Personalised luxury, acres of space, convivial hosts and free access to a beautiful country garden, The Salutation, in the pretty medieval town of Sandwich, really is something special. To call it a B&B would be to do it a disservice – this is an astonishingly elegant manor house, designed by Edwin Lutyens, and its "Secret Gardens", created by Lutyens and his garden designer partner Gertrude Jekyll, are an attraction in themselves – as are the owners Steph and Dom, who have found recent and well-deserved celebrity status on the popular TV series, 'Gogglebox'. It's more of a hotel than a B&B, then, although you won't find this kind of relaxed elegance and laid-back pace at a stuffy hotel, nor the genuine sense of charm.
Hidden behind high walls next to the river, the estate has a wonderful air of calm; you can feel any tension melting away as you glimpse the flower-filled gardens and spot the cute little tea room with its glorious cream teas. Facing you square on, standing handsome at the centre of things, the main Salutation House gives out directly onto the gardens. There are eight rooms to choose from here, and a rather grand dining room where a full breakfast is served for all guests. Guest rooms are large, light and airy, furnished with antiques and the very best linens – beds and armchairs to sink into, magazines to read, comfy robes, sherry decanters – it might be difficult to tear yourself away. Three outlying buildings also offer accommodation. Our favourite is the cute Knightrider House, a Queen Anne cottage with four rooms – two en-suite, two sharing a bathroom – and a huge lounge (complete with fully stocked drinks cabinet, which you are welcome to use), dining room and large, modern kitchen. If you're lucky enough to have the place to yourself, this is amazing value – even if you're not, it's hard to find so many facilities, in such luxury, at these kinds of prices. There are three more rooms in the Gardener's Cottage, all of which share a bathroom, along with a pretty sitting room with an outdoor terrace, while the little Coach House has just the two, with a cosy sitting room and good kitchen (and, of course, a complimentary drinks cabinet).
Double rooms cost £160–£285; two- or three-night mid-week stays cut costs considerably.
Eight spacious individually designed rooms divided between the main house and the beautifully renovated outbuildings.
The Salutation, Knightrider Street Sandwich Kent CT13 9EW
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