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Muddy review: Cave, Canterbury

If just a little bit of bling is your thing, then you'll love the Cave Hotel nestled near Canterbury with its high-spec, luxe interiors, cocktails and fine dining. Here's what we thought...

THE LOWDOWN

If it’s good enough for Little Mix and Rylan Clark, then it’s good enough for us! Tucked away on the outskirts of Canterbury, in Kent, and attached seamlessly to Boughton Golf Club, sits this rather swish hotel. On the top destination list – but not designed solely for – golfers, Cave Hotel is also popular for weddings, girlie weekends and date nights.

This is a luxury escape that feels instinctively right. Not just a night’s sleep: an atmospheric and inviting experience. Think dark, warm tones throughout – extensive American walnut panelling, textured wall coverings including feature stone walls and sumptuous bespoke furnishings. Low, hygge-style lighting makes it cosy and the slick industrial elements giving a stylish contrast.

THE VIBE

This is not a low-key, shabby chic hideaway. The vibe is deliberately dramatic and modern – where gloss, high spec is the method for immersing guests in total luxury during their stay.

It’s also set in 167 acres of rolling countryside with a breathtaking backdrop of the magnificent Kentish North Downs, Cave Hotel and stunning 18 Hole Championship Golf Resort is one of the best pay and play golf courses in Kent.

Alongside playing golf, you can also enjoy their Pool & Gym area. This atmospheric and inviting space is the perfect place to relax and unwind during your stay. It over-looks the panoramic golf course views, sink into the uniquely-shaped warm-water pool or cross the glass bridge to the 12 person jacuzzi complete with its own opti-myst fireplace, or unwind in the sauna, especially good after the gym – we’ll grab our robes!

PILLOW TALK

Oooh the rooms are atmospheric, sexy and inviting. The interiors are dark, warm with American walnut panelling, textured wall coverings and lights are dimly-set and not just in the rooms but all around the hotel.

Every room comes equipped with a super king size bed which honestly feels like a cloud, scene selection lighting, a 65 inch HD TV, a desk with universal charging points and a rainfall shower or upgrade your room to have a freestanding bath.

Our room had a fantastic view over the golf course which was a great spot to soak up the sunshine in. Don’t want to get out of your robe just yet? Make the most of it and order room service to your room!

SCOFF & QUAFF

But with the two fancy restaurants on offer, you might just want to leave your room… For dinner we chose to dine in the more casual option of the two, the new and exciting Korean Cowgirl restaurant where you’ll discover a unique blend of Texas and Asian, Korean style dishes.

Or if you’re after a more fine dining experience, visit The Firepit, a contemporary, sharing-plate experience. The smokey, barbecue aromas of the American west combine with the delicately spiced tastes of the far east to create ambitious dishes that excite the tastebuds and showcase the finest in global cooking.

From sticky spare rib stacks to honey butter fried chicken wings, not forgetting their incredible USDA smoked beef brisket in a salt and pepper rub. Vegetarian, or gluten conscious? They’ve got that covered too.

The whole menu had us salivating but not knowing what to start with and with us wanting to try everything, we ordered their Mini Cowgirl Feast which is the perfect opportunity to try a bit of everything! It comes with their USDA brisket, pulled pork, Korean BBQ smoked sausage, Texas style smoked turkey, Korean fried chicken wings, fries and asian slaw.

We also had the Mac + Cheese, Korean fried cauliflower with Gochujang and pineapple sauce and a serving of their Korean Fried Chicken bites with their sweet honey butter sauce.

After all that food, we sank into the deep cushioned sofas in their Cowgirl Lounge which is right in the heart of the hotel to enjoy an Espresso Martini – ok we had two! They have a very impressive cocktail list and some are very theatrically presented especially the K “POP” Martini bubble (we’ll leave the ‘pop’ as a surprise) and the Old Fashion comes presented with a glass cloche revealing dramatic dry ice.

Although we didn’t bring our bathing suits, we were informed that the pool is open til 11pm so you could go for a cheeky after dinner dip! Or on a sunny, warm evening you can enjoy post-dinner cocktails on The Deck.

The next morning, we crossed the glass bridge to enter The Firepit for breakfast which has beautiful views of the golf course. The breakfast menu has lots to choose from with fresh fruits and yoghurt to a full cooked English, Firepit Style.

Equally as stylish as the rest of the hotel, the restaurant has gorgeous wooden beams and lights hanging from the ceiling – I loved the gold cutlery!

For breakfast, we chose the Pitmaster’s Breakfast with bacon steak, smoked sausage, mushroom, fried potatoes, pits beans and a fried egg. I had the Vegetarian Breakfast with avocado, cherry tomatoes, grilled halloumi, fried egg, flat mushroom on sourdough.

OUT & ABOUT

Cave Hotel is in Faversham just outside of the city of Canterbury which is a 15min drive, read our Insider Guide to Canterbury for the top 10 things to do when you’re cantering around those cobbled streets. Whitstable is also a 14min drive away, if you’re feeling the call of the sea!

THE MUDDY VERDICT

Good for: Romantic night away for 2, an indulgent trip with your girlfriends or you know, if you like golf!

Not for: We’d recommend to leave the kids at home for this one.

Brickfield Lane, Boughton Nr Canterbury, Kent, ME13 9AJ, cavehotels.com, 01227 752 277, reservations@cavehotels.com

Hungry for more? Take a look at our other pub and restaurant reviews here.

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