Number One

7 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


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Date of travel

October, 2016

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Deal is on the east coast of Kent. Firstly the bad news – it is exposed, and my, the wind does blow. Next, the good news – it is a delightful place to visit.

Deal is about eight miles to the north of Dover, going towards Ramsgate. If you look at the map, you will see that this bit of land juts out, hence the extreme wind. However, our first impression was very good. We arrived early one mid-October evening, finding our B&B called Number One without any difficulty thanks to excellent directions from resident proprietors Nicky and Mark.

They have been living there since approximately 2011, and their establishment has rightly gained the five star accolade. I parked outside on the double yellow line, Pam went inside to report, Nicky carried the cases in, we were directed to suitable parking. It was as straightforward as that. She also took the cases up to our first floor room at the front, then gave us the room, B&B, and Deal information. There was their booklet, but it’s so much easier to listen and almost take it all in.

Arrival was a Tuesday, so some of the better quality restaurants were closed. However, The Courtyard was open, Mark had made reservation by phone, after unpacking we were walking along the seafront, with the wind in our faces. Then at our back.

The Courtyard was four roads closer to Deal pier, and is an enclosed courtyard. It is now owned by a lady from Denmark and her Asian husband. No, it’s not the cheapest, but it is certainly an excellent experience. Returning and writing this five days later, I can only remember one item we had from the menu, and that was a speciality Scotch egg for starter. Good flavour, enjoyable, but it was the wine and cocktail menu that we appreciated. More than acceptable Champagne at £6 per glass, cocktails about the same and a good choice. Worth a visit.

Breakfast next morning was varied and excellent quality. Good choice from eggs Benedict to scrambled eggs with smoked salmon to full English. The side table was full of fresh goodies, also yogurt, fruit, cereals, quality orange and apple juice, also locally sourced jams and marmalades. Even better was the fresh coffee, very unusual and rare to appreciate.

Then it was off to investigate Deal. It has a very long promenade, we didn’t manage the whole length, and paused at the pier entrance. What is on the pier? Areas for fishermen, and a cafe at the end, which had a popular menu, nothing for the gourmet. We ventured about a mile along the seafront, which is shared by pedestrians and rare cyclists for an October Wednesday, then easily found the town, which was a delight.

Of course, inevitably charity shops abound, with an excellent selection inside apart from those charging what they consider to be commercial retail prices. Why do they charge £2 for second hand paper back books? Would you pay that? I just walk out. There are small individual shops, very few branches of multiples and there are even three banks left open in Deal. We paid a cheque into Lloyds, and were served by a lady with ‘manager’ badge. I did ask if it was her turn to wear the badge today. Very pleasant. There is quite a lot to see and do in Deal, as well as the main shopping streets there are many side roads such as Middle Street, and little twittens (small alleyways, often with houses, name local to Sussex and Kent). There are a couple of old fashioned jewellers shops, one even selling watches in the window with price tags in excess of £4,000, so there is money in the area, despite locals telling you it is a somewhat depressed area.

I am writing another article about our restaurant called Dunkleys, which we enjoyed and thoroughly appreciate the next two nights, so won’t go into detail here.

Thursday found us on the bus to Sandwich. We had never been there, the number 13 and 13A took different routes, dropping off right outside the Guildhall. Quite a large morning market, variety of stalls from reasonable collectables to local produce. Strange place to wander around is Sandwich, we somehow expected a little more. We had assumed it was larger than it is, very easy to explore in less than an hour, with a visit to the tourist information centre included – lovely lady with Sandwich suggestions. We tried to have coffee in a corner place called something Goat (friendly?) (randy? – probably not), but there were very few seats so didn’t wait. It was back to the Guildhall for the bus to Canterbury.

Same number 13, single decker, some very narrow country roads, journey taking round about the hour. We are familiar with the town, last visit some years ago, now there is an exposed bus station with many bays, lots of sign posting for the new visitor making it impossible to mislay. Canterbury is s strange place, lots of foreign tourists walking alongside locals of differing social and financial backgrounds.
You could tell the country folk by their clothing and by the fact that they spoke English. The closer to the Cathedral, the more foreign spoken. We saw no signs of graffiti, crime, vandalism, just a very pleasant well maintained town to wander around.

After three hours it was back on the bus, slow walk to Number One B&B, ready for the evening meal, which was again at Dunkerleys.

Our last breakfast was mainly spent chatting to Nicky, while Mark had been cooking and preparing our fresh food. It was good of Nicky to show us the other three rooms. They are all doubles, some with shower, all a very good size. The room rate depended on which bedroom, with a £10 variation. Dining room and room one on the ground floor.

Number One is an extremely high standard, they really try, they really care. Would we recommend? Certainly. Would we return? Definitely.

Harry Pope

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