Any new arrival in Deal is met with much anticipation and discussion. The Rose Hotel has been no exception. Ever since word got out about the transformation of one of Deal’s most notorious haunts, everyone was talking about it.
We were lucky enough to be invited along to brunch at the hotel by Alex, one of the owners.
We meet in the garden where there's assorted seating in a courtyard area. We chat as faces from around Deal begin to arrive some faces we know, some new ones. Around the table sat women who run local businesses and who post about Deal online. There's a sense that elsewhere we would all be rivals but in Deal there's a community of cooperation and collaboration where everyone wins. It was a gorgeous day with the sun beating down and the sounds of performances from Deal festival drift over the wall from St George’s next door.
Trophies from The Rose’s various dart and pool competitions are on display, and the rusted old sign that used to hang out front is hung on a wall. Both relics from The Rose in another life.
A delicious raspberry and prosecco breakfast cocktail is rustled up for the occasion, and we're fed platters of food. Pots of yoghurt and granola, mini Swedish buns from Bygga Bo - who is a guest too! Trays of scrambled egg and mushrooms on toast are passed around. A Scandi smorgasbord of smoked salmon, boiled eggs and rye is hoovered up. All delicious and an enticing sample of what to expect from their day to day breakfast menu.
Once plied with good food and drink we are given a tour of the hotel. The restaurant downstairs is laid out in a casual setting, little pots of eponymous roses are everywhere and there's a convivial feeling. Across the room, you can sit at the bar or lounge in the sofas and plush chairs. A painting by local artist Edward Bridges takes pride of place, there's lots of art on the walls and coffee table books placed around. A Wes Anderson book (surely a reference for the interiors and styling of The Rose itself) and a Francis Bacon. It’s a cool space, somewhere you’d want to come and hang out on a Saturday night.
Behind a heavy curtain, a red carpet leads you upstairs and through to the rooms. There's wows and some gasps as the glossy black doors are opened and guest rooms revealed. There's a unifying colour palette and style running through the place. Rich colours and vintage pieces make for rooms that feel more like guest bedrooms in a stylish home rather than a hotel room.
Record players, stacks of vinyl and books are placed with care throughout the rooms. It's a bright sunny day outside, but inside it’s cool and fresh. It’s cosy and homely, without feeling overstuffed or stifling. Cleverly, tea making facilities are stationed on each level rather than cluttering the individual rooms.
The top floor bedroom is intimate with its lower ceiling and smaller size. There’s a skylight in the bathroom and assortment of house plants perfectly placed. The window next to the bed looks onto the tree tops. The leafy greens are brought inside with the colour palette and floral details.
It’s inevitable that anything new in a small town is met with initial suspicion. It’s clear The Rose wants to be on side with the locals. Afterall, local people are the ones who will keep it running. Not only taking advantage of the offerings from their bar and restaurant, but we are the ones bringing in visiting family and friends, all needing a place to stay.
Their intentions are good, their prices reasonable. It’s clear they want to get to know the local community and be apart of it. The menu is accessible and interesting. From what we saw at brunch the food is top quality, not to be missed. There's always room for great food in Deal, The Rose will be another name to add to the list. The rooms are to die for and will be sure to attract their own crowd of similarly stylish guests. Hopefully the town will embrace them with open arms. We're left wondering if it’s entirely unreasonable to book a hotel room in your hometown.