Whilst I love London with all my heart, like most passionate relationships, sometimes you just need a little space. And it’s always a good excuse when you have out of town visitors to explore the UK’s countryside.
So, I decided to head to Rye, a charming town in East Sussex just by the coast, only an hour and a half train ride from King’s Cross. The town is a feast for the eyes, literally suspended in time with cobbled streets, enchanting views and medieval buildings. However, we had spa treatments booked and no time to waste, so a short taxi drive later and we arrived at our coastal retreat, The Gallivant.
Situated right across from the beach, the long grass on the dunes from Camber Beach were swaying in the wind, with a wonderfully calming effect on our frazzled city bodies. As we checked in we could immediately see why this place has won awards and acclaim as best beach hotel in the UK. The staff greeted us like old friends, inviting us to take full advantage of the complimentary afternoon tea before settling into our room.
Inspired by coastal motels in California, the design is chic, charming and eclectic. The Luxury Garden room we stayed in, is designed with a beautiful palette of dark navy wood contrasting with polished marble worktops, a rolltop bath that opens up into the room and plenty of books, even a framed vintage cossie.
After digging through our complimentary beach bag, (featuring chocolate, postcards, champagne and Bramley bath products,) we were drawn towards our private terrace, with calming views of the wild flowers in the garden.
After slipping into the insanely comfortable robe, I headed to the beach shack for my ‘ Rehab Facial Treatment’. I was so relaxed and snug as a bug that I managed to sleep through most of my treatment, relieved by my kind therapist that, ‘It’s the greatest compliment!’
Dinner, straight up, knocked me off my feet. I have not had such a delicious, vibrant and beautiful meal for as long as I can remember. The menu is small, featuring just seasonal dishes, all sourced locally. It really was outrageously good. We drew out our meal for as long as possible, really enjoying just sipping our red wine, comfortably sunk into the sheepskin covered chairs in the Scandi themed restaurant.
Whilst I can’t speak for all the rooms, ours had an enormous and deeply comfortable double bed, and we both slept heavily, dreaming of our succulent meals.
The next morning began bright and early with pre-booked yoga for 745am on the beach (check for dates-usually on 3 times a week) however due to the rain, we downward dogged in the marquee instead. Breakfast was a gorgeous and generous buffet, with a Bloody Mary station and excellent freshly scrambled eggs.
Its rare to find a UK hotel with this vibrant and youthful vibe, so it’s just as perfect for a romantic hideway as a trip with friends. Pack your suncream, yoga pants and a good book, and you are set to go.
With miles of beach to explore, stunning interior design and exhilarating food, a UK coastal break simply doesn’t get much better than The Gallivant.