The Rose, Deal / by Michelle Kelly and Harding and Read

Sitting pretty on the south coast of Kent is the delightful seaside town of Deal. This is one of the areas more gentrified towns, with vintage record shops nestled next to quaint tea rooms, and at the heart of this wonderfully trendy community is The Rose Hotel.

Once one the Deal’s riskier establishments, the 8 room inn underwent a remarkable face lift under the talented London fashion stylist turned interior designer, Michelle Kelly.

It’s not huge but every inch of space has been cleverly considered and detailed with a keen eye. The ground floor holds a tiny screened reception lobby that links the restaurant on one side of the establishment to the bar/lounge on the other side.

Reception Lobby

My favourite element here is how the island bar links all three spaces, so functionally staff are always at hand to either serve drinks or take check in, which is important in such a small hotel but it also helps creates an atmosphere through it’s openness. If the lounge is buzzing with pre dinner drinks then restaurant feeds off that same ambience.

View looking over bar from restaurant to lounge

The glazed screen however helps define the two separate spaces so there is a clear sense of moving between food and drink depending what time the guest is on.

The decor is stylish with the perfect balance between retro and homely. The dining room has stained tongue and groove timber panelling and plush green upholstered banquet seating that frame one elevation. Interspersed with vintage dining chairs and green marbled laminate topped tables.

Restaurant banquet seating
Timber clad bar (restaurant side)

The bar itself is topped with the same 70s style laminate, and the skirt is timber panelled and stained to match the floorboards. Brass framed bar display and beer taps give some elegance to the joinery.

The menu itself is modern British fare with some classic ingredients with a contemporary twist; Smoked haddock, samphire, soft boiled egg and pangrattato or Roast lamb chop, lentils, purple sprouting broccoli and anchovy to name but a few. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is run by Rachel O’Sullivan, formerly of Polpo and Spuntino. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to be staying in one of the 8 colourful bedrooms, you should certainly make sure your booked in for The Rose’s exquisite food.

The lounge area is perhaps my favourite room. Much more dressed down than the formal panelled walls of the dining room, painted pastel greens and pinks really help to put you ease and an array of retro brightly coloured seating areas give a real sense of home and seaside fun.

Lounge Area

Punchy art work, plush commissioned rugs and tropical planting all go a long way to reiterate the sense of homeliness.

Moving back into the lobby area and past a opulent red curtain and a narrow flight of dark timber stairs takes you up to the 8 guest rooms.

Ebonised timber floors, window surrounds and bedroom doors contrast to the rich yellow walls. The bright colours combined with the Floral artwork, it has a real subtle british summer time feel, perfect for any seaside boutique.

Guest room landing
With charming communal tea service

When you enter the bedrooms you see where the charm of this gorgeous hotel lies. 8 in total all have their own personality, with strong base colours set against the dark timber floors, lavishly opulent bed heads and cute vintage furniture. Each one is a picture post card scene.

We elected for the green and blue room, and it’s full of cleverly selected pieces that give the room such a strong character and identity. A beautiful gold circular mirror at one end of the room reflects this personality back at you and helps dispel the rooms small size (which you never notice)

Vintage photo books of the area help remind you that you have actually come to a British seaside town and one that has all the appeal of a bygone age and none of the negativity and decline that recent decades have seen. The seaside really is back and fashionable.

Woven bohemian rugs and tapestries adorn the walls and floors, and give a real hand crafted and homely air to the room.

Just as the bedrooms do, the bathrooms are similarly matching in the colours and tones.

My Nan (and I’m sure many others did) actually had a very similar colour bathroom suite although it was no where as stylish, but that thought immediately takes you back to cherished time of old and helps settle you in the space. The rattan & wicker furniture follows the handcrafted palette, and works in harmony with the bold greens. The simple white walls and tongue and groove panelling ensure the bathroom remains stylish and isn’t over powered by the units.

Lefroy Brooks sanitary ware complete the look giving some real quality back to the basin & shower.

The Rose really is game changer, I certainly for one will be looking to see what our other forgotten seaside towns have to offer, and greatly look forward to seeing more boutique hotels become a major part of that resurgence. Great food, stylish yet homely interiors, and fantastic good old fashioned hospitality, what more could you want.

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