The Gallivant. Camber Sands. Let's just say it's been on my 'wish list' for rather a while. I'd been looking at the website longingly, thinking of a good excuse to take The Boy away for the night, or ideally vice a verca.
gallivant, verb: to roam about in search of pleasure or amusement, often in search of food.
This couldn't be put better if they tried, The Gallivant is most definitely a place to roam, and the Beach Bistro prides itself on stunning food, mostly sourced from within a 30 mile radius.
This week the long wait was over. Much to my surprise at the time I'd won a table for two at one of their Gourmet Dinners. The Gallivant host various Chefs and on Thursday 13th November it was 'a night with Henry and Matthew Harris'. But more on that later.
Location - We arrived in the dark, so couldn't really take in the location, but Camber Sands is just a stones throw from The Gallivant - across the dunes. At just over a 2 hour drive from London it's a great place for a mini break. The Hotel itself is warm and inviting. You are welcomed by a roaring fire and a little dog. We were greeted by a friendly receptionist who then showed us to our room.
The Room - Our room was lovely, with a beach theme, it's rather up my street - the furniture is rustic, the bed king-size and very comfortable. The room throughout contained high quality furniture, tea & coffee making facilities and probably the largest TV I've ever seen in a hotel room. Plus a dvd player, and we were told there were DVDs to borrow from reception. The decor is kept simple with the beach theme continuing throughout. You'll find an assortment of books, bathrobes, beach bag and rubber duck in the bathroom. You can purchase these items too!
Here I'd quite like to mention the Guest Information Book - which I just have to comment on. Personally, I always read the information given, and I think The Gallivant excels in this. It's very nicely written - as is the website. It's personal, quirky and informative - an interesting read.
The Hotel has many wonderful features, one of the best I think is the 'Larder of Guilty Pleasures' which is run on an honesty basis. You can help your self to goodies at any time of the day or night. And there's a huge range of guilty pleasures to choose from. Traditional sweets from Hope & Greenwood, crisps and popcorn. You'll also find a range of non-alcoholic beverages and beer (this pleased The Boy, it was Curious Brew), wine and some sparkles. There's also thermos flasks of fresh milk for your tea or coffee, free of charge. You simply jot down what you've taken and hand that to reception when you check out.
Breakfast - quite possibly one of the loveliest spread I've ever seen. There's a huge variety of items to choose from including toast, homemade granola, muesli, yoghurt, fruit, pastries and fruit juices. This is included within the room rate, you can also choose waffles or 2 eggs cooked to your preference on toast also included.
There is an option to upgrade to nice, very nice or The Full Gallivant breakfast for between £4 and £10. However after my large meal the previous evening I was more than happy to stick to the continental breakfast.
Next you'll probably notice 'The Recovery Station' - for those mornings after the night before. You'll find ingredients for a Bloody Mary or Virgin Mary, as well as Berocca tablets if it really was a heavy night.
After indulging the night before I went for a relatively light breakfast - homemade granola with yoghurt and apricot, prune and Earl Grey Compote, which was divine. I also tried a couple of pastries and enjoyed Luponde Tea in a very fancy glass tea pot.
Atmosphere - I could have quite happily sat in the cosy dining room all day reading the books and magazines on offer. There's a feeling of warmth about the Gallivant and this isn't just the log fire and fur throws that adorn the chairs. The staff are friendly and helpful.
Overall - Unfortunately soon enough it was time for us to check out and head back to London, although I could have quite happily stayed the whole weekend. I'd love to have stayed to enjoy 'Tea & Cake' offered to house guests at 4pm. What a lovely idea, especially after gallivanting in the sand dunes. I'd absolutely love to return - in the summer to enjoy Camber Sands and the surrounding area in the sun.
The Gallivant has certainly made a name for itself - it's very highly rated as a foodie retreat as well as dog friendly hotel, you can read more about that here. A small room like ours will set you back £95 (Sun - Thurs), at the weekend it is a little more.
Thank you for reading.
* Disclaimer - although I won a competition to the Gourmet Dinner. I was a paying guest for the night. I wasn't asked to blog about my visit. All views are my own.