Amalya’s very first trip after she was born last Spring was by the English sea side. We found the sweetest village by the sea, Whistable (in Kent), and stayed in the sweetest cottage by the beach, 98 Island Wall. Lucky us, you’re going to say.
It’s photographer Christina Wilson‘s little hideaway, which she rents for short and long stays. About a 90-minute drive from Central London, it’s a very easy getaway from the city. It has everything you’ll need from barbecue to butterfly nets and fresh milk in the fridge. It feels like being in a doll house, in a sweet and good way.
Literally, everything was cute and little over there. Amalya to start with, 2 months old and smiling, the cute little cottage with a 1950’s feel so tastefully appointed, the delicious fish and chips, the sweet little souvenir shop, the healthy organic deli around the corner. Oh how refreshing this week end was. I hadn’t left town for more than 5 months because of the pregnancy and finally, finally I was able to see the world again.
We had a delicious lunch by the sea at the Whistable Oyster Fishery Restaurant (very popular, book on 01227 276 856), a gourmet dinner in a one-star michelin gastropub called the Sportsman (01227 273 370). And we all played with pebbles on the beach.
On Sunday, we visited the old town of Canterbury with its beautiful cathedral. None of us could remember the story of the Canterbury Tales. Shame on us.
Then we finished the day at Howletts. Measured by the animals’ happiness factor, this is perhaps one of the best zoo that I have ever visited (on par with the Singapore zoo, better than the Bronx zoo, nothing to compare with the London zoo). Actually, they call it an animal park and it belongs to an eccentric multi-millionaire crazy about wildlife. The countless elephants, tigers, black rhinos (you name it) have so much space that they almost look free. You feel happy to see them so happy. Marcelo and his friend Eliane jumped of joy every five minutes.
– If you’re planning a trip with friends and not everyone can stay at 98 island Wall, the Hotel Continental is a good alternative, especially their family cottages by the beach. Our friends stayed there with their 2 young daughters, it’s a 10-minutes walk from 98 Island Wall.
– I wouldn’t stay at 98 Island Wall with a crawling baby because the steps are steep and there are 2 floors to the cottage so it can be a little dangerous.