The Duke William
What could be better than hunkering down in a cosy pub and enjoying a lazy meal, before retiring to a comfy room upstairs? That's exactly what you get at The Duke William. Located in the heart of the Kentish countryside, just fifteen minutes' east of Canterbury and close to the quaint village of Wingham, it's a perfect weekend getaway.
Owned by Mark Sargeant, former head chef at Claridges, the inn has four super comfortable rooms that are named after some of his culinary heroes – the likes of Ramsay and Floyd – and decorated in calming shades of grey, with flashes of colour on cushions and quirky prints. There's an en-suite shower room and a king-size bed, plus a helpful welcome pack in each bedroom, with info on local walks (Route 86 is a good option) and attractions (Wingham Wildlife Park makes for a great day out). Stay in Stein and make the most of the sun terrace and spectacular views out to rolling fields. Whichever room you opt for, enjoy an included breakfast; choose from their excellent Full English or lighter options such as cereal or seasonal fruit.
The pub is a lovely spot for a drink or two – sup on an Aspall, or if beer's your thing, try a Racing Tiger, an offering from local brewery Angels and Demons. Sit in front of the roaring fire (board games and puzzles optional) or head out to the well-kept sun-terrace and garden, complete with children's play area. Peckish? Snack on scotch eggs with caper mayo, sausage rolls with Branston pickle or mussel popcorn for the slightly more adventurous. If you fancy something more substantial, the main menu features dishes such as Cumberland sausage toad-in-the-hole with onion gravy, or pork belly with peas, broads beans and black pudding. What’s more, there’s an array of themed food evenings throughout the week, ranging from steak Monday to fish and chip Friday. Eat in the light and airy conservatory, the restaurant area or the pub. The Duke is one of three Kent places under the Mark Sargeant umbrella, with Rocksalt in Folkestone and The Wife of Bath in Wye also well worth a look.
Four double rooms.
Double rooms cost from £80, based on two people sharing (including breakfast).
Open all year.
From London, take the A2 followed by the M2, then the A2 again. Go left onto Bifrons Hill and left again onto Station Road. This leads onto Bekesbourne Lane. Go left onto High Street then directly right onto and Nargate St. Continue onto Wickham Rd then right onto Wickham Lane. This leads onto The Street – the pub is on your right.
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