Okay, I’ll admit it – a beautiful sunny day in December really helped us fall in love with this place but if you’re looking for a town with lots of charm, blustery beach walks and plenty of antique shops then Deal is for you. It’s also very easy to get to by train, too (direct trains from London via Kings Cross and Charing Cross).
THE ROSE HOTEL
Honestly? I had no desire to go to Deal until someone told me specifically about The Rose – it’s not a big town so it was important to me that we stayed somewhere warm, stylish with a luxury feel. And interior inspiration, if poss, as we’re still mid renovations. It’s more at the top end of a stay with rooms from £125 a night (we stayed on a Sunday and Monday night – be warned, a lot of restaurants were closed on Sunday night – check before you book!), but you won’t be disappointed and rooms come with breakfast as standard. We were sold.
Rooms aren’t big (or at least ours wasn’t, we stayed in room 8) but they were totally chic and warm to make up for it, with free teas and coffees in the hallway.
If you can stretch to it, dinner here is lovely, too. The staff are so friendly, and I can recommend their Bloody Mary (I did ask for extra horseradish, but I am like them extra spicy)! It is dog-friendly which may or may not be a good thing for you…(I’m allergic to fur but staff always asked before allocating a space for a dog near me).
THE SEA AIR
I’m not usually one for long strolls but Deal is set up for it with a walkway along the coast and it was just what we needed, we started from our hotel towards the remains of Sandown castle and then back towards Deal castle (a fort built by Henry VIII). The blustery winds were perfect to dust away any cobwebs of last year.
We didn’t get to Walmer Castle in Walmer, the next town along (but Chris tried Walmer beer, but then ironically found out the brewery was in London!) but sure it would make a great day trip.
The town itself is full of so much character, book shops and Georgian streets, it feels like stepping back in time. I loved looking at all the colour combinations of houses, and admired how well they had been kept!
YOU DON’T HAVE TO DRESS UP
Dress code is casual. Even for the evening, you’re rarely going far so I just took a jumpsuit for the evening, which I also wore home. Makes everything a lot simpler.
THE INTERIORS SHOPS
There are other shops, too, obviously, but the pull here is the secondhand, vintage and antique stores. We loved Mileage Vintage in particular, and bought a secondhand mirror for home. Just wander and you’ll stumble across somewhere you love, I found some great things in Hoxton Store, a few minutes away from The Rose and Le Petite Brocante looked sweet, but was closed.
We wanted to visit the Kent Museum of Moving Image, which houses some Ealing Studios posters but it was closed on a Monday.
Food and drink-wise, we enjoyed dinner at The Rose and if I drank wine, The Pinardier looked a lovely little wine bar. We hoped to get fish and chips on the pier for lunch but in fact, breakfast at the hotel kept us so full we didn’t end up needing it. So we saved our money instead.