With Canterbury two miles to the north and the Oyster Bars of Whitstable beckoning from the Thames Estuary a few miles further still, Renville Oast makes a good base for culture vultures and foodies wanting to visit the garden of Kent. This is in an area of rich farms, grand historic houses and villages with haughty Norman french names, a world away from cosmopolitan London. Canterbury, not only has a beautiful cathedral with a bloody past, but also has plenty of quaint narrow pedestrianised streets lined by medieval buildings, as well as 21st Century shopping, pavement cafes and restaurants which add a little "continental" flavour. If you want to get a little closer to the Continent, it is only a short drive to Dover which has a fascinating castle standing on the cliff top with a warren of tunnels, staircases and ramparts just waiting to be explored. And if one castle is not enough try Walmer, Deal and Richborough too.
The Oast was last used for its original purpose, drying hops for the brewery trade, in 1953 and was subsequently used for the storage of grain until its conversion by John and Joan Hill after they took over in 1984. Approached through what was clearly a large and wealthy farm in its heyday, this large oasthouse has three roundels capped by white weatherboarded ventilation cowls. The roundels now provide a twin bedded room, a sitting room and a dining room for guests and the cooling floor where hops were spread after drying is now used for further bedrooms which still have the original rather unusual diamond pane cast-iron windows.
Inside, the building is full of character with the sensuous rounded forms of the outer walls of the roundels flowing into the more angular shapes of the hop storage barn and cooling area - a very satisfyingly organic combination which is sure to please architects and romantic couples alike! A hop press originally used to compact hops into large elongated hop pockets still stands proudly on the landing.
Renville Oast though surrounded by farmland is only a short stroll from the village of Bridge with a choice of pubs offering excellent food.
|Private parking without charge||Yes||Credit cards accepted||No||Specialise in Vegetarian Food||No|
|Dinner by arrangement||No||Open Christmas and New Year||No||Entirely non-smoking house||Yes|
|Pets accepted||No||Restaurant||No||Within 1/2 mile of public transport or will collect||Yes|
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