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Canterbury

Throughout June we opened two new stores in the historic locations of Chester and Farnham, and now, to start July on an absolute high, we cut the red ribbon on our 16th UK store in Canterbury. A cathedral city with UNESCO world heritage status, it feels more like a market town with its slightly snooze-y atmosphere and weeny size. We asked the store managers what their favourite thing about it is. “The fact you can still see countryside all around you even when you’re in the city centre”, they told us.

Image credit: Google
To do

If you’re coming to Canterbury for a bit of a day trip, then we can’t not touch on the cathedral. Dating back to 597AD, it’s a bit of a historic must-see.

Another lovely way to see the city’s hidden spots is to go punting. Each tour takes about 45 minutes and runs along the river Stour.

For a spot of escapism, the Westgate Gardens amount to 12 hectares of historic riverside parkland and are a lovely spot for a stroll and picnic. Or if you’re happy to go a little further afield, Goodnestone Park Gardens is known as being one of the most scenic gardens in the whole of Kent.

And if you fancy enjoying a tipple or two, the ever-so friendly Barnsole Vineyard is just a 20-minute drive from our store’s front doors en route to Sandwich. They produce some of the finest examples of British sparkling and still wines.

To eat

The Goods Shed. First things first. This place is what is widely believed to have put Canterbury on the map in terms of gastronomy. Featuring a stunning farmer’s market, food hall and restaurant, it’s a food-lovers heaven. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in-between with all ingredients being sourced from roughly 2ft away (in the market). Meal over, shop to your stomach’s content at the home-grown fruit, vegetable, butchery, fish, cheese, wine, bakery stalls (and more!) within the market’s brick and timber galleries.

Pinocchio’s. Authentic Italy best describes this independent eatery. Family-run, the Naples and Amalfi coast-inspired menu blends the freshest Kentish ingredients with goods imported from southern Italy.

Café du soleil. Sat next to the river Stour, this little restaurant occupies a former 18th-century wool store and access to it comes in the form of quaint bridge over trickling water. It’s more for lunch and dinner with dishes influenced by Provence and the Pacific rim.

Tamago. Head to Asia with a plate full of Japanese soul food. This casual dining spot is all about food that Japanese people crave to make you feel nothing short of deliciously happy.

Oscar & Bentleys. Onto matters tea and cake. A bit of a haven for gluten-free folk, Oscar & Bentleys is our favourite place to stop for afternoon tea. They serve savoury too, which is just as delicious, but we love it most for its indulgent cakes. They even do versions that are dairy free to make sure everyone is looked after.

Image credit: Bill Jarvis
To shop

The market. From fresh fruit to cut flowers, the weekly Canterbury market takes places every Wednesday and Friday from 8am-5pm on St George’s street. There’s also the farmer’s market which you can find at Westgate Hall every 1st Sunday and 3rd Saturday of the month.

The King’s Mile. A web of cobbled streets with an ‘independent quarter’ for one-off finds and historic boutiques. Some of our most-loved haunts include Biketart and Bookbinder.

The Chaucer Bookshop. Inside the walls of an 18th-century building lies this historic bookshop. Spread across two floors, there’s everything from fine bindings and paperbacks to original prints and maps.

Lilford framers. Not only do we enjoy visiting Lilford for its adjoining gallery (take a look at the beautiful new collection from Carolyn Birchall), but we also like to take along treasured photos and prints to make the most of its bespoke framing service.

Now go explore and have a lovely time.

Neptune Canterbury

And while you're in town, we'd love for you to come see us.