Myself and Clara spent a very relaxing week in The Granary in Hever, Kent, in November 2017. It’s taken me a little bit of time to get round to writing the review — so sorry for the delay! The Granary is located between the small village of Hever and the town of Edenbridge — a Kent commuter town with two stations and connections to London. The Granary is very rural, located about 800m down a private drive and is attached to the owners house in a selection of converted, traditional Kent farm / granary buildings.
We booked the cottage through Sykes, taking a liking for the lovely photos and traditional yet modern style. On leaving the cottage the owner gave us a business card and it can be booked direct by emailing [email taken out at request of owner] — if you don’t like Sykes or want to pay the booking fee (although for us it does provide a little more protection for a first booking!). There isn’t a direct website though.
The Granary is located about 5 minutes drive outside Edenbridge the cottage can be reached in about 20–30 minutes from the M25, depending on which direction you approach it from. The directions given by the owners were very specific and accurate. Although we arrived in the dark, the cottage was pretty remote making it a little difficult to be certain you are on the right road (we were!). Edenbridge has everything you’d need for a stay, including a Waitrose, a few smaller restaurants and take-aways.
We picked the cottage due to its proximity to London but also due to many tourist locations nearby. Before arriving we joined the National Trust which gave us access to many sites within 40 minutes drive including the gardens at Wakehurst, Sheffield Park, Standen House and Chartwell (Churchill’s family home). Hever Castle, which is only around a 5 minute drive from the property, was also somewhere we visited.
Overall the location was great, very quiet and secluded. There is some aircraft noise due to being close to the approach to Gatwick — but not something that really bothered us at all!
We were met at the cottage by the owners and shown around. I’m always a little nervous about this as really most of the time you just want to get settled — but it wasn’t too bad! The cottage was presented with cakes and a tea set left out for our arrival — a nice touch!
The Granary — Living Area
So onto the most important part of the review, the cottage! Overall the Granary is a pretty simple conversion with an open plan kitchen, living and dining room with large patio doors opening onto a small patio area (complete with table and chairs if the weather is good). The lounge has a large sofa with foot rest plus a single seater chair. There are plenty of cushions and blankets to snuggle up on the sofa on a cold winter evening if needed! There is a small dining table and two dining chairs. The living area also contains a number of books, maps and leaflets from various attractions in case you haven’t decided where to visit.
The kitchen comes fully equipped with everything you need; built in oven, washing machine / tumble dryer and dishwasher, plus plenty of crockery and cooking utensils. We managed a number of meals and always had everything we needed. There are supplies of basics such as tea, coffee, sugar, cling film, kitchen foil etc so you don’t need to bring these. We didn’t find any cooking oil (but left our bottle for the next visitors), which would have been a nice touch.
The Granary — Bedroom
Off the living area is the single bedroom down one small step (otherwise the cottage is on a flat level throughout). The bedroom contains a large bed that can be split into two singles on request, a wardrobe and chest of drawers. In a cold November there were also blankets left if you wanted them (although good heating throughout as well!). The bed was really comfy with good quality bedding. There is a door out onto the owners courtyard from the bedroom that is only for use in an emergency.
The Granary — Bathroom
The bathroom is also off the living area and contains a large, open shower. The only issue we had was an electric shower which took a little while to get used to. Overall the pressure and temperature were great once we had worked it out. The towels provided were also of a high quality; nice and fluffy!
The Granary — Technology and Outside
Technology wise the cottage has a flat-screen TV (a little old to be honest, but fully functional), a DVD player and Sky box (used for Freeview channels). There is Wifi throughout the cottage — although we did have some issues streaming Netflix (through my own box) at times due to poor speed — but this is the middle of the countryside! Central heating is provided throughout the property and this kept us nice and warm throughout the week.
There is a parking space outside the Granary at the bottom of the drive. The drive is quite dark (there are some lights, but may be worth using your phone or a torch). Parking is a little tight — but manageable! We never used the outside area (as it was too cold), but it was certainly a nice area to sit (facing the neighbours tennis court).
The only slightly strange element to the property is that it has a porch area with connecting door to the owners house. While you can lock an internal door to your area it did still make it feel like the owner could arrive at anytime (although they never did I hasten to add!).
Our only issue at the property was on the first evening when we failed to find any bin bags in the cottage. A quick trip next door to the owners house and this was sorted. While we never really saw much of the owner during our stay, the cottage is behind their house, so you have to walk past on returning. We did feel that we could call on them if we needed anything. We did see their lovely ginger cat on one occasion. Watch out he doesn’t follow you into the Granary as he did on our first evening!
Overall we had a great week in The Granary, Kent. The cottage really is a lovely, traditional conversion in a modern style. The cottage was very quiet and really allowed us to relax each day. The location is really convenient for days-out but also for the amenities of Edenbridge. You could quite easily take a train to London for a day-trip if you fancied.
We would certainly stay there again if we wanted a convenient break away from London. If we could improve some areas it would be great to see a newer TV and if possibly better Wifi (which may just be the location). Otherwise top notch — thanks!