kind of prize I’d sell Prince Charming for.

Stoke Park is the hotel where Bridget Jones romped on the four poster with Daniel Carver; where Daniel Craig acted his ears off in Layercake; where James Bond played golf in Goldfinger.

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Top 5 Rough Luxe holidays

5 Feb 2016

Maybe you were like me, back in your *sigh* early twenties (pre-kids, pre-mortgage), and were lucky enough to do a bit of travelling. At that time the tourism industry was much more sharply divided into two categories – the independent travellers (backpacks and a devil-may-care attitude) or package holiday goers (itinerary sorted for you and everything pre-paid). Us independent travellers could imagine nothing worse than being told where to go and what to do (especially since that ‘what to do’ might involve dressing up for a round-the-pool theme night).

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Kent Edition