Succumb to your Gallivanting Ways at The Gallivant!
What if I told you that just under a two-hour drive in a southeasterly direction from London, you could be gallivanting on five miles of sandy beach? And flanking this beach are champagne coloured dunes so photogenic, it'll knock your breath out of you.
'No way!' That is what I'd likely hear you say.
Disbelieving, I know, but true!
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Yet along a stretch (did I say it is five miles long) of the south coast of England, East Sussex, to be exact, is Camber Sands. And a hop, skip and a jump (if that much) across the road from this is the well-put-together boutique hotel - The Gallivant!
The West Indian in me came to life, reminiscing on the good ole days as a teen spent 'galavanting' off to the beach when really I had no permission to. So when I came across an A4 size spread of a pretty little village called Rye, dunes whipped with wild rushes and The Gallivant Hotel, well, I had to!
Part sandy, part tarmac, we followed the road round, almost missing the hotel itself. Had it not been for the 'wild west styled' signboard out front, we may well have driven past it—the exterior, more akin to that of someone's private holiday pad. The nothing-to-see-here look, keep going, except it was what we wanted to see.
Moods reignited; we escaped the vehicle now checked into its own space and adapted a less urban composure. Except for a very young family in quiet chatter, romantic weekenders in pleasant laughter and a young couple keeping their glasses topped up with Condrieu ‘Les Ravines’ Domaine Rémi Niero on the outdoor terrace - it was blissfully relaxed. This, worlds away from the buzz and haze that is London.
With only twenty rooms under its roof, the check-in is efficient, discreet, almost like chatting to your guests at home over the kitchen island. Hands clutch room keys long before the marine notes in the air, flush London's haze from your lungs.
A family room, a room to lock yourself away from all else, or one extending out to chairs decked among wildflowers in your private garden retreat. Those are the only room category choices you'll need to make. And, because all rooms are on ground level, the only climbing you'll be doing is over the dunes or into bed. Anything else is up to you!
The décor is not without regard for its coastal surroundings. Smaller rooms flood with natural daylight and have direct access to the hotel's communal private coastal garden decked with chairs.
With no two rooms the same, someone took a moment to delve into their artistic flair. Though never straying from the Scandi allure witnessed almost throughout the hotel. Wood floorings, Egyptian cotton linen covered beds, power showered private bathrooms, downy bathrobes and wifi, the idyllic recipe to retreat, relax and reconnect. You'll soon want to reconnect with social media too once your eyes have danced around the room but try not to get too carried away.
Our stay, booked to include breakfast and dinner, is encouraged. With its neighbourly position to the sea and coast, the menu reads like an invitation of the locale - Rye Bay gurnard, Horton Farm garden leaves, Sussex Charmer cheese and the longest list of English wines found anywhere in the UK. Yes, they are passionate about their food sourcing.
Served in the Dining Room, at the umbrella-covered terrace or in the wild rushes with the sun setting over the dunes, meals will delight your taste cards. Roll from breakfast to lunch to complimentary afternoon tea to dinner here. It is easily done.
Things To Do
No one will bat an eye should you only wish to be left alone to relax and eat. But I would recommend rolling from a spot of beach yoga to breakfast to a stroll back along the beach.
And if a point arrives, where you'd like to dust some of that sand off for a while, pick up the hotel's branded beach bag for a wander through the warren of cobbled alleys, lined with taverns and vine-covered homes that is the town of Rye. You won't be able to roll here, but a quick drive will be nicely rewarded with another pinch-me moment once you've done so.
It's called The Gallivant for a good reason. It isn't much else we wanted to do other than wander along the beach or over the dunes once we were rested, watered and fed! A getaway so memorable it taps into my thoughts now and then, begging for an encore.
So now that I have told you, what are you waiting for?