Tenterden is a classical Kent town. It has the charming combination of slightly more upmarket high street shops (we didn’t spot a pound shop!) mixed with independents. Ok, we would love to see more independents, but I guess that is the problem of high street rents!!
What did we do? Well, a cup of tea has to be the first priority so it was off to the Lemon Tree for cream tea. The Lemon Tree itself is in one of the nicest buildings in Tenterden, a 14th Century heavily timbered former Wealden hall house, reputedly visited by King Henry VIII (at least according to their website). Wonder whether he had tea and scones???
Tenterden high street is a nice place to while away an hour (it would be a struggle to make it longer).
We loved Mia Home, a beautiful quirky gift and homeware shop with the best window in town! It did have some competition from the wonderfully named Liquid Pleasure (another independent).
We also loved Elizabeth Rose (although it is a shop for women of a certain age…); it has a great selection of “mother of the bride/groom” outfits upstairs.
The Waterstones in Tenterden is one of the best we have seen. No doubt previously an “independent” bookshop but now part of a chain, it has retained a sense of cosiness about it. And it has a great collection of books (particularly for children).
Our favourite shop (or collection of shops) though has to be Webbs. It is one of those fantastically old fashioned shops where you can buy almost anything that is useful. The hardware shop dates from 1917 and is still run by the Webbs (third generation). The cookshop is a bit more recent (1963) and is run by the sister with a linen shop added in 2007.
But one of the nicest things about Tenterden is just wandering. The glimpse of St Mildreds Church from where once the signal beacon warned of the approach of the Spanish Armada. The wonderful play area for children.
We finished off our visit to Tenterden with a visit to Chapel Down and the Swan at Chapel Down restaurant. Unfortunately the vineyard was closed (well it was February!) but we definitely want to come back in the summer for one of their tours. We had to make do with drinking the wine in the Swan itself (a tough life!)