The Gallivant: a restaurant with rooms
As regular readers know, I’m always keen to explore the UK so I was more than happy to accept when I was invited to East Sussex and Kent for a lovely little food and wine trip. We spent a night at the Gallivant (let’s pause for a second to appreciate how charmingly-named this hotel is) which is in Camber, just outside the ancient town of Rye. We sadly arrived too late to partake in the tea and cakes that are included for every guest but were still warmly welcomed, literally, by a roaring fire and friendly staff holding glasses of delicious sloe gin.
Home from home
With a modern/rustic style the Gallivant is quaintly chic and so British. My standard room was super cosy with everything I needed, from hair conditioner (why do all hotels still not supply this?) to cotton wool and even a rubber duck. The bed was incredibly comfortable, with the squishiest mattress and crisp 300-count linens, and the bathroom had luxury British bathroom products and my dream sink; I’m still so sad this retro style wouldn’t fit in our home and I also came home inspired by the décor in the restaurant. My dining chairs need casually draped sheepskins ASAP!
Food & drink
We were spoilt with a five-course tasting dinner accompanied by, like everything at the Gallivant, locally-sourced Gusbourne wine.
First was beetroot-cured salmon (and Guinevere Chardonnay 2013), followed by wild duck leg and pistachio terrine then Romney Marsh lamb rump (both with Pinot Noir 2013), before chocolate delice (and Blandys Alvada five-year-old Madeira) and finally a cheese board (with Brut Reserve 2010). Every single course was delicious and paired with the perfect, (too-)easy-to-drink wine. I found the lamb and Brut particularly special. After snapping a photo of the bar I was also offered the hotel’s signature cocktail, an Old Fashioned with maple syrup cream – fabulous!
Breakfast was salmon and scrambled eggs with a little pick from the buffet, too. The homemade granola bars and English Breakfast tea come particularly highly recommended. There’s also a great gluten-free selection if that’s something you need to consider. Perfect fuel before a walk on nearby Camber Sands!
The Gallivant, New Lydd Road, Camber, East Sussex, TN31 7RB (from £95 per night)
Gusbourne: award-winning English wines
I must confess to knowing almost nothing about wine before visiting the Gusbourne Estate, which dates back to 1410, but the team’s passion and knowledge is impossible not to absorb. Gusbourne produces English wines that are comparable to the best in the world, enjoying critical acclaim and more recently being showered with awards. They have lots more ideas in the works so keep an eye on them if wine’s your thing! Even if you’re a novice, like me, I’d much rather support a British brand – especially when the quality and prices are so good. Search for a stockist.
Gusbourne, Kenardington Road, Appledore, Kent, TN26 2BE
The Gallivant and Gusbourne Wine Package
From £430. Includes:
- 2 nights in a small room, with a glass of Gusbourne on arrival
- Tea and homemade cakes at 4pm each day
- Continental breakfast each morning
- A 5-course tasting menu one evening and á la carte dinner the other night
- Transport to and from the Gusbourne Estate, a vineyard tour and tutored tasting
Nearby Rye was unbelievably photogenic and I predictably got very snap happy: photo diary up next!
I was a happy guest of the Gallivant and Gusbourne but all opinions are my own.