10 funky ‘Favourite Places’
When you're young and hip and the new organisers of Kent's funkiest, family festival this summer where do you hang out in your down-time?
When London-based Rachel and Chris Baseby began visiting Kent regularly to see their God-daughter, Annabel, the couple fell in love with the county and hatched a brilliant idea – to run a funky, family-friendly weekend festival here. And lo! This summer’s first Woodlands Festival was born. It’s taking place in Cranbrook on 9, 10, 11 June and promises to be a truly boutique, intimate festival set amongst the rolling green fields of the Kent countryside.
Rachel’s background is in event design and production and Chris works in finance, so a pretty sound skill set for starting up a festival. Rachel’s love of all things interior sees her seeking inspiration from her surroundings. And as a freelancer, she’ll work out of design studios, cafes, hotels, just about anywhere that’s a light, bright, interesting space and will have her really! I thought it would be really interesting to hear where likes to hang, so here you go:
I gigi, Hove, East Sussex
This café and store in Hove, is a favourite. Rustic interiors / homewares store with a lovely whitewashed cafe upstairs, incredible cakes & rustic food all cooked in front of you. A must if you’re in Hove.
Eggs to Apples Farm Shop, Hurst Green, East Sussex
Great coffee, a great deli & cafe, fruit/veg, beautiful flowers plus gifts & cards. It also has some really unique delicious foods. We stop there for a quick lunch or an afternoon snack & shop whenever we can!
Seven Sisters Country Park, near Eastbourne
A stunning valley with flat footpaths leading alongside the Cuckmere River, to the sea & the dramatic Seven Sisters Cliffs. The path is perfect for buggies & scooters, ending in a picnic on the pebbled beach. Afterwards we love to head to the cottage box village of East Dean, grabbing some gourmet nibbles from the Beehive on the Green deli & a drink on the pub benches outside the Tiger Inn.
The Woolpack Inn, Warehorne, near Ashford
Is a really lovely eclectically styled pub, with great outdoor space & 5 interestingly furnished/themed rooms to stay in; each embracing the historic architecture. We were there last year for a friends wedding & stayed in the lovely ‘Frederick’, named so after a friendly but ghostly spirit that looks over travellers seeking warmth, sustenance & safety as they travel across the Marsh.
We didn’t see any friendly ghostly spirits, just lots of lovely cozy furnishings & sea themed furnishings.
Located in the village of Bethersden is the amazing Symonds Salvage. One of my favourite past times is collecting salvaged/reclaimed items for our house – much to Chris’s dismay! The G I N letters were my last find, yet to go up on the wall!
Beal’s Barn Gardens and Nursery
This off the beaten track eatery and garden centre in Cousley Wood is such a great spot! Perfect for walking with friends, kids & dogs around Bewl Reservoir, then back to Beal’s for coffee/brunch. It’s in a beautiful setting, very quiet during the week, so a perfect spot to get away for a sneaky coffee, pick up some freshly cut tulips or lovely garden gifts.
Brick House Bakery
This is an amazing find if you’re ever in East Dulwich. Off the high street in a small residential street is an old converted electrical warehouse. The now light, airy space houses a working bakery – which smells amazing! Plus a shop & café.
Part of London Design Festival, Designjunction at Kings Cross is a unique experience, showcasing design led pop-ups, installations & other interactive features. It’s a curated show of cutting-edge interior design, always set in challenging industrial spaces. I love going to this to get inspired, see new brands & meet designers, then meet up with Chris afterwards for a walk along the canal & dinner in pone of the many restaurants. King’s Cross is London’s fastest growing culinary destination, with new unique eateries & bars opening all the time. The Skip Garden Kitchen is an amazing one & a great community venture.
Rooftop Cinema Peckham
On the rooftop of an old warehouse in Peckham, SE London is Rooftop Cinema. Half the rooftop is dedicated to pizza & cocktails & the other half is an outdoor cinema – with the best sunset views in London!
For our Birthdays last year (which are 2 days apart) we went back to Tulum in Mexico, which we visited almost 20 years ago, after we’d just met. It’s an incredibly beautiful beachside town, with green dense jungle on one side & the clear azure sea & white sand on the other… paradise! Very laid back, the activities for the day consist of yoga in the morning, followed by amazing fresh juices & seafood, followed by a swim in the ocean or reading in a hammock, then heading to a beach bar for sunset… And not to forget the incredible fresh water Cenotes nearby, where you can swim with turtles, amongst the stalagmites & stalactites – amazing!
The Woodlands Festival will take place on – 9, 10, 11 June don’t miss this boutique, small intimate festival set amongst the rolling green fields of the Kent countryside.