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More gossip than even your granny can dish. From new openings to the latest events here there and everywhere.

KIDS AHOY: Bewl Water Aqua Park, Opening May 2019

Excitng News! Bewl Water has announced the plans for a brand new Aqua Park which will be open from May 2019. The 3000sq meters of floating inflatable fun will consist of two trampolines, monkey bars, flippers, slides, hurdles, springboards, overhang climbing frame, giant iceberg… you get the idea. Kids must be aged eight + and be more than 1.2 metres tall (3.9 feet). There will also be special sessions for six and seven-year-olds. Youngsters aged from eight to 15 must have a responsible adult on the shore for the duration of the session. There’s also plenty of food and drink options courtesy of the Waterfront Café and Boat House Bistro on the water’s edge. Adjust swimsuit and summer-time fun, here we come.

NEW OPENING: Pig Hotel, Bridge, Canterbury, Book Now

Need a country escape? I’ve got you covered! No doubt you’ve heard of the group of rural-themed, shabby-chic The Pig hotels which, starting with the New Forest venue, have launched a select string of stylish restaurants with rooms. (There’s even a cool food and music festival associated with it too – Smoked & Uncut dontcha know). Well now finally the long-awaited Kent Pig Hotel is opening on 13 May 2019, (only 56 minutes from Central London! Hurrah!) Previously a secluded country club, Bridge Place was renowned for parties and gigs, playing host to the likes of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd in the 70’s. The restored house and buildings will host 29 rooms and some ‘hop pickers huts’ overlooking the water meadows which sit on stilts – perfect for a romantic retreat away. Book to stay now!

GIN FIRST: Chapel Down Launches New Pinot Noir Gin, Mon 11 March

Not so long ago Kent-based winery Chapel Down launched its own line of gin and vodka made from grapes, as part of a growing trend across the English wine industry and now they have an exciting new edition! Introducing Chapel Down Pinot Noir Gin, believed to be the first gin made from pinot noir grapes. The first of its kind, created using distilled Pinot Noir grape skins from the Chapel Down harvest, if this beauty tastes half as good as it looks we’re in for a treat. This unique gin is infused with juniper, coriander, dried red berries, rose buds, citrus fruits, rosehip, angelica and grains of paradise. The result is an aromatic pink gin with delicate aromas of red berries. Chapel Down Pinot Noir Gin (RRP £35.00 70ml) is now available for an exclusive launch period in Selfridges and direct from Chapel Down at

MOTHER’S DAY INSPO: Raspberry Room, Brasted, Sun 31 March

If you haven’t heard of Raspberry Room yet, let me tell you babycakes, you’re in for a treat! This gorgeous new tea room is bringing a bit of glamour, a splash of colour and a taste-buds treat to the ‘burbs – well the village of Brasted, near Sevenoaks, to be precise. Take your mum, or drag your little ones to treat you to their mother’s day treat for afternoon tea.

WOODLAND SUPPER CLUB: The Pork House Pit, Woodchurch, Sat 30 March

Photography by Mollie Manning.

In Etchingham on the border of Kent and East Sussex, an atmospheric woodland awaits you for a wild feast. You’ll be welcomed with canapés and drinks on arrival before sitting down for a three-course seasonal feast. The menu is unconfirmed but you can expect smokehouse ‘low n slow’ style of food with a pinch of fine dining thrown in with fresh seasonal vegetables and a treat for dessert. Sign me up! Don’t forget to BYO bottle. 

INTERIORS LOVE: House by Flower & Glory, Open Now

You may already know about the florist Flower & Glory in Sevenoaks – Deborah has such a good rep for her stunning designs. But she’s also always had a great eye for interiors which is why she opened up a sister shop specialising in furnishings (also available online!) called House by Flower & Glory. Well it’s now moved opposite the Florist shop in the heart of Sevenoaks so conveniently both stores sit opposite one another. The store is filled with furniture, mirrors, home accessories and lifestyle products that you won’t find on the high street. Buy a bunch of your favourites then pop across the street for a stonkingly gorgeous vase to display them in. 

TREAT YOURSELF: Luxury Pamper Day with Hoopers & The Ivy Royal Tunbridge Wells, Book Now

Enjoy a pampering day out in Royal Tunbridge Wells, including a 2-hour personal shopping appointment with one of Hoopers expert stylists, a luxury ‘in salon’ hair treatment and blow dry and Champagne afternoon tea at The Ivy Royal Tunbridge Wells! Fancy! This exclusive package is available every week, from Monday to Friday, and is the perfect gift for your loved ones (or for yourself!) Available now priced at £60* per person.

