I do like to be beside the seaside, oh, I do like to be…
tucked up in a seaside room at The Rose in Deal. Things weren’t
always so cosy here, mind – the Kentish
coastal town of Deal has seen a fair share of drama in its time,
with a history that includes a castle belonging to King Henry VIII,
a hotel where Admiral Nelson wooed his mistress, and drinking dens
brimming with rowdy sailors. Just this year, one of those boozing
boltholes has been transformed into a hotel as colourful as its
And it’s the colours of The Rose that are bound to catch your
eye from the High Street. The entrance comes alive with teal tiles,
red velvet curtains and lots of greenery, while upstairs rooms
sparkle with jewel tones of the ocean – that’s sea blue, sand ochre
and sunset orange. Interior designer Michelle Kelly has given the
middle finger to the millennial penchant for pastels and championed
design that’s bold, fun and fresh.
As fresh as the sea breeze that rolls along the long pebbly
beach of Deal’s seafront, whipping up storms and seagulls beside
the pier. And as fresh as the burgeoning creative scene here.
In-between the town’s wealth of charity shops and defunct pool
halls there are independent coffee houses, art galleries and vinyl
shops (like Smuggler’s Records, which is part coffee house, part
record store, part bar). Nearby Margate gets all the buzz, but Deal
is quietly pitching forward. Watch as the town – and The Rose
within it – begins to bloom.
There are eight of them, each with a distinct character and
colour palette. We stayed in number one, with rhubarb-pink walls
and a bed framed by a striking Liberty-printed headboard. In the
bathroom – stone blue and mustard yellow – we washed off the sea
salt in a cavernous Lefroy Brooks bathtub with products by Austin
What’s for breakfast?
À la carte options – such as butter-roast mushrooms and goats
curd on toast – are included in the room rate (or begin at £4 for
non-guests). The Rose is a popular weekend brunch / bloody mary
spot for locals.
How about lunch and dinner?
Touted as a modern British take on comfort food, the menu offers
up starters like taramasalata and chicken-kiev balls followed by
mains such as buttery plaice served with samphire and new potatoes.
The pork schnitzel is so good that we came back a second time for
Is there a bar?
Yes and it was created by Tracey Emin’s carpenter-brother, Paul.
As such, expect an artfully curated wine list and a selection of
reasonably priced cocktails (anyone from London will surely agree
that £7.50 for a negroni is an absolute steal). Co-owner Chris
Hicks’ grandfather ran the local Thompson & Son Brewery in
heyday, and he’s got designs to bring back the most popular
Wifi and tea making facilities are at hand but the Rose is more
of a (insanely stylish) B&B than a hotel – so don’t expect room
service or spa treatment.
Things you should know
There are no televisions in the rooms, so head to the beach for
Within a short walk you can find…
Market Street Fish Bar for the best fish and chips in town, best
eaten on Deal’s long pebbly beach or the hulking concrete pier.
Head west and walk about 45 minutes to the white cliffs of
Kingsdown for killer views.