Canterbury is a beautiful city with a long history and a great selection of shops and restaurants. Being just under two hours from London and so close to the coast, it’s a great destination for a weekend away. I spent two nights in the heart of the city with friends. Here are my recommendations for anyone looking for a short break with a bit of culture and great food.
Breakfast at The Skinny Kitchen
Start your day in this bright, modern eatery. With interesting coffees and a good selection of dishes, I can’t think of anywhere better to start you weekend than The Skinny Kitchen. This cafe is a bit of an Instagram hotspot, with its millennial pink decor and a flower wall but it’s a nice place to sit and chat with friends. A few of the group ordered a dish that closely resembled shakshuka, and I went for classic scrambled eggs on sourdough. I loved my breakfast, everything was well cooked and the freshly squeezed orange juice was great.
The Westgate Tower
Canterbury is a city full of history. With so much heritage it’s hard to know which tour or activity to pick. I loved seeing the defensive stone wall that surrounds the city. It reminded me of my time traveling through Lucca in Italy, which is known for having the second longest wall in Europe.
The most famous attraction in Canterbury is its cathedral. It is one of the oldest and most well known buildings in England and receives millions of tourists each year (7.2 million last year to be precise). During our time in Canterbury we decided to visit the Westgate Towers. The Westgate Towers was a great way to learn about the history of the city. The tower itself was the old police station and prison. During your visit you will learn about escapes from the prison whilst getting a lovely view over the city. If you are visiting in summer the Westgate Gardens are a must see. This quaint space is just a few minutes walk from the Tower and overlooks the River Stour.
A Coffee Break at Burgate Coffee
There are so many lovely places for a cup of tea in Canterbury. The one we decided to visit was Burgate Coffee, located right by the cathedral. It really is a great location to disappear inside and get warm. We particularly enjoyed the flavoured hot chocolates and the vegan cakes. I tried a slice of the salted caramel cake and it was really delicious and light. There were board games and seating upstairs too.
Drinks at The Pound
One Pound Lane is not just a bar and restaurant – it has an escape room too! We popped inside for a drink and there was so much on offer. There were lots of snug rooms and a beautiful bar. It was warm and inviting with mulled cider and bar snacks on the menu. It can feel like a bit of a thoroughfare as it is based within the wall of the city so many people will just wonder through the venue. Nevertheless it’s well worth going for a visit. If you are visiting in summer they have a lovely terrace so you can sit out above the river and enjoy the view.
If you are looking for a bar with a wide variety of cocktails and a lively atmosphere the Fallstaff Inn is also a lovely place to go.
Dinner at Cafe du Soleil
Offering tasty food, excellent service and a reasonably priced set menu, Cafe du Soleil is a wonderful restaurant that I would happily recommend to anyone visiting Canterbury. When we arrived the staff were great with my dietary requirements and were friendly and helpful throughout. Some of us went for the set menu, which had vegan options available and a few went for individual dishes such as pizza and risotto. Cafe du Soleil has a nearby sister restaurant which serves Mexican food but we didn’t have time to try it. Next time, I will make sure to book both as we really couldn’t have asked for more from Cafe du Soleil.
Have you visited Canterbury? What did you enjoy about the city? Let us know in the comments below.