Life’s a beach – especially at The Gallivant. Editor Sophie Ritchie heads to East Sussex for a scenic seaside stay at this charming restaurant with rooms
A beachfront motel mingling British seaside style with Hamptons chic, The Gallivant is a 20-room hideaway that invites its guests (both two and four-legged) to switch off, sit down and soak up East Sussex’s coastal beauty.
There’s plenty of fun (and feasts) to be had here. Complete with a boutique massage hut, plenty of lounging space and an award-winning restaurant, here’s what to escape from a gourmet gallivant at this South East escape.
With ample parking, The Gallivant is found adjacent to a coastal road, where the idyllic Camber Beach awaits on the other side.
The historic town of Rye is a mere five minutes’ drive away – perfect for a day’s adventuring through its cobbled streets. Guests can arrive via train here, whilst London is about a two hour drive away.
=A former 1960s motel, interiors draw inspiration from New England and sleek Hamptons beach style. Complete with a pretty coastal garden, the reception area and restaurant are filled with laid-back decor – with plenty of cozy spaces designed for sitting, sipping and chatting.
Simple wooden tables in the restaurant conjure Scandi-esque vibes, whilst plenty of added foliage and airy spaces create a relaxed dining space – there’s no sense of stuffiness here.
There’s even complimentary afternoon tea, served daily in the restaurant, that adds to the ambience – and also offers guests a chance to mingle over a slice of something sweet.
Most importantly, the small team are friendly, greeting each visitor with a smile and ensuring that they leave beaming with one of their own through speedy service and attentiveness.
There’s a variety of room styles to choose from, ranging from the smaller Original Garden rooms to the swoon-worthy Luxury Garden abodes.
The latter are our favourite – think huge spaces filled with quirky decor (vintage framed swimsuit, anyone?) as well as oak floors, enormous Hypnos beds, flamboyant headboards and rolltop baths. The bubble baths alone, courtesy of full-sized Bramley toiletries, are worth checking in for.
All Luxury Garden rooms also offer direct access to the coastal garden (and Room 17 is even pooch-friendly). Hamptons, eat your heart out.
Locally-sourced produce is at the heart of the award-winning restaurant. With a number of accolades under its belt for its sustainable approach to cooking, over 95% of all fresh produce is sourced within a 10 mile radius.
The proof is in the pudding – quite literally. Dishes are deliciously fresh, incorporating foraged ingredients with local produce to create heavenly mouthfuls that have made The Gallivant’s eatery a dining destination in its own right.
Breakfast is also served here each morning. Wander through after a night of peaceful slumbering to find a central table laden with artisan breads, cereal, juices and fruit. A la carte dishes are also available for an additional fee – the avocado toast is calling.
What To Do
Cross the road and head over to Camber Sands beach for scenic seaside strolling or take a short trip into Rye to admire its well-preserved buildings and intriguing streets. Lined with medieval, half-timbered houses, famous residents have included the likes of author Henry James.
Its little cafes and coffee shops make excellent pitstops, whilst you can’t leave without a wander down Mermaid Street – a lane famed for its stunning old buildings.
Wine buffs should make a beeline for Gusbourne wine estate, the home of ‘enlightened traditionalists’ as well as exceptional sparkling wines. With a tasting room open to visitors all year round, as well as expert-led tours in the warmer months, it’s an excellent way to wile away an afternoon. Hic.
Balance out the exploring with a spot of pampering. Enjoy a boutique treatment in The Gallivant’s on-site spa hut or book a group yoga session to stretch off any unwanted stress. In summer, classes are even taught outside on the nearby beach for added relaxation.
The Wordrobe Verdict
There’s no need to catch a flight if you want a dose of the Hamptons’ signature style this summer. Offering seaside charm with culinary excellence, The Gallivant offers everything needed for a weekend of coastal cool.
Make it happen
Where: New Lydd Rd, Camber, Rye TN31 7RB.
Wallet: Rooms start from £95 per night for midweek stays.
How: To find out more and make a booking, please click here or phone 01797 225057.