It is fair to say that Kent has experienced something of a rebrand over the past decade or so.
Londoners discovered Whitstable – no, you probably can’t get a table at The Sportsman for lunch – and just about colonised poor Margate. Round the coast, Deal and Folkestone are increasingly being eyed by Zone 2ers looking for a tad more space.
But there are still plenty of spots that remain relatively undiscovered, the beautiful Broadstairs chief among them.
Situated just a few miles down the coast from the aforementioned Margate, Broadstairs has a more gentle air – and one of the best boutique B&Bs in the country.
Belvidere Place, situated just a couple of minutes’ walk from the sandy beach and a host of well-regarded restaurants, is a quiet revelation.
The Grade II listed Georgian townhouse consists of just five individually decorated guest rooms, with a beautiful dual reception area on the ground floor for breakfast.
Owner Peter is a delightful presence – your correspondent may have enjoyed one too many of Kent’s cask ales on the first night of his stay, but Peter and his team were more than happy to whip up a spectacular, if rather late, breakfast on my eventual emergence.
Broadstairs itself is quietly wonderful. Pubs are a-plenty but the quality of food for such a small town rivals just about anywhere, with seafood destination Wyatt and Jones set to reopen in September.
For now, they’ve opened the brilliant Flotsam & Jetsam off the seafront, serving everything from takeaway lobster and chips to courgette flowers stuffed with crab meat.
And if you’re minded to work up an appetite, the hour-long walk over to Margate drops you off in the heart of that burgeoning food scene, with Dory’s and the soon to open Sagasso, from the team behind Columbia Road’s Brawn, generating most of the chatter.
But one doesn’t really need to leave Broadstairs. It’s the British seaside done right, and Belvidere Place a home away from home.
For more information visit the website here.