Welcome to the Old Station House, once full of fire engines, now a hot property for up to 18 hens, stags or friends just a quick dash from the history, heritage and hubbub of Canterbury town centre. This is where you can get all your besties together in a pad bursting with contemporary detail, open-plan living and inside-out flow.
Canterbury is right there, with the triple prongs of the cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church piercing the sky. If it’s beach weather, you’re minutes from the huge skies and welcoming pebbles of Whitstable, where colourful clapboard beach houses face the whipping waves and you savour the salt in the air.
Décor is clean and contemporary, and spaces are light, bright and generous, so getting together is easy. But you’ll still find spots for a book and some barista coffee. Sleep in crisp sheets on deep mattresses in rooms with balconies, TVs and French doors. Relax. Take it easy. The only emergency callout here now is for Prosecco.
Your playground is the cultural gem of Canterbury, the lights of London and the colourful Kent coast. But close to home, you’ll flow from inside to out at the Old Station House just as easily as you slide from coast to country.
Slip out from the Scandi-cedar-clad exterior to a courtyard suntrap alive with light and shade. Gather round the three sets of tables and chairs and make the most of day’s end with a sunset nightcap, or dine al-fresco with steak and sausages from the charcoal barbecues.
The Old Station House is your boutique hotel, complete with contemporary furnishing, leather sofas, wooden floors and an ambience cooler than a polar bear’s toenails. It’s decadently quirky, with its Union Jack cushions and eclectic artefacts.
Of course, this is no hotel. The standards of comfort are hotel-like, but you’re free to pick your own guests. Come and go as you please, raid the wifi, choose your own movies, as you ponder your next move: will it be city, coast or country? Pour another Prosecco while you decide.
Choose from three living areas: contemporary spaces with white walls, quirky details and an irrepressible sense of fun. Come together in the main lounge-diner on the plush sofas for movie nights, music or other merriment. Or escape with a paperback and a Prosecco to quieter corners.
You’ve everything you need to cook, dine and wine your way through your stay – three times over. Choose from three kitchens, three ovens, three hobs, three microwaves – all electric-fan-assisted – and coffee machines. Stock up on Whitstable oysters and local wine and champagne from Chapel Down.
Gather round the dining table to make merry, pour wine and butter your bread. Prefer smaller groups? You’ve (you guessed it) three tables to pick from. Or slide out of the terrace doors to dine al fresco in the suntrap courtyard among the shrubs in their planters, with the cedar backdrop.
Pop out for supplies to the Sainsbury’s Local, or order deliveries from Ocado, Tesco, Asda or Morrison’s. Or tap up Deliveroo for tasty takeaways. Wrap things up by piling the pots in the dishwasher and settling back with fresh filter coffee. Eating out? The Eight Bells is just doors away for BT Sport and roasts.
Within ten minutes’ walk, try A La Turka for Turkish, Café des Amis for Mexican, The Refectory for brekkie or the Goods Shed for high-end British. There’s Indian at The Ancient Raj and Mediterranean at the Café du Sol. Try Patisserie Valerie for cakes, teas and treats.
Snuggle down with a filter coffee among your crisp white sheets and deep mattress, put the TV on – there’s a 32” in every bedroom. Just right for catching up with soaps or catching the match.
Five refurbished bathrooms offer freestanding tubs, power showers and simple luxury. Six bedrooms here are plush yet quirkily English.
The huge master bedroom, sleeping four or five, weighs in at ten metres by five and offers a kingsize bed, double sofa bed and en-suite bathroom. There’s an additional single available on request. Wake up to breakfast on the balcony.
The garden bedroom gives you not only a kingsize bed but also an en-suite shower room. French doors swing open onto the central courtyard for al-fresco breakfasts.
Bedroom three sleeps two or three in a kingsize with additional single on request, while bedroom four is an en-suite kingsize. There are two further doubles and a double sofa bed that pops up in the living room.