Looking for a luxury cultural break by the sea? The Coastal Culture Trail makes for a wonderfully special weekend away.
If you start the trail in Hastings, the Old Town has a great selection of luxury boutique B&Bs. The Laindons, located in the heart of the Old Town in a grade II listed former coaching house, is decorated in a calming contemporary Scandinavian style and has delicious breakfasts. Swan House, located just down the road, with its 15th century oak beamed ceiling and stunning contemporary decor is another favourite. Hastings Old Town has a number of excellent antique and vintage shops to explore plus Observer Food Monthly 2018’s Pub of the Year, The Crown.
Looking for somewhere to stop for lunch? Webbe’s at Jerwood, the Jerwood Gallery café, offers an excellent range of lunch dishes you can enjoy with a glass of Prosecco on the sun terrace overlooking the beach. Alternatively Rock A Nore Kitchen offer great seafood tapas, all caught by Hastings beach launched fishing fleet. Venture a little along the coast and discover Robertson Street overflowing with cafes and independent wine shops. Further along the promenade you’ll find St Leonards with it’s grand architecture. St Leonards offers a wonderful mix of antique shops, independent galleries and great places to eat.
Heading over to Bexhill, take a walk on the beautiful contemporary seafront and soak up the sun on the beach. The De La Warr Pavilion café, universally agreed to serve the best coffee in town, is a great place to stop for a bite to eat with stunning views over the English Channel and delicious light lunches, freshly made to order. Like Hastings, Bexhill has a range of vintage and antique shops if you are in the mood for a little retail therapy and be sure to sample the excellent home-made ice-cream at the family-run Di Paolo’s Café.
If you are looking to stay in Bexhill, check out the fantastic range of live evening events. De La Warr Pavilion hosts world-class live music, comedy and a range of other performances as well outdoor film screenings in the summer months. Stop over at Seaspray B&B, which offers boutique bed and breakfast accommodation in an elegant Victorian townhouse.
Eastbourne boasts the only 5* hotel on the English coast, The Grand Hotel. The magnificent Victorian building, located right on the seafront, offers luxury accommodation with sea views. There you can relax and enjoy spa treatments or take afternoon tea after you have explored the collection and exhibitions at the Towner Gallery. Book a tour of the fantastic Rathfinny Estate while you are in the area and dinner at Cru Wine Bar.
If you are looking for something a little more home-from-home, the new Ravilious hotel is perfect. The small guesthouse has a boutique feel with 10 stylish bedrooms. Have a gallery experience with a difference with Towner’s exclusive curator led store tours, which give an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse at some of Towner’s marvellous collection of almost 6,000 works of art.
When you’re done, come up to Towner’s second floor cafe, Urban Ground @ Towner and enjoy an enticing selection of gorgeous handmade cakes, filled artisan flat breads, craft beer and wines while you soak up the views of the Sussex Downs.