“That one’s cool,” my son George factors out. “The large dusty pink one within the sand dunes?” I say. “Yeah, I’d name that acid-washed burgundy,” he says.
We’re cabin-spotting on the Kent/East Sussex coast, and this blushing instance on Camber Sands is essentially the most putting instance we’ve seen up to now, with an asymmetrical design that enhances the funky color. As we stroll nearer, we see it’s solely half-built and the dimensions of a giant indifferent home slightly than a cabin.
“This one will go for 2 to 3 million – and we will’t construct them fast sufficient,” says the builder. “The color? It’s a microcement with a pink pigment.”
There was a rising development for slick fashionable cabins earlier than lockdown, however because the pandemic demand has gone via the elegantly curved Scandi roof. Nothing says hunker down and escape the world like a cabin.
Our quest is sparked by the truth that we’re spending the weekend in a cabin ourselves – not the dusky pink one – however at Cabü by the Sea in St Mary’s Bay, 10 miles south-west of Folkestone, which opened in 2019. There are 12 modular timber cabins of varied sizes and designs on the four-hectare gated web site. The setting is stark, with pebbles, thistles and marram grass pocked with rabbit warrens between the cabins, that are a pebble’s throw – over a strip of frequent land and sea wall – from a large, shingle-and-sand seaside. Behind us, the opposite facet of the principle street, is Romney Marsh.
Inside, it’s stylishly pared again, in muted tones, with a number of luxurious touches – Loaf furnishings, Weaver Inexperienced cushions and large fluffy duvets (slightly too heat for late summer season, in reality, once we have been staying). It feels each gentle – with floor-to-ceiling home windows working the size of the constructing – and lounge-around-and-do-nothing cosy, even in summer season. In autumn or winter, with the woodburner on and the sound of waves crashing in opposition to the ocean wall, it will make a toasty bolthole. The pile of themed books on the espresso desk (Cabin Porn, Tiny Home, and so forth) is maybe over-egging the cabin-fever motif, however George spends hours trying via them.
The truth is, I can solely discover two faults: the joinery across the door frames is slightly slapdash (although maybe solely a carpenter or a journey journalist would spot that); and, extra annoyingly, a six-inch hole above the curtain rail in the principle bed room permits sufficient gentle to wake me quickly after the solar’s up.
The kitchenette has two rings and a microwave, and is supplied with 4 of all the things for indoor consuming plus one other 4 on-trend enamel cups, plates, dishes and so forth for consuming on the cabin’s deck or the communal barbecue space. There’s even a cocktail shaker and martini glasses. By probability we’ve purchased limes, so it appears impolite to not pop over to the on-site store for miniature bottles of tequila and Cointreau to make myself a sundowner margarita (a bucket of ice is delivered to the cabin). Cabü Home (additionally the reception) is that sort of store – promoting treats like charcuterie, booze, native cheeses and meat and fish for the barbecue and the aforementioned cabin books alongside the necessities.
The location’s different point of interest is the heated, gated, swimming pool. It might be slightly hotter, nevertheless it’s lengthy sufficient to swim first rate lengths and shallow sufficient for younger youngsters to play in. Households with little ones spend a lot of the day between the pool and their cabins, giving Cabü the texture of an unique vacation camp.
However it is a distinctive a part of the world, as distant because it will get in crowded south-east of England – all sheds, shingle and sheep – so we go exploring. The huge Camber Sands is among the many best sandy seashores on the entire south coast (regardless of the muddy brown water); it stretches for miles and is backed by sufficient dunes to get misplaced amongst.
We then chug via Romney Marsh on the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway miniature steam prepare from close by Dymchurch to Dungeness, which is a really totally different sort of seaside – one of many largest expanses of shingle in Europe, dotted with sea kale and crimson and yellow poppies. Out on a geographical limb, nearly treeless and residential to the looming hulk of a nuclear energy station, Dungeness seems like the tip of the world.
This evocative, desert-like setting is dwelling to maybe England’s most well-known cabin, Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage, initially a Victorian fishermen’s hut, and its gorgeous shingle backyard, which the late movie director created within the closing years of his life. Movie and backyard followers crunch their method throughout the shingle to see it, however Dungeness has dozens extra cabins to admire, from ramshackle, junk-laden shacks that wouldn’t look out place within the American midwest, to new modern, Scandi-inspired weekend houses. There’s driftwood, fishing paraphernalia and hunks of rusting steel strewn throughout the pebbles, and it’s exhausting to inform in the event that they’re weatherworn sculptures created by the realm’s massive artist group or just flotsam and jetsam.
It’s a bewitching place, fairly not like anyplace else within the UK. After we get again to our cabin, it’s no shock to find that Dungeness was the inspiration for Cabü itself.
The journey was supplied by Cabü by the Sea; two nights from £250 in a two-berth cabin or £340 in a four-berth