Stay The Night: Castaway Cottage, Whitstable

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Fiona Sturges stayed at a stylish former fisherman's cottage and made sure the well-equipped kitchen enjoyed a good rest as well

Castaway Cottage, a terraced house in the heart of Whitstable on the north Kent coast, doesn't exactly grab your immediate attention. But open the door and you are presented with a stylish seaside aesthetic straight out of the pages of The White Company's catalogue.

Once a Victorian two-up two-down, the former fisherman's house has been extended backwards and enhanced upwards to accommodate two bathrooms, a pretty galley kitchen and a twin-bed attic conversion. The renovation is both sympathetic and stylish: the original fireplaces, clapboard walls and stairs have been retained.

However, what might have been dark and cramped in its original incarnation has been given a contemporary flourish with bright white paint, warm fabrics and quirky but comfy furniture: check out the regency chair with Union flag upholstery, and the painted tree on the dining room wall where you can hang your coat. Elsewhere, the wood-burning stove adds cosy warmth in the winter months and is particularly longed-for after a bracing walk on the beach.

But even with its luxurious interior, the cottage's position – just off Harbour Street, Whitstable's main shopping thoroughfare – is the big draw. You needn't venture more than a few steps from home to find art galleries, smart clothes shops, dinky patisseries and some fine restaurants. And while the beach – just five minutes' walk away – may not encourage sunbathing, its bumpy shingle, battered boats, pretty beach huts and piles of discarded oyster shells (the latter testament to the town's biggest export), make it as picturesque and atmospheric as any of its sandy rivals.

The Rooms

Much of the pleasure here is in the small touches – the bundle of lavender in the bathroom, the cashmere blankets draped over the back of the sofas, the tea-lights on the sideboard – all of which give Castaway Cottage the feel of a proper home rather than a holiday rental. The three bedrooms are bright and airy, with whitewashed floorboards, white bed linen, and elegantly distressed furniture. A brand new upstairs bathroom has also put an end to long nocturnal plods to the downstairs loo.

The Food and Drink

The kitchen is well equipped, though it didn't get much of a workout during my visit. The town's best restaurants are all within a quarter-mile radius, many of them serving fish caught locally that morning. Richard Phillips's Pearson's Arms has beautiful beach views and an exceptional seasonal menu that includes scallops baked in their shell with ginger cream sauce, and classic fish pie.

Wheelers Oyster Bar, which has existed in various guises since 1574, is worth a visit although you need to book early as it only seats 12. Further afield, The Sportsman in Seasalter is a Michelin-starred gastropub with a terrific modern British menu, with the emphasis on locally caught fish and seafood. Should you have a sweet tooth, What's Up Cupcake? on Harbour Street deals in pretty and utterly delicious frosted cakes in a kaleidoscope of flavours.

The Extras

Free Wi-Fi, a TV and DVD player and a cupboard full of board games. There's also a decent selection of DVDs, from Peter Pan and The Grinch to the complete works of Pedro Almodóvar.

The Access

The steep, narrow stairs make the cottage unsuitable for wheelchair users, and could prove hard work for elderly guests. Children are welcome though pets are not. Free travel cots, stair gates and high chairs can be provided upon request.

The Bill

A week's rental of Castaway Cottage through Whitstable Holiday Homes (01227 281800; whitstableholidayhomes.co.uk) costs from £500 to £695 per week. Shorter breaks are available during low season and start at £295 for two nights.

The Address

35 Sydenham Street, Whitstable CT5 1HN. There is parking available on the street and Whitstable railway station is half a mile away.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Content Assistant / Copywriter

    £15310 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a...

    Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

    £24000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Situated in the heart of Bradfo...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reception Manager

    £18750 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Hotel in Chadderton is a popular ch...

    Guru Careers: Marketing and Communications Manager

    £Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing and Co...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence