Check in: Kent's slice of British countryside paradise
Celebrate the British staycation this summer. This Kent farm and hotel is slice of British countryside paradise topped up with a restaurant that's all about staying local. Natasha Harding reports back.
Fri 15 Jun 2018
It’s rare to find somewhere undiscovered in the modern world and when you do it’s a beautiful thing. Frasers, a working farm and thriving hospitality business, is nestled in an idyllic location in the heart of the Kent countryside.
As you wend your way up the driveway you arrive at a traditional Oak barn set in 300 acres of glorious Kent countryside.
Kent is known as The Garden of England for a reason and Frasers is located in one of the most unspoilt corners of the county, near Egerton. It’s so open that you’ll get awesome views of the sunsets (and sunrises if you’re an early riser).
There are nine luxurious bedrooms, in different outbuildings near the main restaurant. If you’re celebrating something special, then the Blenheim Suite, situated in a 17th century ragstone oast house is the one to book.
The accommodation is set over two floors including a downstairs reception area, sitting room and separate bedroom featuring a four-poster Queen Anne bed. Everything from the bed linen to the toiletries are high end but the rooms are oh so cosy and welcoming.
The Discovery Suite deserves a special mention too. As well as a limed-oak four poster bed the room has a private terrace complete with hot tub. It’s made for reading a book while sipping a glass of something cold.
It’s the little touches that put the L into luxury; sumptuous towels, contemporary artwork, fresh flowers, cushions and throws placed strategically on the beds and chairs.
This is where things get really good. All meals are taken in the restaurant, a barn style dining room with exposed oak beams.
The restaurant has two well deserved AA Rosettes. The Head Chef Kevin Bennett aims to source local and seasonal ingredients thereby limiting the food miles on each plate.
Frasers use local ingredients; the meat comes from the local butchers and game from the farm.
Frasers prides itself in sourcing local artisan producers, for example Cheesemakers of Canterbury who produce the award-winning Ashmore Cheddar. Pluckley Tea, a special Kentish blend, is the brew of choice, handpacked in nearby village Pluckley and Wise Owl Cider made from a blend of 100% fresh pressed Kentish apples and pears milled and pressed at their base near Tenterden.
In the evening there is a choice of two or three á la carte dinner or a sumptuous seven course taster menu. Delights include Pan fried Rye Harbour scallops, cauliflower, salsa verde or Lamb, chickpea and pumpkin tagine, caramelised yoghurt.
On a sunny afternoon, afternoon tea on the sun-drenched terrace is a must.
Lisa-Jane has lived at Frasers since 1990 when she married Adam Fraser. The couple began the process of converting redundant buildings into high quality bed and breakfast accommodation several years ago and Lisa remains incredibly passionate about the business. She goes above and beyond for her guests.
The sustainable bit
The ethos of Frasers is carried through to the farm itself. The whole farm has been lain to a low input grass system where Suckler-Beef herds graze in the summer with sheep following in the winter months. The nitrogen inputs are minimal which results in a highly sustainable and low input method of farming. When the redundant farm buildings were converted into luxury rooms, high levels of insulation were utilised, minimising heat loss.
The carbon production of Frasers is minimised by the installation of a ground source heat pump which provides all the heating and hot water requirements for both the restaurant and commercial kitchen. Plus any carbon emissions produced by the business are offset by the extensive grassland.
There is also a self-contained biological treatment works to minimise any impact on the surrounding countryside.
Sustainability is carried through to the rooms where the toiletries are sourced from Noble Isle whose ethos is to create their range of products using only British ingredients and those staying for longer than one night are encouraged to reuse their towels and gowns.
3 reasons to book
- You’ll dine like a king at every single meal - safe in the knowledge that you’re supporting local businesses.
- It’s the perfect location for long, bracing walks.
- Despite its rural location, Frasers is well placed to explore some of Kent’s loveliest attractions. Sissinghurst Castle and Biddenden Vineyards are two of the best.
Where is Frasers?
Free Wi-fi? Yes in public places Children? No Dogs? No