Coast guest house has plenty to boast about
With a reputation for being the sunniest town in England, you can see why visitors flock to Eastbourne and, once there, it’s obvious that Coast guest house is one of the best-positioned places to stay. Eastbourne is quite a long, skinny place, with the town and pier at one end and the harbour at the other and so Coast, positioned as it is in the middle of the two is ideally situated. There is also guest parking available at the rear of the property, which is always a bonus for out of town visitors.
Whether you’re visiting Eastbourne for business or pleasure, Coast guest house offers you a beautiful home for home for the duration of your stay. The number of repeat visitors is a testament to the hosts Viv and Mario’s warm and friendly welcome, which included a slice of home-made chocolate cake and a pot of decaf tea for me on arrival!
It’s a well worn cliché for a travel writer to say, “Nothing is too much trouble,” when writing about hosts but, it’s a cliché which really does belong in this article, for Viv and Mario are so thoughtful and helpful that you really do believe that nothing is too much trouble for them to make their guests happy. In the entrance hall, which has a stunning stained glass feature door, there are sweets for you to grab as you dash in and out, umbrellas on loan for the rare rain showers and, in the conservatory, a plentiful array of tourist brochures and local recommendations. From the moment you arrive, there’s the offer of assistance with your luggage and an invitation to have tea, which means you just know you are going to be incredibly well looked after, over and above the usual niceties you find at a family run guest house.
Breakfast at Coast is an extravagant affair and one I have sorely missed since returning home. Former chef and restauranteur Mario believes breakfast is the most important meal of the day and during my stay he fed me up on freshly made pancakes, croissants and jam, poached eggs, and bacon and eggs. (Not all on the same day, I hasten to add!) As a backyard chicken-keeper, I was delighted to learn that all the eggs served at Coast come from ‘happy hens’ – free range hens from a nearby farm.
Being from Sardinia, Mario also appreciates the requirements of guests of different nationalities and is happy to provide appropriate fare to suit all tastes. He takes great pride in getting it ‘just right’ for the guests and he is so obviously a ‘morning person’, that his greeting and his breakfast is bound to set you up to have a good day.
In addition to your individual breakfast selection, there is always fresh fruit salad on offer, with vivid green kiwi fruit and pomegranate seeds glistening like jewels, elevating a fruit salad to new heights. And, to accompany the fruit, is a selection of yoghurt and plentiful variety of cereals.
My room, romantically named ‘Yacht’, was at the top of the house and commanded a sea view. The decoration was tasteful and fresh with white and pale blue walls and blue and cream stripy cushions on the bed and sofa, giving the room a hint of a nautical theme. Elegant white furniture gives the room a suggestion of New England and in addition to the cast iron fireplace, the room is spacious enough for a full length mirror, dressing table, bedside cabinet, refreshments area and even a suitcase stand. It’s all about the little touches: the tea and coffee tray is enhanced by biscotti and mint chocolates; the bathroom treats you to high quality toiletries and there’s a hairdryer and ironing facilities on request. There is also free wi-fi in guest rooms and flat screen televisions with Freeview.
On my way down to breakfast one morning, I peeped into another room, called ‘Lighthouse’, as it was being made up. This one was a sunny yellow with a feature fireplace with matching tiled washstand, a Victorian style double bedstead and stripped floorboards. It looked so inviting and summery even in the depths of winter.
If you’re the sort of guest who likes to get to know your hosts – and I know I’m one of those guests – then Viv is happy to chat about everything from the weather to growing up in Kenya. Mario is also happy to talk about his time as a restauranteur in London telling stories of when Frank Sinatra used to visit to dine (and drink).
When it comes to making good recommendations, Viv and Mario are only too happy to help with suggestions for where to visit and to eat out. One of their recommendations – to Pomodoro e Mozzerella - even came with a 10% discount card, which was used to purchase one of the best pizzas I’ve eaten outside of Rome.
There are also some lovely eateries at The Waterfront. I enjoyed a lunch and an evening meal at Simply Italian and some good ‘pub food’ at The Harvester. However, the best food I had on my trip was Mario’s pancakes and they alone are enough to take me back there next time I’m in Eastbourne!
Information for visitors
Visit Eastbourne: http://www.visiteastbourne.com/
Where to stay: Coast guest house
Article and photos www.aspinallink.co.uk