• A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

If I had to choose between living in London or Tunbridge Wells, I would choose Tunbridge Wells (and Ben would tell me I was effing crazy). I am not really into the hustle bustle of cities and the metro in London was seriously as crowded as Indian transport during rush hour. Tunbridge Wells had charm, was easy to get around, and had unique boutique shops, art galleries and adorable pubs that served really good English food!

A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells GuideBen grew up in “Royal” Tunbridge Wells and his mom now lives in Tonbridge (why the spelling in different, I don’t know). It’s royal because Queen Victoria & Prince Albert used to vacation there as a kid.

It was famous before then because of a hot chalybeate spring that people used to come for a “spa”. The water was believed to have healing properties so people would come to have a sip. Word spread to the Royals, which is why they ventured to Tunbridge Wells.A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells GuideThe well is still there, although empty while we visited and the surrounding area is called the Pantiles. It’s a great place to walk around, shop, and have dinner.

They do a jazz night every Thursday as well. During World War 2, Tunbridge Wells was actually a place of refuge for all the people escaping London’s bombings. It’s also been called the “Garden of England”.

A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells GuideWith all the royalty in and out of Tunbridge Wells, it’s not surprising that a royal mansion near Calverley Park was turned into a hotel. Hotel Du Vin & Bistro invited Ben and I to stay, so we popped in for a night. The rooms were perfect and classy and I highly recommend staying there!

A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells GuideThey offer movie nights in the summer with themes like Italian, English, French, etc where the movie matches the food. We didn’t have the right time frame to fit it in, so ate at the Bistro.

Being the classy gal I am, I got a cheesburger. Ben had a steak and I was really jealous that I wasn’t smart enough to order that too! Not that I don’t love a cheeseburger, but I ordered one everywhere I went.

Ben loved this Old Mout Cider so much that he bought 3 and packed them for India. Luckily they didn’t break and he actually had one tonight here in Goa! The hotel is known for amazing wine, but other than our drink at dinner we were detoxing from all the drinking we were doing and just wanted to lie in and watch a movie (the Minions.. it was cute).tunbridge well

tunbridge well
A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells GuideI love eggs Benedict and am determined to learn to make it myself! Breakfast in England is always so much food… which is not a complaint. Ben had a bath, which was his favorite part about the hotel. English people and their baths… so weird.
A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells GuideThe bar and bistro were packed full of people and I’ve been told this hotel is a popular place for fancy dining or date nights. You definitely need to reserve a table. Lots of people go for Sunday Brunch, which Ben’s family recently did for his grandma’s 80th birthday just the week before we went.

A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells GuideBen’s friends live there and took us to all their favorite pubs and restaurants. I mean, we had Dominoes and fast food too of course! Ha ha, Ben and I always have to get our fix when we are out of India.

Some of the best meals, his mom and Mick cooked! I love an English style Sunday Roast… and I love English cauliflower and cheese.

A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells GuideAccording to Ben’s friends the best pubs are the Chaser (pictured above) and Checkers Inn where we had such a good dinner – cauliflower cheese, bangers and mash, salad, goats cheese starters, pork belly, and lots more.

A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells GuideWe stayed a few nights at Ben’s bestie Mitch’s house (and his wife Laura and their cute twins Lucy and Amber… who stayed shy even a week later!). After a night of boozing, the next day we woke up craving ribs so what to do..? Go out and buy them! Mitch made them with a sticky cola BBQ sauce and we ate ourselves into a coma.
A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells GuideBen’s mom’s roasts were delicious! I took a photo of the pork roast we had the week after, but it didn’t really turn out or at least show off how yummy it tastes. All the veggies used came from their own garden! It was all so good and I finally had a Yorkshire pudding I liked.. then I had 3 more.

A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells GuideThe trip wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Bluewater so I could shop. Being boys, they had 5 guys burgers with me, left me there so they could gokart, then came back just in time for Krispy Kreme. 

We drove out to see Ben’s grandma and her husband Peter at their house (THE CUTEST HOUSE EVER!!) and their huge 50 pound dogs. The towers on her house were used back in the day to dry out hops for beer… how cool is that?

A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells Guide

A Little Tunbridge Wells GuideAll in all we had a great time and we can’t wait to go back – which will most likely be next year for Ben’s sisters wedding in London. Look forward to more posts from our day in Hastings and Rye & our time in Austria right after England.

 

 

Did you enjoy this post? Let me know in the comments or by sharing it with the social media links! I’d love to keep giving you travel tricks & tips so feel free to subscribe by e-mail in the big box below. Don’t forget you can follow me on facebook, twitter, instagrambloglovin‘.

2016-10-13T09:52:38+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Hippie in Heels, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

4 Comments

  1. Joella October 13, 2015 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    I’ve never been to Tunbridge Wells but I had some friends that grew up there. I think I’d like to live there too, instead of London. I’ve already lived in London but I’m kind of done with the big cities haha! I think I’d pick Richmond if I had to live in London again. Did you go there? It’s not “really” London and is really pretty and has an amazing, huge park with wild deer! I think it also has the American university or something like that, which is kind of random!

    • Rachel Jones October 16, 2015 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      I don’t know where I went in London lol I was following Ben’s bro around. We went to a southern BBQ place for pulled pork and fried pickles lol it was amazeballs!! ;) haha

  2. De'Jav Speller October 14, 2015 at 4:17 am - Reply

    Looks like a great place that is quiet yet big enough to have its own character.

Like the Article? Leave a Reply