HELLO SPRING: Dazzling Daffodils, Hever Castle, 20 – 24 March

As part of the second Dazzling Daffodils event, the gates to Park Wood, part of the Hever Castle estate will be open for visitors for the first time. The event will also see tours of the Hever daffodils, including Anne Boleyn’s spectacular Orchard which are some of the oldest on the estate. Visitors to Dazzling Daffodils will be given a tour of the grounds, including the Orchard, by bulb legend Johnny Walkers and Hever’s head gardener Neil Miller. The 23 and 24 March will be dedicated to daffodils too with tours provided by Hever’s gardeners and a children’s craft workshop. The gates to Park Wood will remain open throughout the Dazzling Daffodils events and Hever plans to keep them open until the bluebells.

SIGN UP! Run or Dye, Penshurst Place, Sun 30 Jun

Perhaps the most colourful and actually fun 5k run in the world! Run or Dye is absolutely for everyone, no matter your running experience, age or speed. Wear as much white clothing as possible to become your very own painted canvas, or go crazy and wear those neon leg warmers and that old wedding dress, the weirder the better! And as you make your way around the course, look out for the ‘Colour Crew’ who will splatter you with a myriad of coloured paints and sprays, you’ll finish looking like you’ve just wrestled a rainbow and lost! There is also the chance to run a 3.5k and a mini runners 1k dash.

FREE TICKETS: Kent Big Weekend, 6 & 7 April

Wingham Wildlife Park

Kent Big Weekend is back! 130 Kent attractions will open their doors for FREE to thousands of lucky Kent residents. This celebration of tourism, run by Visit Kent, is aimed entirely at Kent residents, inviting them to celebrate the best attractions and activities that Kent has to offer. For one weekend during England’s Tourism Week 2019, Kent residents will have the chance to enjoy a FREE FAMILY day out in the county at venues such as Muddy favourites Leeds Castle, Hever Castle, Wildwood Trust, Betteshanger Country Park, The Historic Dockyard Chatham and Wingham Wildlife Park. Families across Kent can apply for as many tickets as they like in the ballot to win tickets – but be quick – ballot closes 17th March 2019!

WIN A CASTLE! Competition and property tours (yes, really!)The iconic Hadlow Tower, near Tonbridge, is being given away in a raffle-style prize competition. Yup, you read that right. The current owners, Becca and Christian Tym, are selling their stunning, high-spec, refurbished home through a prize competition, giving away two night breaks to lucky winners every week and raising loads of money for charity in the process! Now the tower could be yours, for as little as a few quid – the price of one entry ticket (from £10 – for a chance to win click here). Wanna see the goods? ‘Course you do! Here’s a house viewing with a difference – the beautifully restored Hadlow Tower will be open to the public for 28 days, starting this March, by way of pre-booked guided tours. The castle will be open for tours most Thursdays from 14 March – dates & prices are available here:

AFTERNOON TEA: SEVENTEEN, One Warwick Place, Tunbridge Wells, Book Now

PICTURED: January’s Alice in Wonderland’s theme at SEVENTEEN, One Warwick Park.

With an Alice and Wonderland theme in January, and Charlie and the Chocolate in February, this bar/restaurant will be doing a Spring theme especially for March. The themed afternoon tea is becoming such a popular highlight at One Warwick Park. So take your girls out to SEVENTEEN for an afternoon of cocktails and quirky sweet treats!

KIDS: Minevention at Dreamland Margate, Margate, Sat 9 – Sun 10 March

Minecraft maniacs and Fortnite fans assemble! MineVention is coming to Dreamland with a packed programme of demos, tournaments, talks and even a Guinness World Record attempt for Minecraft lovers big and small. Some of the activities include: build battles, Q&A sessions, tournaments, educational talks, arts and crafts session, costume contests and on-stage challenges. Popular Minecraft YouTubers Element Animation, TycerXand FalseSymmetry (with nearly 3 million subscribers between them) will also be available meet and greet sessions, and there will be plenty of brain-fizzling activities for Minecraft fans of all ages to get stuck into. 

TURNER PRIZE IS COMING TO MARGATE: Turner Contemporary, Sept 2019 – Jan 2020

Photo credit: Hufton + Crow

A momentous year ahead for Margate, as the Turner Prize will be hosted at Turner Contemporary! Every other year, the prize leaves Tate Britain and is presented at a venue outside London and this year Margate has been chosen to host one of the best-known prizes for visual arts in the world. Four of the most exciting artists will be shortlisted to win the prize based on an outstanding exhibition that has taken place in the previous year, the names will be announced this Spring. 

NEW SHOP: The Salutation, Sandwich 

Gorgeous, award-winning Sandwich hotel, The Salutation, has just announced a whole load of brilliant new ventures (as if you needed another reason to visit the Romantic Hotel of The Year 2019). Not only do they have wonderful rooms and a restaurant, they also produce bath and beauty products all handmade from botanicals grown in their garden and sold in their shop along side other goodies like a collection of ever-changing antiques and interiors. Order it now from their new online shop. Or visit in person when the hotel’s shop reopens for the season on Fri 15 March. In the summer The Salutation are launching Opera Picnics too – so watch this space.

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