4 Upper Bridge St, Wye, Ashford TN25 5AF
If you want a night away from the city with some serious culinary credentials factored in, hop on a train and head to The Wife of Bath, Mark Sargeant’s Grade II listed restaurant-with-rooms, for English Inn vibes with a Spanish twist.
Wye is an hour’s direct train from London St. Pancras International, and The Wife of Bath is a 10-minute walk from the station.
Admittedly there isn’t a lot to do in the village of Wye itself (think picturesque pubs, a monthly farmer’s market and the occasional duck race), but if you fancy a hike, the welcome pack in your room has details of a three-hour walk into the surrounding Kent Downs.
There are only six rooms at The Wife of Bath, so make sure you book in advance if you’re planning a trip as it can get booked up on weekends. If you’re after old English charm, you’ve got it here by the bucketload. Our room was in ‘The Cottage’ – two separate rooms which can be jointly booked for a family stay (or a celebration with friends). Step through the door and our room was all original beams, windows and cast iron bed – but with modern touches like (neon) radio, Nespresso machine, flat screen TV and a fresh white bathroom suite. We also loved the sherry, marcona almonds and fruit waiting for us too.
Food and Drink
If you’ve dined at Plum and Spilt Milk, you’ll know chef-turned-restaurateur Mark Sargeant for serving up punchy, simple plates of elevated British food. The Wife of Bath combines locally sourced ingredients with the flavours of Spain: think South Coast crab with manchego, roasted wild mushrooms with Ortiz anchovies, pork and morcilla wellington, and bitter chocolate tart with olive oil. Drinks-wise, we’d recommend having one of their famous G&Ts or a Spanish cosmopolitan at the buzzing tapas bar first.
If you’re staying overnight, make sure you don’t miss breakfast in the AM. Their Spanish take on a full English is a triumph: the smoked pork belly (cured in-house) and chorizo sausages are a must for meat fans. There’s a veggie version too – padron peppers for breakfast anyone? We’ll be trying that back home.