Last year’s Valentine’s Day didn’t exactly whisk us off our feet – no romantic days out, no weekends away, no candlelit restaurant dinners…We’re pretty sure we’re not the only ones who had a less than dreamy Valentine’s with their nearest and dearest last year, so we’re sharing our top tips for rekindling the romance in Kent.
Forget sweats and slippers, it’s time to don that favourite outfit that’s been hidden in the back of the wardrobe for the last two years (we’re looking at you, LBD) and start planning your perfect day, whether your Valentine loves a swoon-worthy dinner out or an adrenaline-fuelled adventure.
If your love is more Bear Grylls than Elizabeth Bennet, we’re guessing flowers and candlelit diners aren’t going to cut it. Take a Canoe Wild Valentine’s Canoe Paddle and you’ll have the chance to take in the peace and tranquillity of the River Stour and spot wildlife along the way between Fordwich and Grove Ferry. Peace, quiet and beautiful views…that sounds like the perfect recipe to reflect and reconnect.
Wining and dining in a Kent vineyard…what more could they possibly want? Balfour Winery’s Balfour Dining Club will be pulling out all the stops on 12th and 19th February with a seasonal four-course gourmet meal perfectly paired with some of their most iconic wines. Plus as the setting will be the state-of-the-art The View winery and tasting room, your date will be able to enjoy sipping and sampling against a backdrop of vineyard views and (almost, almost) imagine you’ve whisked them away to California’s wine country.
Honestly, we can’t think of a much more romantic day than strolling the Kent countryside hand in hand. At Penshurst Place 2,500 acres of parkland await, a gem that has inspired poems and plays for centuries (literary romantics, we got you). Stroll frosted tracks, spot wildlife and ancient trees, and enjoy a backdrop that forms the perfect romantic spot. Some might say it’s beautiful enough for those “just got engaged” photos…hint, hint. Once you’ve wandered the landscape, head to the Porcupine Pantry café for a hot chocolate and sweet treat.
Speaking of engagement backdrops, Kent’s coast is made for those special scenic shots, so much so artist JMW Turner had a bit of a thing for our sunset skies in the Isle of Thanet. Grab fish and chips and watch the sun go down over the iconic Turner Contemporary gallery on Margate beach, before stopping off for drinks in one of the quirky bars in the old town and we reckon you’ve got the perfect laid-back date.
Rochester’s cobbled streets have been the focus of many a work of literature, and while Dickens wasn’t exactly known for romance novels (ahem Miss Havisham), those streets can turn into a real fairytale when lit up at night. Running from 11th – 12th February, Medway Light Nights will transform Rochester’s iconic buildings into works of art, with internationally-acclaimed artists delivering an incredible event around the historic town.
The Battle of Britain Memorial’s peace and quiet offers the perfect place to wander and reflect on the bravery of those who have gone before us. Spend time with your loved one at the Memorial and pay tribute to the brave Few before heading to the tea room with its magnificent views across the Channel. Combine this with a cream tea, a personal guided tour of the Memorial and a visit to the unique Scramble Experience with the museum’s exclusive package, perfect for treating the historian in your life.
Four courses overlooking one of Kent's most iconic buildings, we can't think of many settings as beautiful as Canterbury Cathedral Lodge for a romantic dinner. Enjoy a la carte fine dining in the Refectory Restaurant, accompanied by a pianist for the perfect swoon-worthy evening. Top things off with a stay at the Lodge and a starlit wander through the Cathedral grounds and you've got the perfect Valentine's evening.
From luxurious chocolates from Lindt, to a classic Fossil watch or a Molton Brown candle, Ashford Designer Outlet has the gift guide to please the choosiest Valentine. Select from your favourite designer brands for your loved one and we can guarantee you'll soon steal their heart (they don't need to know it cost up to 60% less).
The true romantic deserves to be swept away to the coast for a weekend and with its gorgeous coastal views, we think the Hythe Imperial is the perfect place to head. Enjoy the Valentine's package with a four-course dinner, stay and breakfast made for two. And if you really want to add an extra touch of sparkle, the Moet and Chandon Champagne Bar will be the cherry on top.