Westerham is one of our favourite towns/villages in Kent. It is just the right size to while away a couple of hours and has lots of independent shops (in case you hadn’t guessed from our last blog, we are big fans of independents). It is also just down the road from Chartwell which is one of our favourite National Trust properties.
We always start with a stop at Food for Thought on the green with Churchill looking on. It doesn’t look much from the outside (and the inside is somewhat dated too) but they make “proper” tea in a teapot with tealeaves, served in a cup and a saucer and the food is excellent. Bacon sandwiches, soup, and of course the homemade cakes. It is a busy tearoom (and welcomes children). Every town or village in Kent needs a proper tearoom!!
Then we like to pop next door to Annies Attic, one of our favourite shops. It has jars of buttons, reels of pretty ribbons and reams of fabric. It also runs workshops where you can make things. The next one is on 7 April to make “love” cushions. They claim to cater for complete beginners but have not tested them! Nonetheless we always come out with something and a determination (never followed through) on things we are going to make.
Around the green are other lovely shops. Beverley Deen Interiors is worth a browse for inspiration. Chocs on the Green has, as the name suggests, a wonderful selection of handmade chocolate truffles which we struggle to resist and Vintage Home is a real treasure chest of bits and pieces for the home. Another real find is Amelia Rose, at least if you like handbags (which we do)! We could spend half a day in there trying to choose between the many gorgeous bags they stock.
Steamer Trading is a chain of about 28 shops in the South East, but is a wonderful shop packed full of kitchenware. They claim to stock over 10,000 items. All those things that you never knew you needed! The staff are very helpful and cheery too. Stile Interiors is a new shop (6 weeks old!) which deserves to do well in Westerham. It has Scandinavian influenced homeware (think grey cushions) and clothes.
The Interior Design Studio is another relatively new addition to the village. It has certainly added some bling to the very traditional shopping in Westerham. It is next door to an antique shop. Quite a contrast!! Also on that bit is the independently owned Prelude, selling stylish clothes.
If you want to make a day of it we highly recommend Chartwell, the former home of Winston Churchill and a National Trust property. It doesn’t have the largest of grounds but provides a fascinating insight into the life of one of our most admired leaders.
Westerham is also a great walking area. You can walk to Chartwell from Westerham. It is about 2 miles (each way) and the National Trust tea room at Chartwell is open all year round if you are in need of refreshment before the return journey! Alternatively, you can park around Toys Hill and Ide Hill. Yes it can be quite hilly but there are lovely views. If you are there on a weekend watch out for all the cyclists!