Posted 15th June 2012
Well I picked the right weekend. A couple of weeks ago, the better half and I headed down to the coast for a mini break away from the norm of life in South west London. We opted for the bus to Clapham Junction and the train from there on to Eastbourne. I am sorry to say this, but I must admit that I thought Eastbourne had a reputation for those more inclined to rinse their hair with blue or pink dye, so I did not shout about the fact that I was heading down there. A 90 minute door to door journey and the sea air hit our nostrils.
The sun shone (it does that for those of you in the UK who have forgotten that it shines and it is supposed to be summer!) Our place of rest for the night was the Grand Hotel.
Grand by name but not by nature, The Grand in Eastbourne is not only the only 5 star luxury hotel to be found on the British coastline, it is also one of the friendliest! Some of the staff have worked there over twenty years, many over ten. The Grand is a landmark on the Eastbourne seafront. Situated at the foot of the rolling South Downs, it's ideally placed for exploring the beautiful county of Sussex with its many attractions including historic Pevensey Castle, Glyndebourne Opera House, Sheffield Park Gardens and magnificent costline.
After dropping our overnight bags, we headed down to the outdoor pool for a few lengths before dinner and then had a rest on the sun terrace with a drink. The hotel has a Health Club with a well equipped gymnasium and an indoor swimming pool if you prefer or the weather is not playing ball.
We dined at a local restaurant in the evening but for those keen to stay in the hotel, you will find two of the finest restaurants in Eastbourne under one roof at the Grand under the watchful eye of Executive Chef, Keith Mitchell. The award winning Mirabelle Restaurant where the accent is placed firmly on serving modern European cuisine in a stylish and elegant setting and The Garden Restaurant with its high ceilings and grandeur, offers a more relaxed style.
We had an amazing breakfast the following morning with complimentary newspapers - Graham requesting porridge and kippers (he makes the most of ordering something he would not get at home!) We had another stroll along the seafront and the pier, filling our lungs with the sea air before the train back to collect the kids.
For anybody considering a mini break, the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne is a perfect place to be.
Karen Simmonds - www.travelmatters.co.uk