Shaking off a reality TV famed reputation can often be a hard slog, but within a couple of months of owning The Salutation in Kent, John and Dorothy Fothergill had ensured that all connotations to former owners Channel 4’s Gogglebox Dom and Steph Parker, had evaporated.
The acquisition marked the Fothergill’s first foray into hotelkeeping when they took over the 17-bedroom boutique in December 2016, but they weren’t afraid to roll out some ambitious expansion plans right from the get go.
Within the year, they had unveiled a new restaurant after an extensive renovation across the whole property and brought in talented chef Shane Hughes, armed with experience from the likes of Ynyshir in Wales and The Connaught, to take the helm of the kitchen. Bedrooms were designed and the ground floor reconfigured to make way for a new space for dining, drinks and afternoon tea.
The kitchen was also relocated to the north wing under a glass atrium.
Built as a country retreat by Sir Edward Lutyens in 1912 for three wealthy brothers, The Salutation has evolved over the past century from a grand private residence (the first 20th century building to be granted Grade I status, in 1950) into its current guise as a stylish 17-bedroom boutique hotel.
When acclaimed critic Fiona Duncan went to visit, she said: “You get Lutyens at his best, a fascinating garden, and a couple determined to get things right. And you get very good food.”
Location: Sandwich, Kent