Gallivant Hotel, Rye

When travelling around Europe, experiencing different cultures and landscapes, it is easy to forget about the great British countryside. Whenever I spend a night away from London I like deep breaths of fresh air, a calmer pace of life and beautiful and uninterrupted views.

Just an hour’s train journey from the capital, the Gallivant Hotel provides the ideal weekend getaway. Getting off the busy train at Rye station, I felt instantly relaxed. The humble beach house hotel is located the dunes of Camber with five miles of golden sand to explore. The property is cosy, informal and quaint reflecting the English coastal setting. The staff were incredibly welcoming and made our check-in blissfully easy, taking us straight to our deck-side room.

Our room was charming and simple, decorated in white and muted blues. The distressed wooden furniture, book collection and vintage accessories made it a lovely, comforting home for the night. The ensuite white bathroom felt luxurious and inviting with a giant bath and Noble Isle toiletries. Aside from the supremely comfortable bed there was a small private deck where guests can enjoy a breath of fresh air.

Just steps away from our bedroom we enjoyed dinner and breakfast in the celebrated Gallivant restaurant. Clearly passionate about local produce, the chef uses predominantly ingredients sourced from within 30 miles of the hotel.

The freshness of the fish and meat brings a real vitality to the dishes at the Gallivant. Devilled crab with melted cheese was an indulgent and delicious starter, whilst roast Winchelsea salt marsh lamb, truffled green beans, garlic scented aubergine and buttery mash was a fine presentation and a wonderful combination of flavours.

For dessert I’d recommend Trevor’s Kent pear tarte tatin which was better even than the Parisian original. With an abundance of caramel sauce and strong vanilla flavoured homemade ice cream on the side, it was impossible to put the spoon down.

Breakfast is similarly delightful, with the sun shining through the surrounding windows it was an idyllic setting in which to enjoy a cup of coffee and a bacon sandwich.

If you find yourself at a loose end over the new year, the Gallivant has a wonderfully reasonable package to help you welcome in 2014 but really this beachside hotel would be a heavenly place to stay all year round.

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