Monday 22 March 2010

The George, High Street, Rye

An understated creamy white inn on Rye's historic high street, the George is a large and luxurious establishment dating from the early eighteenth century and boasts a fine in-house restaurant. In recent years, the many surviving period features have been given a facelift and adorned with tasteful fixtures and fittings. The dozen or so rooms, which ooze character, are split between standard doubles, deluxe doubles and junior suites. Room eight, one of the suites, is a bit special. It has a big bed, a comfy L-shaped sofa, a handsome old wardrobe, a large roll top bath (which can be hidden behind some curtains), a mini space age lamppost and a clutch of other quirky features, including an ancient suitcase, a vintage radio and traditional cast-iron radiators. Once you have seen enough of Rye, you can make yourself a cafetiere of premium filter coffee, watch a DVD from the George's aging video library and select some of the top-notch toiletries in the en-suite bathroom, while the impressive bath fills with piping hot water. Some guests complain that the rooms near the elegant period ballroom, which hosts functions, can be too noisy, but room eight, tucked away, is quiet. Note, if all the doubles are taken, you might be able to book a suite for the price of a deluxe double (£175 a night).

Fine full English

Downstairs, there is an appealing, wood-panelled lounge overlooking the busy high-street and a more prosaic bar at the rear that attracts an eclectic mix of locals, as well as visitors from the Big Smoke. Breakfast, in the restaurant, is mostly waitress service. You can choose from almost ten hot dishes, including smoked kippers and eggs Benedict, but many will opt for the full English breakfast, which includes crispy bacon, an egg (cooked to your choice), a spicy, fat sausage, a disc of black pudding, a stewed tomato, large, juicy mushrooms and a small bowl of baked beans. It is all very good and makes the accompanying toast seem a little lacklustre. You can wash it down with decent, if sometimes lukewarm, coffee and help yourself to cereals, fruit juice and battered apples from the small buffet. At breakfast, you'll probably notice that all your fellow guests are couples. The George isn't cheap, but it is a great place to spoil your loved one. 8/10