Make a pilgrimage to Hedone House, close to Chaucer’s Canterbury and write your own tales. Sleeping up to 22, this big working farm with livestock and vineyard’s packed with stuff. Stuff for parents, stuff for grandparents, stuff for brides and grooms, loads of stuff for youngsters, stuff for hens, and a sprawling, woody 15 acres for Fido.
So what stuff are we talking about? Let’s start with the headline acts. From April to September, you’ll want to splash the summer away in the outdoor pool, heated to around 30 degrees. When you’re done, towel off and slip into the poolhouse for a snifter at the bar or game of pool while the young ones explore the play area.
Inside, the diversions don’t stop. Cinema room with 85” TV, full Sky, BT and streaming services, anyone? Or maybe the gym? Post your selfies through the BT Wi-Fi. Tinkle the baby grand. Cook on the Miele oven and eat around the grand dining table or out on the lawn in the sunshine. Hedone House is every Canterbury Tale ever told.
It’s all going on in Hedone House’s 15 acres of freedom. It’s an all-star cast but the main event might be the ten-metre outdoor pool, heated to around 30 degrees and available from spring until early autumn. Water polo, anyone? When you’re all splashed out, the bar in the poolhouse beckons.
Anyone for tennis? If not, no worries. Play the ball feeder on the all-weather court as the kids lose a few hours on the play equipment. Among the 15-acre garden, farm and woods, numerous firepits extend the day well into the night and the two six-seater hot tubs let you steep and simmer and as you stargaze the night away.
Accommodation here comes split between the main house and two guest houses, and it’s all tastefully done and teeming with toys. For starters, you’ll find six TVs, the largest of which weighs in at 85” and sits in the cinema room. Pack some popcorn and pick a box-set blockbuster from Sky, BT, Netflix or Amazon Video.
If you’re hanging around during the summer evenings, there’s no better hangout than the poolhouse, equipped with showers, a fully fledged bar, pool table and fairy lights. Keep up your fitness in the gym, with treadmill, bike, weights and punchbag.
Back on the mother ship, you’ll find BT Wi-Fi for your shameless social-media pics and Bluetooth for an embarrassing singalong. You’ve logs for the fire and a baby grand for exercising your fingers. Hedone House is a place of oak beams and inglenooks, one with space to escape and spaces to come together and catch up.
The dining room’s delightful under the oak beams and it’ll seat 12 but, on fine days, you might prefer to be out by the pool on the lawn, with seating for 24 under the trees. The pool’s ready and waiting and itchy-footed children can duck and dive into the play area between courses. It’s allowed on holiday.
Cook on the modern Miele ovens with gas hobs or outside on the coal barbecue in the sunshine. Or book Minty Morton for an on-site catered barbie. Wrap up with a Nespresso. Stock up the fridge freezers with goodies from Lower Hardres Farm Shop and wine from The Tipsy Fish.
Treating yourself to takeaways? The Golden Kitchen in Canterbury is where the Chinese students eat, try Marino’s for fish and chips, and Just Eat for Indian and pizza. Or ask Jackie from the Rose and Crown in Stelling Minnis for a takeaway on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Wash it down with Goucher’s ale.
The George Inn serves fine pub fare alongside jazz on Thursdays and guest bands on Tuesdays. For live sports, a beer garden and lots of chicken wings, try The Bishop’s Finger. Go gastro at The Duck Inn for the best beef in town and amazing roast dinners. Or try A La Turka for magnificent Mediterranean food with faultless service.
Hedone House sleeps 16 with room for six more with just the flit of a bat and the hoot of an owl to penetrate the night air.
Bedroom one is a superking with Sky+ smart TV. The en-suite comes with rainfall-type wet-room shower and two sinks. Bedroom two offers a kingsize and daybed with smart TV and en-suite with walk-in shower, while bedroom three is a kingsize or twin plus sofa bed with smart TV and en-suite shower and bath. Bedroom four is a double and bedroom five a double with en-suite. Bedrooms four and five are on the second floor in the eaves.
The downstairs lodge offers a kingsize with private bathroom, and the upstairs lodge provides a kingsize with shower room. For an additional charge, there are up to two airbeds suitable for children available in each lodge.
Few places make children as welcome as Hedone House. There are toys at every turn, inside and out, plus exciting spaces out in the woods from which it’ll be tough to extract them at mealtimes. And it all comes wrapped in the security of family, with plenty of space for everyone.
The big draw here is the outdoor pool, open from April to September and heated to between 29 and 31 degrees. When you’re done, shower off in the poolhouse and play a game of pool while the grown-ups wait for you in the bar. Still energy left to burn? The tennis court’s all-weather and a resident ball machine says you don’t even need an opponent.
Stay out for croquet and boules on the lawn, or just explore the 15 acres of woods and garden with up to two dogs. Younger children can lark around all day on the adventure play area with treehouse, while older kids will want to stay up late and stare at the stars in one of the two six-person hot tubs.
Inside, the cinema room offers an 85” TV, full Sky and BT packages, plus Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Wi-Fi comes care of BT. There’s Bluetooth for music and a baby grand for making your own.