As I sit here now, with the snow gently falling outside, and travel being prohibited, it`s hard not to indulge in a little escapism now and again. It would be folly to roll back international restrictions before other countries get their vaccine programmes completed, but as UK PLC is doing well in this respect, it`s quite comforting to start thinking about the possibility of a summer break closer to home.
There are three broad possibilities – mountains, countryside and seaside, with the latter being the first to spring to mind for most of us. That’s not surprising as there`s over 7,500 miles of mainland coastline to choose from, plus a good assortment of islands from the Scilly`s to the Faroes. There`s something about the sea that seems to hold many of us in its thrall: from placid to majestic, from relaxing (sometimes even with the fractious cries of gulls and children) to almost mysterious and beguiling.
My visit to the beach huts at the Beachcroft Hotel in Felpham (East Sussex) occurred just before this latest lockdown, which turned out to be a rare bit of good timing. Situated right on the beach, there`s just a small terrace between you and the sea wall, with fabulous views across the bay. Being part of the De Savary empire it’s a far cry from the simple wooden structures sitting cheek by jowl on many beaches. The 4 beach hut suites are beautifully designed and appointed whilst still keeping that honest nautical motif. The whole place has a bijou feel with everything in its place, but not cramped. The beds luxurious, the half size Smeg fridge and pod coffee machine look the part, and the art on the wall is real, all of which elevate this version of beach hut living from “basic” to why-didn`t-I-book-in-for-longer? Ok, it`s not cheap, but with excellent breakfasts that can be taken in the hotel across the road or delivered in a wicker basket to your room (much more fun, and the bread rolls are excellent) to the splendid lunch or afternoon picnic that can be transported to the beach you do get some extras that really complete the package. There`s also one evening meal included in most booking options.
Although only two of us went on this break, there is a small additional room containing 2 bunk beds, so its family friendly to a degree, and if the kids are driving you mad, the local village and pub is only a 5 minute stroll away. Being close to Bognor also means plenty of traditional bucket and spade holiday trappings are on your doorstep, as well as the abundant countryside of the Sussex Downs. These huts give the perfect mix of modern day expectation, tinged with the nostalgia trip of happy times past, good naturedly fighting for the last dry towel and asking if it`s not too early to start on the sandwiches.
Beachcroft Hotel & Restaurant is on 01243 827142 and currently has a wait list that you can join so that they can contact you as soon as a reopening date is available, as well as a no deposit at time of booking service.