The Rose hotel - Deal, UK

The Rose hotel - Deal, UK

The British seaside resort revival is creeping round the shoreline of Southern England extending lately to Deal, a former fishing port where the North Sea and English Channel meet. Already equipped with charm in its winding lanes, colourful façades, and antique shop offerings, its hospitality game has been upped recently with the re-working of the former high-street boozer, The Rose, as a boutique hotel.

The dream project of Wallpaper*’s former design editor Alex Bagner, and her husband Christopher Hicks – who as the great grandson of a former Thomson & Son Brewery owner, which owned The Rose until it was sold in the 1950s, is a landlord with a passionate connection to the pub’s past – the new-look Rose is on a mission to lure in locals and out-of-towners alike.

Setting out to restore the establishment to its Victorian glory days, while rooting it in present-day Deal, Bagner’s brief was to overhaul the interiors and make it a home: eclectic and uncluttered in style, with a mix of Victorian, modern and mid-century aesthetics, lots of bold colour and print, and artwork which feels like a lifetime’s collection.

To carry this off, the couple called upon a string of close creative contacts including London-based interior designers Harding and Read – who are the duo behind The Garden House at Surrey’s Beaverbrook hotel – stylist Michelle Kelly, and architects MAD Atelier. The artwork meanwhile, has been curated by Carl Freedman Gallery’s Counter Editions in Margate.

A true test to drawing in the locals is the quality of the food and drink offering. The Rose has nailed this with Hicks’ beverage expertise and the help of executive chef Rachel O’Sullivan, once at Polpo and London’s cult café The Towpath. Dishes are built around local ingredients, such as hand-harvested samphire, but are not a slave to the tyranny of the tag ‘local’. Chicken Schnitzel is served with fennel slaw for example, violet artichokes with white beans and aioli.

House pickles and cauliflower cheese croquette bar snacks, an inventive brunch menu, and coffee from Climpson & Sons should keep the hungry happy, while the king-sized beds, organic mattresses, light as a feather duvets, daring colour and print combinations and clever vintage/modern/custom-made mix of furnishings will please sleepy sybarites.§

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