I am Sarah Jappy

La vie en Rose

A review of the Rose Hotel for Lodestars Anthology

Having conducted a thorough investigation of The Rose, we can confirm it has no thorns. This eight-bedroom hideaway in the heart of dinky Deal – a town as suited to city-fleeing weekenders as it is to long-term seaside residencies – is styled with tongue-in-cheek vintage flair, covetable mid-century furniture and enough candy colours to fill a sweetshop.

Refreshingly, The Rose doesn’t take life too seriously: indeed, there are multiple proofs of the hotel’s witty side, from the burlesque-worthy, red-velvet curtain screening the staircase (and what’s up it) to the cheery blue-and-white striped mugs used for builder-worthy cups of tea at breakfast.

Guests are given multiple reasons to stay in. When you first enter the hotel, you land in the snug little restaurant via a teal-tiled reception area. The restaurant and bar’s liquorice-dark walls are hung with robbed-from-granny artworks, including textured tapestries of horses and bearded, pipe-toting nautical types, plus a giant, lustrous-blue whale engraving swimming high above the tables. Toffee-coloured wood furniture and lashings of chartreuse velvet inject warmth into the inky palette; a giant, flung-open central window lets in a generous stream of sunlight, keeping things easy-breezy.

Speaking of breakfast, the Rose’s food is a memorable highlight, starring snacky, on-trend, small-plate-style fare that betrays head chef Rachel O’Sullivan’s stint at Soho’s smash-hit holy trinity: Polpo, Polpetto and Spuntino. It’s relaxed, playful food that seems suited to sunny days (O’Sullivan is from Australia, which probably helps) and complements the hotel’s laid-back feel.

The cocktails were rather a little too easy to drink (fittingly, for a former pub), so the irreproachably good Climpson & Sons coffee was much appreciated the following morning – as was a buttery brioche bacon roll with zingy rhubarb ketchup, and roast mushrooms on toast with a generous dollop of goat’s curd.

As Baxter knows, dogs are welcome at The Rose, and can stay overnight for a small additional charge. Our own canine companion (alas, languishing back home in London) would have gone potty with pleasure while pootling along Deal Pier, enjoying snaffled fish and chips from Middle Street Fish Bar and rambling along the beachfront, where colourful beach huts bloom like wildflowers. Less dog-friendly lures come in the form of Hoxton Store (where we purchased matching silk kimonos; an age-old British seaside essential), a pleasingly old-fashioned ice-cream parlour and a Barbie-pink beauty salon that seemed to have been transplanted straight from 1950s America and plonked in coastal Kent.

Time things right and Deal could feasibly deliver sun, sea and sand (correction: make that pebbles), but whenever you come to The Rose, you’re guaranteed: biscuits, bed and bacon. Aka bliss.

Photography by Isabelle Hopewell. Book with the Rose by clicking here