Saltbox & Whitstable

Elmley Nature Reserve

After spending the night stargazing from the fully glazed end of our hut, we woke up in Elmley which was quite the experience. Read the first part of our Elmley escape here.

You’ll sleep like a baby with no noise around except the odd rustle from wildlife. Pull open the curtains and admire that serene view, if you’re an early bird you might even catch the dawn mist rolling across the marsh.

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

It’s not very often you can eat breakfast outside in England especially in winter. But when you’re away from your normal life anything goes.

With this theory firmly planted in our minds we threw together my favourite breakfast, shakshuka. The easiest most delicious one pot dish, tomatoes, feta cheese, poached eggs and chorizo – need I go on?

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Whilst setting up our breakfast a short-eared owl swooped in. Owls are my ultimate favourite animals; I ended up screeching with excitement and stupidly scaring off the little guy. Oppsie.

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Grab the gorgeous wool throws from the hut, fill up the hot water bottles, pop on some comfy socks and slide right outside with your pjs on. Then all that’s left is tucking into your brekkie as you watch the world go by.

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

We became mesmerised by a little robin that kept fluttering past whilst we ate. See if you can spot the little dude nestled amongst the berries.

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

There is something seriously epic about starting the day in the middle of nowhere with my fav person, breakfast, and bubbles. Elmley was the most idyllic spot to wake up on my birthday, appreciating life and feeling very giddy (not just from the champagne).

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

As much as we loved walking around in our pjs, after feasting it was time to stretch and get ready for the day.

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Clean and refreshed we headed out in search of sheep.

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

We strolled amongst the crunchy leaves and grey skies, enjoying skipping in acres of land all by ourselves.

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Begrudgingly we packed up our stuff and said our last goodbye to Saltbox, such a relaxing trip that really was the perfect escape. Life seems to be getting busier by the week; with this in mind I’ve actually planned a family trip to Elmley for some much needed quality time in the great outdoors. Book your trip here.

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Elmley is situated in close proximity to lots of cool places to explore. So we hopped in the car and zipped on over to Whitstable, in search of vintage shops and seafood.

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

First stop was hot chocolate at Blueprint for all your artisan coffee (Instagram-worthy) needs.

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

We strolled down the town, which is really picturesque with quaint vintage shops.

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Nosing in some interior shops as we meandered down the street.

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Falling in love with this green bombshell – The Cheese Box. A place that sells more cheese than you could ever dream of and not forgetting a vast amount of chutneys to indulge in too.

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

To avoid the drizzle we decided that it was time to treat ourselves to some seafood. Whitstable is famous for it’s exceptionally fresh oysters after all.

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Falling for the pink and blue façade Wheelers Oyster Bar quickly became our lunch spot.

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

An incredibly popular place, we were lucky enough to grab two stools at the bar, where we made friends with a lovely couple that coincidentally were from the same town as us. We ended up chatting away for ages and discovering they were also in Whitstable celebrating a birthday too.

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Order a selection of antipasti such as fresh prawns, calamari, crab…

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

Wash it down with bottles of prosecco, the restaurant is BYOB but there’s a handy little off-license just across the road. If you make friends at the bar you might end up sharing bottles and loosing track of time like we nearly did.

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

I convinced Lauren to try her first oyster, opting for the battered version before she tried the real slippery suckers. They did not disappoint!

Elmley Nature Reserve & Whitstable

After a lovely long lunch we headed on over to the harbour to catch a seafront view, hoping to see colourful huts and indulge in some ice cream.

However, the weather wasn’t on our side, we arrived to heavy rains, took a quick stroll down the pier – avoiding a rat (ahhhhh)! We decided to grab some tea for the road and whizzed back to London.

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