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Food of the English Countryside

The Facts

High summer finds Kent and East Sussex at their greenest, loveliest, and driest. Since most towns on the route are no more than a half-hour drive apart, you can cover a great deal of ground in as little as five days. A visit to any one or two of the towns on our itinerary could easily be done as a weekend, or even a day trip, from London.

Read's Restaurant with Rooms Spacious bedrooms overlook the kitchen gardens of the manor's restaurant; here, haute France meets fresh Kent. DOUBLES FROM $328. MACKNADE MANOR, CANTERBURY RD. FAVERSHAM; 44-1795/535-344; www.reads.com
Romney Bay House A quirky, delightfully chintz-filled hotel (built by gossip columnist Hedda Hopper) with rooms on the English Channel. DOUBLES FROM $140. COAST RD., LITTLESTONE, NEW ROMNEY; 44-1797/364-747
Hotel du Vin & Bistro All 36 bedrooms at the clubby, cool boutique hotel have Egyptian linens. DOUBLES FROM $164. CRESCENT RD., TUNBRIDGE WELLS; 44-1892/526-455; www.hotelduvin.com
Shelleys Hotel A 17th-century manor that is the hotel of choice for Glyndebourne-bound opera lovers. DOUBLES FROM $248. THE HIGH ST., LEWES; 44-1273/472-361; www.shelleys-hotel.com

Wheeler's Oyster Bar & Parlour Reservations are required to grab a spot at one of the four tables or at the raw bar for the area's best seafood. DINNER FOR TWO $75. 8 HIGH ST., WHITSTABLE; 44-1227/273-311
Horse & Groom Outdoor tables are the best at this gastropub, where game and fish are prepared simply. LUNCH FOR TWO $80. RUSHLAKE GREEN; 44-1435/830-320
The Pilot An honest-to-goodness fish-and-chips spot, with waitresses in smocks and gingham hats. FISH-AND-CHIPS FOR TWO $20. BATTERY RD., DUNGENESS; 44-1797/320-314
Thackeray's The new wave in country dining has arrived at the 17th-century residence of William Makepeace Thackeray. DINNER FOR TWO $113. 85 LONDON RD., TUNBRIDGE WELLS; 44-1892/511-921
Pilgrims Where else on earth does a ploughman's lunch mean smoked heirloom tomato, local ham from rare-breed pigs, and farmhouse cheddar?LUNCH FOR TWO $61. 1 HIGH ST., BATTLE; 44-1424/772-314

The Smokery This rickety cabin on the southern coast sells a tantalizing range of smoked local fish. PEARL COTTAGE, DUNGENESS RD., DUNGENESS; 44-1797/320-604
Tenterden Farmers' Market Bakers, fishermen, and farmers gather beneath striped awnings on the town green the second Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. TENTERDEN
Beckworths Delicatessen A tiny, tidy storefront that sells house-made pâtés, vegetarian terrines, and other picnic essentials. 67 HIGH ST., LEWES; 44-1273/474-502
Food Rooms East Sussex's answer to Dean & DeLuca, but with more emphasis on locally raised, grown, and harvested produce. 24 HIGH ST., BATTLE; 44-1424/775-537
Greenacres Farm The ewe's-milk Flower Marie from cheese makers Kevin and Alison Blunt won a top prize at the Nantwich International Cheese Show in 2002. Also not to be missed: their Golden Cross goat cheese. RTE. A22, GOLDEN CROSS; 44-1825/872-380
Stonehill Farm Pick currants, blackberries, and raspberries in a gorgeous glen with a view of the South Downs. CHIDDINGLY RD., HORAM; 44-1825/872-553
Williams & Brown Delicatessen Fine Italian charcuterie, like prosciutto di cinghiale and mortadella, are the shop's signature specialties. 28A HARBOUR ST., WHITSTABLE; 44-1227/274-507

Glyndebourne Festival Opera Pack your tuxedo if you plan on attending this garden-party opera. THROUGH AUGUST 31; TICKETS FROM $34. GLYNDEBOURNE, LEWES; 44-1273/381-3813; www.glyndebourne.com
Downderry Nursery Dr. Simon Charlesworth owns and runs this living exhibit of 300 varieties of lavender. PILLAR BOX LANE, HADLOW; 44-1732/810-081
Harvey & Son Southern England's epicenter of the Real Ale movement offers tours of its brewery Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesday evenings, by appointment, June through October. BRIDGE WHARF BREWERY, 6 CLIFFE HIGH ST., LEWES; 44-1273/480-209
Old Lighthouse On a clear day, you can see all the way to France from the top of this 1904 lighthouse. DUNGENESS RD., DUNGENESS; 44-1797/321-300

Adamczewski The Fuller Brush man meets Clodagh at this diminutive, minimalist shop selling handmade brooms and soaps. 88 HIGH ST., LEWES; 44-1273/470-105
Cliffe Antiques Centre Affordable vintage English prints, jewelry, and knickknacks. 47 CLIFFE HIGH ST., LEWES; 44-1273/473-266
Louis Potts & Co. Classic bone china and glassware patterns, updated to be more modern than Victorian. 43 CLIFFE HIGH ST., LEWES; 44-1273/472-240
Trevor Mottram Without a doubt, the most extensive selection of cookware in all the British Isles. 33-41 THE PANTILES, TUNBRIDGE WELLS; 44-1892/538-915


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