To celebrate our anniversary a few weeks ago, Joe and I booked a little overnight stay to Deal- a seaside town we’d heard endless wonderful things about, for a little R&R. Having heard glowing reports from friends (endless thank you’s to Sarah for the brilliant recommendations) and family, and already fully-fledged fans of the glorious Kent coast, it seemed an obvious option. With it’s short train ride from London and delicious variety of everything brilliant about the British seaside, we were very excited to spend a night away from home to be by the sea.
With our anniversary falling on a Wednesday, we seemed to strike gold in terms of timing our trip. Despite having lots to see, a lot of things in Deal are shut on a Monday and Tuesday- meaning later on in the week and weekend seems to be the best time to visit (having learnt from my nan and granddad who visited on a very quiet Monday)!
Anyway- typically, we woke up on the Wednesday to grey skies and heavy rain. ‘Of course!’ We thought. Why would it not rain on a trip to the British seaside? Fortunately, and as if by magic, as we pulled into Deal (layers et al) the sun began to break through the clouds and we were able to de-robe and head off to explore the town.
Although we only booked for an evening, I’d definitely love to have stayed a little longer- so have popped down some additional suggestions if you happen to have a bit more time- we’ll definitely be back!
If I’m being honest- it was The Rose that drew us to Deal in the first place. Having spotted the brilliant Alice Levine sharing it’s Wes Anderson inspired interiors, I was solidly sold before I’d heard much more- but thankfully, this place isn’t style over substance. As well as the staff being truly lovely, the food at The Rose is absolutely reason to visit in itself. With a traditional British menu built up of fresh local produce and a contemporary take on the classics, we sampled everything from their delicious breakfast granola with rhubarb, to their hot smoked salmon at lunchtime.
But back to the room! With each uniquely designed with rich velvets, gorgeous textiles and wall colours that’ll make you want to redecorate the second you get home, we opted for a slightly bigger room (it was the bath that sold it to me), and could have easily whiled away an afternoon tucking into tea and biscuits in the enormous cloud bed. It was the perfect balance of ‘this feels like a treat’ and home-away-from-home, and I’m already desperate for a second stay.
91 High St, Deal CT14 6ED
(lunch was kindly offered to us complimentary)
Eating & Drinking:
Arriving in Deal, our first stop was a foodie pit-stop at Pop Up Café. From fresh sourdough, sandwiches, salads and homemade cakes- we tucked into toasted banana bread, melted salted butter and hot tea, and it couldn’t have made for a more perfect late lunch time stop off (I’ve also heard the brunches are pretty lovely, too).
16 High St, Deal CT14 7AE
Where else to have an anniversary meal than the local chippy? It might not sound overly glamorous, but Middle Street Fish Bar offers perfectly done seaside staples (and a little restaurant at the back where you can tuck in too)! Opting for a can of lemonade and the cod and chips (scampi for Joe)- we couldn’t have asked for a lovelier coastal supper (thanks Elly!)- I’m still dreaming about those vinegary chips now…
78 Middle St, Deal CT14 6HL
During our second day, we took the walk from Deal to Walmer, with our final destination being the highly praised Zetland Arms pub; a gorgeous spot that sits alongside the ocean, serving delicious pub food and drinks- with the most beautifully rewarding view of the ocean to boot. Although we only came for a little drink, I can imagine how stunning this spot is during sunset- or even to shelter during a rainy afternoon by the sea.
Wellington Parade, Kingsdown, Deal CT14 8AF
Before you hop on the train home, make sure to pop by The Lane Bakery for some essential travel snacks. Famous for their cupcakes, brownies and tray bake slices- all are freshly baked in house and come in THE most amazing flavours, from Kinder cookie dough, to Nutella- it’s a truly indulgent spot to ease any leaving-the-sea blues.
22 Queen St, Deal CT14 6ET
Also highly recommended:
The Ship Inn, The Bar, Deal Hoy, Le Pinardier, The Black Douglas Coffee House, Frog & Scot, The Bohemian, Taphouse Beer Café, The Lighthouse
If you’re a bit of an antiques lover, make sure to head by to this gorgeous spot. Although a lot of the vintage pieces are a little large for the train home, there are some true home-wear gems in here, and if you really can’t fit anything- there’s a little teashop at the back too.
156 High Street, CT14 6bg
Having followed Hoxton Store on Instagram for a while, I was very excited to head to their bricks and mortar shop in Deal- which had the most beautiful selection of prints, independent brands and textiles all under one roof. It took a lot of self-control to not leave with a lamp, five bars of soap and thirty candles, but we managed it- just.
142 High St, Deal CT14 6BE
If you’re a bit of a record fan like us, it’s absolutely worth making a pit stop for this place. Not only do they have an incredible selection of vinyl’s, but they also have a fridge stocked with local crafted beers, so you can sit down, crack open a can and spin your favourite record too.
9, Deal CT14 6HX
One of the most interesting piers I’ve been on, Deal Pier is far from the kitsch seaside piers I’m so used to. Stretching out to sea and almost brutalist in design, it’s a prime fishing spot for locals and makes for a gorgeous stroll out to sea when the sun is shining. With a café and benches at the end, Joe and I said we felt like we were in Submarine, which can surely only be a good thing?
Beach St, Deal CT14 6HY
One thing that makes Deal so brilliant is its perfect balancing act of rich history and peppering’s of contemporary restaurants and shops too. Deal Castle is along the seafront, and although we didn’t manage to go inside, is meant to be a brilliant place to explore, filled with lots of fascinating Tudor history.
Marine Rd, Walmer, Deal CT14 7BA
Following on from Deal Castle is the beautiful coastal walk from Deal along to Walmer Castle, and on to the beach. Stopping off at the Castle- we took in some history, before strolling around the gardens (which are absolutely beautiful) and resisting the call from the tea rooms (like the nana and grandpa we truly are). You can easily tackle both castles in a day, and the walk along the front is the perfect way of soaking up the seaside too.
Kingsdown Rd, Walmer, Deal CT14 7LJ
One thing we walked past but sadly didn’t get around to doing was hiring bikes! Along Saxon Shore Way is the gorgeous beach-hut café Hut 55, which as well as serving homemade sandwiches and coffee, offers the opportunity to hire a bike to cycle the path too. On a sunny day this would be the perfect spot to pick up a picnic and cycle along the front, and I couldn’t recommend it more (especially as it’s quite a leg work out on the way back)!
Hut, 55 Marine Rd, Walmer, Deal CT14 7DN
Arcade Family Amusements- because what seaside trip is complete without some 2p machines?