I’d heard great tales of The George hotel – cosy, inviting, great food and boutiquely stylish - my kind of place. Rye is one of those towns where they most likely film Agatha Christie programmes back-to-back, a quintessentially charming spot that has lost none of its historical appeal. If anyone saw the brilliant Mapp & Lucia three-parter over Christmas they will know what I mean – the fictional town of Tilling was based on Rye and where Steve Pemberton filmed the latest adaptation.
I’m still milking any opportunity for Mr B to spoil me and blag a babysitting offer, so I insist that we still celebrate the anniversary of when we met (August) as well our wedding anniversary in December. Mother-in-law kindly took charge of Mini B last year and we set off for Rye – far enough away from London to feel like a mini break but close enough to drive home at an illegal speed should there be any toddler-style crisis.
We stayed in a beauty of a room tucked up in the attic with rooftop views of the quaint village houses and seagulls cruising in the sky.
This was our first night alone together in a year without a romance-shattering mini person in earshot - I was tempted to put the Do Not Disturb sign on and pass out asleep for 24 hours straight but we did what all parents do at the first sniff of child freedom - I headed straight to the roll-top bath with a glass of Prosecco and Mr B immediately stuck the TV on with a beer – romance at its best.
There are thirty-five rooms in total and each is designed with comfort in mind - it's not just bells and whistles, they're the kind of bedrooms where you stay for one night and may never want to leave and refreshingly, rates start from £135 a night - a change from the usual minimum-£200-a-nighter that the majority of hotels who dump the word 'boutique' into their USP feel valid in charging for a space no bigger than a dustbin.
Each room has a different colour scheme to create a range of bedtime vibes from coastal hues and vintage eclectism to floral walls or four-poster grandeur. And anywhere with a bath in the bedroom gets a thumbs up from me (although I still have memories of my dad at our wedding hotel being utterly baffled by his bedroom + bath combo - had someone plonked it there and forgotten to move it?!).
Not only a gorgeous place to have a sleepover but there was no need to even leave the hotel to find a decent dinner. The George’s restaurant serves tummy-rumbling European fare – lots of yummy fresh fish which is always a winner for me and the staff were only too happy to let us roam about with our drinks and settle by the little fireplace in a nook at the front of the hotel.
There's a relaxed, informal air about the place - a wedding was going on in the Georgian ballroom the night we stayed and I immediately braced myself for a sleepless night of drunken guests doing the Agadoo through the corridors but we'd barely have known they were there and they all seemed so hospitable that I was tempted to gatecrash.
If you’re looking for a perfect seaside escape within easy reach of the capital with a hint of luxury and a dollop of character, look no further. The bedroom in the attic has our name on it again for this year's anniversary.
Rooms start from £135 per night