We've been to Chatham before, taking the children to the Historic Dockyard many years ago but looking at accessible hotel rooms and accessible bars and restaurants we decided it looked suitable for a short stay.
Chatham Maritime Travelodge was perfect, great location, very friendly helpful staff, easy access for my wheelchair all around the hotel and in our room. It was just a short 'push' to Dockside, an outlet centre with shops and bars - diner our first night was at Nandos where again everyone was so helpful.
Before diner we visited Ship and Trades pub for a pre-diner drink, a beautiful location on the old dock which is now a marina. Nick had a pint of Shepherd Neame ale and I a glass of sauvignon blanc, it was so lovely to sit outside enjoying the view - a big change from being at home the last 11 weeks.
|Our pre-diner drinks|
|Old boats in the marina|
|Yachts in the marina|
It's been a blessing to now have a Blue Badge for parking and having found the village car park we parked up in the disabled place making it easier to get the wheelchair out. The path to the main road was not so easy, definitely an old place and finding High Street we realised I would not be visiting the castle. Nick however did whilst I stayed at the car studying the map for our route to the Isle of Grain which is where the Medway meets the Thames.
|Upnor High Street going down to the castle|
|Upnor Castle from across the Medway|
Copper Rivet Distillery opened in October 2016 and distills gin, vodka and whisky. Their website shows the history of the building and how they distillery started. As well as having a small bar Copper Rivet also do tours, something Hubby and I really enjoy doing. So 2.30pm found us entering the historic building and gazing in appreciation of the stainless steel vats and copper stills - three stills side by side - a very impressive sight.
After the tour we enjoyed a lovely gin and tonic in the bar chatting some more about the stills. Their gin has just 9 ingredients and the gin still is a patent design as it forms two processes in one. Although they make whisky it is not yet available to by as it must, by law, be stored in wooden barrels for three years. Copper Rivet buy their barrels from Jim Bean (they use new barrels every time so have plenty to sell on) so the whisky will have not only the oak but a hint of bourbon too.
|Pump House No 5 - Copper Rivet Distillery|
|Gin and Tonic at the bar|
|At the end of the Pier|
|Statue of Amy Johnson|
|Fish and Chips on the sea front|
|Herne Bay Pier|
My Blue Badge can be used abroad (maybe this will change after Brexit) which made it easier to park at Auchan. It was great wheeling myself along the isles buying my favourite french goodies: hand wash, olives, vanilla sugar, coffee .... and a few bottles of wine.
We always stay at Ibis Calais Tunnel Sous la Manche as it's a perfect location for Cite de Europe and it's bars and restaurants. As we'd booked an accessible room we were on the ground floor this time, lovely room with plenty of space.
After a long day travelling and shopping it was nice not to have to go far for dinner, there are so many restaurants but as I wanted mussels we went to The Black Bull Pub - very English in style which is not my usual choice of decor in France however their mussels in rocquefort sauce are amazing.
|My favourite mussels|
|Kwak - great glass|
We bought some great wine home - I'll be blogging about them over the next few months as we open and enjoy our purchases. We've already enjoyed a bottle of Hubby's win, it was perfect sitting in the garden yesterday in the sun. A light glass of bubbly full of fruitiness, light in body but with a good depth of flavour, perfect summer fizz.
|A selection of our purchases|
|Nick enjoying his summer fizz|