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Review: The Old Army Cinema, Ruckinge in Kent

By Caroline Cooper on 30th April 2019

First established in 1989 by the Morris family, boasts a collection of almost 5,000 properties spanning England, Scotland & Wales.

Renowned for its personal service and exquisite properties, is dedicated to ensuring that every guest has the very best experience. Be it seeking a romantic escape, taking the family (and dog/s!) away for a week, or planning a get-together with friends for a special occasion, has something for everyone.

The extensive portfolio covers everything from barn conversations to fire trucks (fitted with a fireman’s pole), there really is something for everyone and every occasion. And with six of us looking for a weekend break, the site seemed to be the perfect place to look.

The website itself is incredibly easy to navigate, with the search engine allowing you to choose destinations, dates and party size. We opted (rather broadly) for the South East as our location, and decided to see what property really grabbed our attention.

The Old Army Cinema boasts a spacious open plan living area

With my husband and I keen to renovate our new home, and luxe-industrial being our dream décor, we couldn’t believe our eyes as we discovered The Old Army Cinema.

The Old Army Cinema is nestled in the quiet and extremely quaint village of Ruckinge, just outside the pretty market town of Tenterden, but you’d be forgiven if you never make it that far as it would be easy to spend your entire stay nestled in the confides of the beautifully repurposed home (which was previously a village hall).

Its stunning interior is matched with a well thought out perimeter that allows for either relaxation or entertainment, inside or out. This place has it all. Four well sized bedrooms (one situated in the mezzanine that can sleep three people), three bathrooms, a spacious kitchen flowing into an open fire snug, living space and dining area, plus a dining area outside with its own pizza oven and finally a Jacuzzi.

The property has four well sized bedrooms including a family suite

You actually start to wonder how all this fits inside one building. The owners haven’t missed a trick and from top to bottom there are lovely features from a vintage bank safe recycled into a side table to the subtle animal theme soft furnishings thanks to The high quality, design-led textiles compliment the interior so well, with cute kissing animal designs, on the bedding, cushions and towels. It all comes together perfectly – and made me want to order it all!!

The well-equipped kitchen is ideal for entertaining. If with friends, you could easily take it in turns to rustle up a feast each night, (one of course must involve using the outdoor pizza oven). However, with all of us, including the grandparent’s, wanting to truly relax we opted to hire in local and personal Chef, The Chef Touch on one of the evening’s.

The fully equipped kitchen is ideal for creating family meals

Charismatic, professional and maker of divine food, we loved our experience. The booking system is simple, with Chef Silvestre suggesting a seasonal menu – it’s such a joy, to not have to think about dinner, for once!

We enjoyed a White Martini Cured salmon with avocado and chilli puree to begin, followed by Welsh Lamb rump, with spices, dauphinoise potato and vegetables medley. For dessert, we enjoyed Indulgent Belgium Chocolate tart infused with orange and fresh berries. He arrives a few hours before you’re due to sit down, and encourages those that wish to join him in the kitchen, and lends advice on all areas of both the menu and cooking at home.

It was a fantastic experience, and something everyone should do if visiting The Old Army cinema, or indeed anywhere in the UK (he travels all over) and what’s more you don’t even need to worry about clearing up, as Chef Silvestre does it all!

The jacuzzi makes a great spot for relaxing on your break

Once you finally make it out of the building there’s lots to explore. Keen walkers will enjoy exploring the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which boasts an abundance of beautiful walks and scenery. Just a short walk through the church yard is the Royal Military Canal which dates back to 1805 and runs through Ruckinge.

And if history isn’t your thing then within a short drive there’s something for everyone from the dramatic beach of Dungeness to the sandy shores of Camber Sands. For the kids, two particular recommendations are the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway that runs a miniature steam railway service from Hythe all the way to Dungeness, and the Rare Breeds Centre which is home to everything from farmyard animals to falconry.

We absolutely loved our Holiday Cottage experience, and will certainly be booking again. The site is World Class and allows you to experience the most luxurious of homes. And with the team available 24/7 should you need them, it doesn’t get much better.

A three-night stay at The Old Army Cinema costs from £116 pp (£1,042 total) and welcomes one dog (£20 charge).

To book, call 01237 459888 or visit can be arranged to prepare a meal at the property for your party, tailored to their tastes and dietary requirements, for around £40 pp for a three-course dinner including canapés.