You can undoubtedly take your pick from dozens upon dozens of great shops in Kent (and in most of England, for that matter), but there are some shops which are arguably better than others, be it in terms of products, service, ambience and atmosphere, price, location, and a combination of all these. Perhaps you like the way customers are treated in one store, and the variety of music available on the radio in another (check here for more info); there can be many reasons as to why a store could be considered worthy of multiple visits. The shops in Kent run the gamut from expert rocking horse craft shops to artisan bakeries, and we can honestly say that a day in Kent isn’t enough to explore everything (and every shop) the area has to offer, although you can certainly try. If you’re spending a day or two in Kent and would like to learn about the shops the area has to offer, here’s your best guide to the best shops in Kent.
Stevenson Brothers (Ashford)
Stevenson Brothers have made a name as one of the best rocking horse manufacturers in Kent (and perhaps the whole of the UK). The company creates bespoke, handcrafted rocking horses, so if you’re looking to bring home an heirloom for your kids or a niece or nephew, this shop is worth a visit.
Arte Bianca (Tunbridge Wells)
As far as Italian delicatessens go, Arte Bianca is the ‘real deal’ as they say. The deli is family-run, and its location in Chapel Place in Tunbridge Wells is easily accessible. If you’re looking for excellent coffee, the best cured meats, and amazingly large ciabattas with mozzarella, make sure to drop by Arte Bianca.
Baps & Bloomers (Sandwich)
Although there may be a whole plethora of bakeries in Kent, Baps & Bloomers is one of the most delightful. Even if it only started operations in October of 2015, it has already amassed a lot of fans and enthusiasts, especially those who love different kinds of bread produced on a daily basis. The fact that Paul Usherwood, its artisan baker, has a degree in no less than food science only adds to the bakery’s innovative yet fresh appeal.
Perfect Partners (Cranbrook)
The full name of Perfect Partners is Perfect Partners, Cheese and Wine Merchants, and this small shop is a hidden jewel in Cranbrook. The shop specialises in unusual cheeses and wines, and although the shop is small, it offers a diverse selection of local products which can be hard to find anywhere else. Who knows, the elusive cheese or wine you may have been looking for may just be one of the offerings of this quaint yet charming shop.
The Hendersons (Rochester)
The Hendersons in Rochester may be just the thing for those who love vintage furniture and décor, and if you have an eye for beautiful things, this shop will surely fill you with joy. The façade of the shop is already noticeable with its lopsided look, but once you go inside, you’re guaranteed to be thrilled with its selection.
Adrian Harrington Rare Books (Tunbridge Wells)
If you are a book aficionado, then go no further than Adrian Harrington Rare Books in Tunbridge Wells. This bookshop started dealing in books in 1971, and it has acquired an extensive collection of rare books which includes everything from first editions to leather-bound books and children’s classics.
As mentioned, Kent has a lot more to offer when it comes to brilliant shops. If you want to see a complete urban guide to Kent, visit Muddy Stilettos, and you’ll have an all-access pass to everything the area has in store.
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