The Gallivant, Rye – Chic Retreats

December 22, 2017

I’ve been travelling abroad quite a lot this year, so it’s always refreshing when I get to spend some quality time with my family, somewhere in England, close to home. We live pretty close to the sea, around two hours drive, so going to Camber Beach every time we get the chance, is magical. A few weeks ago we stayed at The Gallivant, one of the Chic Retreats boutique hotels. The hotel is inspired by California’s Hamptons beach style and with the 20 comfortable rooms, you will definitely extend your holiday when booked here. Having the British seaside next door, wonderful staff, a quirky décor and an excellent restaurant, make The Gallivant one of the best hotels in England.  We stayed in the luxury garden room, because with a husband and a baby, you need all the space you can get. The room has generous storage for longer stays, bar area with chiller, velvet seating and double doors opening onto semi private decks with teak furniture. The room has such a comfortable bed, sliding bathroom walls that expose a large freestanding roll top bath and walk in monsoon showers. I was enchanted by the view to be honest, on my right the beautiful bathroom, on my left the landscaped coastal garden.

Because we ended up going on a break in November, the weather was terrible, as you would expect anywhere in England. Still, the place didn’t loose any of it’s appeal, moreover, it felt really cosy and warm. I wasn’t at all sad to be spending the entire time in my room. Emma loved exploring every little corner, and I was quite attracted by all the little details that made the room feel stylish and coastal: the handmade beds crafted from recycled timber, framed vintage swimming costumes and eclectic book collections.  The rain and the cold didn’t stop us from enjoying the fresh air from our deck, where the coastal gardens are for exclusive use of the guests and also home to the Beach Hut, a spa treatment room and peaceful oasis to benefit from a deeply relaxing massage or facial. The private deck is majestically overviewed by the French doors opening onto the communal coastal garden. You can enjoy your breakfast in the morning here, or lay in the sun in the summer.  The hotel staff is really friendly and at your disposal every time you need help. Quite informal, which is definitely my style when talking about accommodation, the receptionist was really helpful showing me around. The reception and restaurant have the same sleek yet laid-back Hamptons style: a chalkboard showing with the daily weather forecast; complimentary flip flops, wellies, wraps and towels to take to the beach; complimentary afternoon tea served in the restaurant, all speak about a highly welcoming team.  The beachfront hotel should also be on the radar of any foodie, because it boasts an award-winning restaurant. With a mix between beach hut and Scandinavian, the restaurant sources most of its fresh produce within 10 miles. Featuring the largest collection of English sparkling wines in the country, as well as a seasonal menu blending French dishes with a British twist. We absolutely loved our lunch and dinner there! I had an amazing squash soup with pickled mushrooms, which Emma loved; the best pan fried turbot with veggies, and my husband absolutely loved his pork belly (we even had a little bit of a quarrel about who to finish the crispy crackling). Such an amazing gourmet experience. They are really child friendly too. Emma had a delicious macaroni with cheese, which I had to finish (big portion). It’s my least favourite dish ever, but that one was so delicious, I wanted to ask for seconds! Breakfast is generous, you can pick anything from homemade granola, pastries, to fresh omelettes, and Bloody Marry. 

You can enjoy time at the beach with Camber Sands on your doorstep, but there are plenty of things to do in the area. Visit the atmospheric Dungeness, where filmmaker Derek Jarman created his famous garden. Close to Rye is a beautifully preserved medieval town and former Cinque Port with thriving independent shops and restaurants to visit. Immerse in history in the nearby town of Battle, the site of the Battle of Hastings. Visit the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings’ Old Town for 20th century and contemporary art, or do some kite and wind surfing.

The relaxing hideaway from the stresses of modern life, The Gallivant is a place to unwind, dine, dream and relax. Great food, amazing beds, beautiful views, the hotel is five minutes away from Rye. The staff make everything perfect and the hotel is dogs friendly too, with a special section of the mini-bar dedicated to canine treats. The owner had an idea of turning the place into a private home, but then changed his mind and opened a Restaurant with Rooms. The Gallivant is love for food, unique bedrooms, love for local artisans.

Check Chic Retreats for more handpicked hotels with unique charm.