With a surge of re-openings on Saturday, it is important to not forget smaller business in the rush of bigger businesses coming back to Canterbury. I have chosen a few, (though there are many more!). I feel we should be supporting, due to the investment they have had in the community recently, as well as ones that will give us joy in these strange times.
Canterbury Ghost Tour
John Hippsey, award-winning Ghost Hunter, author and local historian, is offering groups of family or co-habitants Canterbury Ghost Tours, being mindful of social distancing yet still being able to offer an educational, humorous and haunting tour. Bookings can be made via the website below, and the tours last for about 90 minutes. It’s a great activity to learn more about canterbury, have some fun and time out from the days’ stresses, whilst still following government advice. With people struggling to find fun things to do and being anxious to go out in the day, why not choose a night tour instead? Many people haven’t experienced how beautiful Canterbury is at night, and it is a safer way to get out and take your mind off the current situation. These run on Friday and Saturday evenings outside Alberrys at 8 pm. He also has written two published books! Go check him out at www.thecanterburytours.com and support local, friendly activity.
This social enterprise (not for profit) cafe provides employment to people with disabilities, mental health issues and difficult situations. Their dedication to providing help to those in need is only one of the reasons we should support here. During the crisis they have been delivering nutritious meals to local households; just go on their Facebook to see the gorgeous food being served up! On Fridays and Saturdays they are offering take away coffee and cake, so pop in and appreciate the beautiful window art by @lucy_oram.art!
Expression Arts is a painting and pottery studio, currently delivering community creative projects to people at home! Their aim has always been to bring art into the community as they believe everyone deserves a chance to be creative! They are offering happy, fun activities for all ages, and the best part is everyone is volunteering to cheer up the community. Crafts include mugs, bowls, colouring kits and paint kits. You can also collect any painted work you previously left there, and they are available Thursdays and Fridays to discuss any future experiences or queries! They have partnered with Kent Arts and Wellbeing, as well as Age U.K to allow a wider catchment of people they can help, all through volunteering.
Canterbury Bespoke Picture Framing
Sowleys offer reasonably priced picture framing services, as well as selling gifts and jewellery, many locally handmade. They have fantastic customer service, always offering a friendly face with great advice about picture framing. They have a framing table in the store surrounded by samples which can be browsed with or without their help. Upstairs has been converted into a frame workshop, so you know the quality will be high and care will be taken. With bigger companies opening soon in this area of business, it is important to support local, especially with the added level of care and precision you will find here.
Blean Cherry Stall
If you fancy walking or cycling on the crab and winkle way, why not find Alex White’s little cherry stall? Once you cross Tyler Hill Road you will come across it. I saw this on Facebook and thought it needs promoting; any pop up local businesses selling fresh produce should definitely be known to the wider community! It is open 10 am-5 pm every day but Mondays (weather permitting), so why not plan a walking route up that way soon?
The Veg Box Cafe
With their exciting opening on Saturday 4th, (8:30 am-5:00 pm), this business needs a mention! During the lockdown, they’ve been delivering a fantastic selection of local, organic and fair trade goods to various doors in Canterbury and the local area. They produced survival boxes for isolating families, which was incredibly helpful to people worried to go out shopping. They also have been providing delivery of healthy plant-based ‘Summer Hit’ ready meals; starters straight through to deserts! Check out their menu and more information on their Facebook page or go to http://www.thevegboxdelivery.co.uk for any food orders.
Howfield Manor is the ideal place to relax and enjoy a peaceful break and catch up with friends and family. They aim to create a secure environment within their tranquil, secluded grounds and gardens. They offer traditional hospitality to make your time with them an enjoyable relaxing, and memorable experience, all within socially distant government guidelines. They opened on Saturday 4th, excited to welcome guests old and new! As an independent hotel, to quote the owner, “we pride ourselves on going the extra mile to exceed your expectations, and meet all your requirements”.
They are offering afternoon tea (£18.95 pre-booking required), but also, if you have friends and family looking to stay in Canterbury this summer they will be offering mini-break packages. Just visit the website – www.howfieldcanterbury.co.uk and/or follow them on Facebook @howfieldmanor for latest information.
Written by our virtual volunteer Emily Clugston
Photo by Darryn Jenner at https://www.facebook.com/DarrynJJenner/