Autumn is a great time to explore the English countryside and charming British towns. In this season the colours are gorgeous and they fill the landscape with a unique charm. To make the most of these autumn days, before the days get too short, I planned a foodie day out to Kent. From my visit to an apple orchard in Faversham to lunch in Canterbury, I hope this post will inspire you to plan your own day trip to Kent soon!
Travelling to Kent from London is easy and quick with Southeastern Railway, with high speed services running daily from London St Pancras International. To get inspiration on which destination to visit next, have a look at Southeastern Railway 2FOR1 promotion. On the website you will find many offers to purchase 2 tickets at the price of 1 for local attractions, restaurants, theatres, exhibitions and more.
I asked my friend Jo Candids by Jo to come along and together we took an early morning Southeastern train from London to Faversham.
As soon as we got off the train, I dragged Jo to the high street in search of coffee. We found the lovely The Yard, a cozy and quirky cafe serving heart-warming meals and delicious scones.
Feeling restored by the hot drinks, we made our way to Brogdale Farm, located just outside the town. One of the many 2FOR1 offers you can take advantage of when travelling to Kent with Southeastern is a tour of the farm.
Kent is known as the “Garden of England” and when you arrive at Brogdale Farm in Faversham you will understand why.
Brogdale farm grows different types of fruit, but the apple is by far the largest collection. There are 2,200 varieties coming from all over the world and almost every county in Britain. There are 4,400 trees in total (two trees for each varieties), all planted next to each other in the massive orchard.
During the tour we had the chance to ask our guide Alan questions while he picked some of the best apples for us to try. I was surprised by how different they taste! I learnt that apples can be sweet, sharp, aromatic, crispy, juicy or soft and creamy. Supermarkets tend to stock the same varieties to create customer loyalty, but at the farm I tasted apples like I never had before: some tasted as sour as pineapples, others had a purple peel like a plum, some were sweet and crispy, others were sharp and aromatic. It was really eye-opening.
Brogdale Farm runs three daily guided tours from the 1st of April to the 30th of October. The day pass I purchased last week is valid for 365 days, so I am already planning to go back to Brogdale next summer for cherry and plum tasting! :)
After a fascinating and insightful tour, Jo and I took a taxi to Faversham station (£5 for a 5-minute ride) and boarded the 12:24 Southeastern train to Canterbury. We arrived there just in time for lunch!
Canterbury is the heart of Kent, a beautiful city full of history and culture. Canterbury’s Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in England, and it is also the heart of the worldwide Anglican Communion and home to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Sadly we didn’t have time to visit the Cathedral, but I have been there before and I would highly recommend taking a tour. It’s simply stunning!
For lunch I had booked a table at Deeson’s, a privately owned restaurant situated in the heart of historic Canterbury.
Deeson’s specialises in traditional and modern British dishes using locally sourced produce (they also grow and rear their own produce). The interiors are rustic and elegant, with warm wooden furniture, no tablecloths, lots of natural light and a beautiful private dining room on the first floor.
I usually skip the starter, but the pumpkin soup sounded so enticing on that autumnal day and especially after a morning spent picking apples at the farm. The food at Deeson’s was wonderful and it made me realise how much I love British food. British cuisine doesn’t get raved about enough, especially abroad, but I love it. It’s all about good meat, fish and vegetables cooked well and using the best quality of the ingredients.
Paired with a glass of wine, our lunch at Deeson’s was just perfect!
After a satisfying meal, Jo and I went for a walk around the King’s Mile in the old centre of Canterbury to take some pictures. The city centre is small and pedestrianised, so the best way to get around is on foot.
As usual, I began looking for good coffee and I found it at Water Lane Coffeehouse.
Water Lane Coffeehouse is an independent coffee shop situated at the back of a small lane, overlooking the river Stour. The location is fantastic, and so is the coffee they serve (espresso-based drinks and filter). The bean selection changes regularly depending on the season. At the time of my visit they were serving Square Mile. Water Lane Coffeehouse also work with Kentish producers to offer delicious baked goods and homemade cakes.
Our day out in Kent was about to come to an end. We walked the short distance from the coffee shop to Canterbury West train station, through the Canterbury Westgate and across the river.
By the time we reached the station the blue sky had disappeared behind a thick blanket of clouds, but luckily when the rain started pouring down we were already half way back to London. I was back home in London by 5pm, with a bag full of apples, a belly full of good food, and my mind full of beautiful memories of Kent!
So, have you started planning your foodie day out with Southeastern Railway yet?
Disclaimer: this post was written in collaboration with Southeastern Railway. All opinions are my own.