Superflashy newsflash! The latest Kent goss
Feast your eyes on our latest round-up of the hottest happenings - exciting summer events, foodie news and openings galore - including the venue for the first Tunbridge Wells Literary Festival this month!
BOTTOMS UP: The Queen’s got wine! Platinum Jubilee English Sparkling Wine
Celebrate the Queen’s 70 years on the throne with some official fizz from Buckingham Palace itself – in the form of a special vintage English sparkling wine for £39 a pop. And word has reached our shell-like that the English sparkling wine chosen for this special occasion is from Kent’s very own Gusbourne estate. The new Royal Collection tipple, which has just been launched, is a classic bend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier made exclusively from fruit, grown and hand-picked in their Kent vineyard! Buy one now from the Royal Collection Shop.
IT’S BACK: Folkestone Harbour Arm, Open Now
Spring has truly arrived now Folkestone Harbour Arm is back open – this quirky, fun, foodie gem sits right on the beach which boasts of sea views-a-plenty and is bursting with indie eateries. It will be open 7 days a week until the end of the Easter Holidays on Mon 18 April, the perfect chance to plan your trip! The Goods Yard is back open with 3 brand new traders and watch out for their exciting, one-off events which will be announced soon! Not forgetting The Harbour Screen which will be playing the sports all summer long including a cinema programme that will be entirely free plus Folkestone Marketplace is open once again so you can shop until your heart’s content!
WATCH OUT: The Amelia, Tunbridge Wells, Opening 28 April
Cultural hot spot The Amelia (named after the social reformer and campaigner for women’s suffrage, Amelia Scott) will be opening on Thurs 28 April in the centre of Tunbridge Wells after its £20 million development. It will be a ground-breaking cultural and community space, housing a museum, contemporary art space, library with the Tourist Information Centre, Adult Education and frontline Council services, all in one new integrated venue. Plus it’ll be host to lots of events throughout the year from touring exhibitions and the Tunbridge Wells Literary Festival. We’re particularly excited about the ‘After Dark At The Amelia’ events!
FAMILY FUN: Weald of Kent Country Craft Show, Penshurst Place, Sat 30 April – Mon 2 May
The perfect family day out! Weald of Kent Country Craft Show returns to Penshurst Place for a weekend of great shopping, delicious food and family fun this April! With over 150 independent stall holders, explore marquees and outdoor markets bursting with beautiful handmade jewellery, homewares, clothing and much more! Plus enjoy delicious gourmet street food and drinks whilst soaking up the stunning surroundings and atmosphere.
There’s also loads of enjoyable activities and entertainment for all the family. Classic children’s fairground rides, live musicians, interactive craft workshops, falconry displays, laser clay pigeon shooting and even axe throwing! Have we mentioned kids go FREE, there’s free parking and its dog-friendly?
GIN LOVERS: Kent Gin Fest, Tonbridge Castle, 23 – 24 July
Now in its fifth year, this gin festival is travelling to Tonbridge Castle for a full weekend of gin, music, food and summer sun! This unique summer event will have over 100 craft gins including a ‘Gins of the World zone’, local craft beers, fizz and even a Pimm’s bar. Not forgetting delicious hot and cold artisan food and live entertainment all day. Summer fun sorted!
BE THE FIRST: F51 Folkestone, Open Now
Say hello the world’s first purpose-built multi-storey skatepark, costing over £17 million to build, the construction has been going on for over 4 years and now the doors are open! Go explore and enjoy skateboarding, BMX, climbing, bouldering, boxing and more.
WATCH THIS SPACE: Hemingway’s, Margate, Spring 2022
From the founders of Wildes, meet Hemingways! A brand new brasserie, bar, deli and bottle shop, all rolled into one on the corner of Margate’s historic Old Town. Think classic styling, cosy corners, sun-drenched terrace, concept cocktails, local produce, fine wines and a curated season kitchen! We can’t wait!
KIDS: Bubba & Me, Tunbridge Wells, April 2022
Have you heard of Bubba & Me yet? Well where have you been? Bubba & Me is a gorgeous online boutique helping style-conscious parents navigate their way through pregnancy and the early years of their child’s life with a beautiful selection of products covering; interiors, fashion, clothing, toys and playtime, mealtimes, pregnancy, self-care, nighttime and more!
Coming very soon to Tunbridge Wells (next door to Wagamama) is their flagship store where you’ll be able to shop their products but also join pregnancy, parenting and baby classes as it becomes a parenting community hub with a dedicated programme of events and workshops. We’re excited!
SHOP: Spring Fair at Water Lane, Hawkhurst, Sat 30 April
Enjoy a day out at the beautiful Water Lane, the restored walled garden in Hawkhurst. Their Spring Fair will have great shopping with stalls from local creatives and makers, plants to choose from the Hairy Pot Cos and you can even stay to enjoy yummy food – take it away to have as a picnic or eat in the Carnation House. The Pelargonium House will also be set-up for clay crafts and ceramics workshops and The Pole Barn will host activities such as Flower Crown Making led by floral stylist Graeme Corbett from Bloom & Burn.
Stall holders will include Flavell Trading’s wooden stools, boards, and utensils; Juniper & Bliss’ naturally dyed clothing and homewares; Sally Hampson’s woollen blankets, shawls and scarves; Janie Kidston ceramic bowls and plates; Kate Monckton Ceramics; Rae Lifestyle from Rye and curated finds by Norse Vintage from visits to French Brocantes. Bunches of spring flowers from the Water Lane cutting garden, potted plants, a new range of garden accessories from Japanese inspired brand Niwaki. Open 10am – 4:30pm on Sat 30 April (£5 per car or free if you walk or cycle) – see you there!
GO SEE: Boys Hall, Ashford, Aug 2022
Swishy interiors alert! Boys Hall in Ashford is undergoing a gorgeous restoration which will open its doors in August 2022. The Jacobean mansion with consist of 10 ensuite bedrooms, reception rooms and private dining halls including a 70-cover restaurant with oak beams, two terraces along with a pub. Sitting on three acres of grounds, it’ll also be home to a rose garden, bee hives which will provide honey for the hotel, an orchard and a kitchen garden! Impressed much? We’ll take a room with a roll top bath tub please – get a sneak peek from their Instagram here!
FOOD: City Feast, Canterbury, Thurs 2 – Sun 5 June 2022
You’ll want to pop this one in your diary… City Feast will reappear in Dane John Gardens in Canterbury for 4 days of epic street food – we hear it’s to be some of the best Kent has to offer! Expect an ensemble of the most diverse and exciting culinary offerings and expertly crafted drinks. Free to enter, bring your friends or family, eat some delicious food and enjoy the sunshine.
WELLNESS: SPN Retreats, 2022
Travel is back baby! New for 2022, cool wellness studio SPN is launching SPN Retreats with Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH). They have curated a unique collection of retreats in some of the world’s most iconic and spiritual destinations that will ensure you make memories that will last a lifetime – travel alone or bring your partner or friends with you! Their next retreat will be held in Mallorca, Spain on June 27 – July 1. Expect to hike the Tramuntana Mountains, take part in paddle board yoga, daily pilates, enjoy a catamaran and snorkelling trip, coasteering adventure and a historical trip to Palma whilst staying in a luxurious 5 star accommodation (pictured) – explore all the trips here! They’re selling out already so you were warned.