In early May we finally got a chance to get away from family life for a night and a day. At the beginning of the year I booked a Groupon voucher deal for one night’s stay at The Lighthouse Inn in Capel-le-Ferne, near Deal in Kent, plus a 2 course dinner for two and breakfast for just £69. We’ve done this for a few years now, our anniversary is in late April and we take advantage of it. This year marks our 12th anniversary. There’s often great deals from January to March on Groupon and this one was no exception. We always joke that the hotels are a bit Fawlty Towers, for that money you can’t complain.
Where is the Lighthouse Inn?
Capel-le-Ferne is a small village in between Dover and Deal on the east Kent coast. It’s literally right on the clifftops, with amazing views. We pulled up at the Inn – it’s a white building with a free car park. I thought the building looked nice and welcoming, if a little dated. I was excited to see what it was like inside and where our room would be.
We went into the bar area, there’s an entrance hall with some information about weddings and days out, then you go into the bar area. It’s a large room with wooden tables and a family feel. A large black piano graces the room and there’s a further dining room to the back with more seating. There’s a large fireplace with a green woodburner in it. It has a cosy, family feel and everywhere was clean. The owner seemed very friendly and he showed us to our room. We passed by the little turret, which was empty, I think they could make a bit more of that area.
When we got to our room, he showed us the long way round in case we wanted to go out late and had to come in via the back door, but in reality our room was just above the bar. We were pleasantly surprised, the room was very spacious, it had a sofa and a bed, a TV, dressing area and en suite bathroom. The bedside cabinets were hand painted in a pretty floral design with coordinating cushions and bedlinen. There were tea and coffee facilities available and a phone.
We went mid week, more because they’d booked up the weekends when we wanted to go, so we went on a Thursday afternoon. When we got there I was really tired and for once I decided to just let go and have a sleep. I’m always trying to fit everything in, whether that’s work, the children, or in this case, trying to enjoy some activity or having sex straight away just because we’re alone. I talked to my husband and said I wanted to rest, then have dinner and have fun later. I had a lovely sleep! The bed was nice and comfy. I had a shower, the shower curtain was basic but clean, the bathroom floor tiles were cracked, but the toiletries were nice and the towels were clean and fluffy. We headed down for dinner. I decided comfort ruled, and didn’t dress up particularly, I just wanted to relax. They gave us the menu that was included in the Groupon voucher. You could get an extra course for £5.99 pp.
The choices were basic, but typical of english pub grub, and scampi is one of my favourites so I wasn’t complaining. We ordered a bottle of wine for me and DH had cider (they had Sommersby on draft). I had the butterfly prawns and he had the whitebait. When they arrived I was pleased with the portion sizes and they were freshly cooked.
For mains I had the scampi and DH had ham egg and chips! It was the company and break away we wanted, and we didn’t care that the food wasn’t gourmet, but it was nice and tasty, and well cooked. We didn’t need a pudding, but I wanted one anyway, so I went for the chocolate pudding – anyone who knows me at all knows I can’t resist chocolate – and DH had the sherry trifle.
The whole meal was a bit retro, but we loved it. I was so stuffed I couldn’t eat all my pudding. There were a few other guests and some locals at the bar, but it was pretty quiet. We didn’t mind. One of the owners or family workers had her dog there, a plump dachsund on the lookout for food, who is apparently on a diet. He hoovered up one of my red onions. I was impressed.
After a nice….. sleep, I felt refreshed. We lay in bed in the morning until we absolutely had to go down for breakfast, despite waking up at the usual time. The breakfast included cereal and of course, a cooked breakfast. We were offered tea and coffee, and asked what we wanted, we were told there was no beans. When they told us the items on the breakfast, I said I didn’t want the cooked tomato, she said I could have beans instead. I said yes, a bit confused as I thought there weren’t any. My husband didn’t get offered beans. When the breakfast came, we both had the same except he had cooked tomato and I had loads of baked beans. We laughed and I gave him half my beans. Later on in the day we kept laughing about it – the baked beans mystery, did they have them or not? Did they not want to open their last can of beans? Weird. Anyway, it was tasty and the egg was perfectly cooked. We also got toast. After breakfast we packed up and I wanted to take a walk along the cliffs. The dachsund returned for another sniff round.
The clifftops were amazing, if a little scary. Don’t go walking there on a windy day! The path goes on for miles, it’s part of the North Downs Way. We eventually turned back. It had rained during the night and there were lots of slugs and snails around. You can see right down to the coastline and the railtrack below. Not a place to bring the kids. There was a clearing we came to with benches people had engraved to their loved ones.
After our walk we headed home, via Deal castle. Once home we got stuck into family life again, but I’ll treasure the memories of our little break away. Sometimes it’s not about the money you spend, or the sumptuous surroundings and gourmet food, it’s about the company you have and the spiritual freedom you get. I definitely recommend getting away, even if it’s not far from home.
We paid for the hotel and food ourselves. I wrote this review for your information and my memories. May contain affiliate links 🙂