[dropcap]I[/dropcap]’ve done the odd travel post before, but never anything too hotel review specific. Well, take a seat and a slice a cake m’lads, because all that is about to change.
I tell ya what’s tricky, finding hotels that a) look v v v cute (as in, cuter than something you could have created yourself with an hour in IKEA), and b) you can actually afford without selling all your fingernails (not sure there’s a black market for fingernails, but ya get my drift).
So I wanted to kinda fill that gap – shout about hotels, both in the UK and outside – that meet that criteria. Hotels we can afford, hotels where people are nice to you, and lastly, because fuck it we’re all basic millennials here, hotels that look sweet as on Instagram.
So yeah, no bullshit, easy-to-read reviews that might actually be kinda helpful. I dunno, it’s just an idea.
For the most part they’ll likely be hotels I’ve paid for myself, but obvs will always disclaim if that’s not the case.
Where? Albion House in Ramsgate.
The story? I usually host a summer party for the August Bank Holiday weekend – it’s all very middle-class Pinterest vibes and I may as well wear a pinny whilst I serve ‘welcome cocktails’ and hang bunting and light candles like some kind of complete dickhead – but this year we were ahem, a bit short of guests. Everyone had apparently double booked us so maybe we’re not as LOL OMG BEST TIME EVER as I like to believe.
Anyway, a few days before the weekend I had a mad panic that we weren’t doing anything and we’d get to Monday afternoon and regret having not made more of an effort, so went on the scout for a night away in a cute hotel that wasn’t more than two and a half hours from Ipswich.
And bingo, I stumbled upon Albion House.
Built in 1791, it’s steeped in lovely personality and charm but been given a v Instagrammable face lift with a bright yellow reception area, marble bathrooms and clean, fresh interiors.
We stayed just one night – which was lovely, albeit slightly tainted by the fact I had my most aggressively MY URETHRA IS ON FIRE cystitis episode in three years – before darting back to Suffolk to pick up an order for antibiotics before the shops shut.
Food? Townley’s is the name of the restaurant located inside the hotel. It’s got lots of plants, fairy lights and dark teal walls, so rather delicious on the ol’ eyes. Food was nice – we stayed for dinner because it was hammering with rain outside – but the menu was one of those that have mains, starters and sides all crammed into one list and you have no idea what you’re really ordering. The sourdough panzenella was heavenly (as were the pancakes I had for breakfast), but my fave by far were the desserts.
The staff were incredibly helpful and although there’s no obvious room service available, they whipped us up a Chocolate Fondant and Lemon Tart in old ice cream tubs so that we could take them back to our room when Atti started kicking off with sheer exhaustion.
Can confirm that they tasted even better when eaten from the bathroom floor (trying to leave the baby to self-settle whilst wanting to be within one large leap of the toilet because of my uncooperative bladder).
The cocktail menu also looked divine (HELLO AMARETTO SOURS) but sadly was left untouched on this visit.
The chav inside me was slightly devo’d there was no chips or Heinz ketchup to be seen, but we’ll let that slide.
How much? We paid £220 for one night in a super king room with sea view – which is much pricier than their average rate due to the short notice on a premium night. Rooms generally start from around £100.
How to get there? We drove (there was some free parking on the road outside) and went on the M2, which took around an hour from leaving the M25. You can also travel by train and there’s a fast train from St Pancras International to Ramsgate which takes about 80 minutes.
What’s nearby? There’s obviously Ramsgate itself to explore which is a classic little British seaside town. You’re also about a 25-minute walk from Broadstairs which has similar kinda vibes. And then slightly up the coast, just a short(ish) drive away are Margate and Whitstable.
Recommendations? We didn’t get to do too much exploring due to the weather and my bladder, but had a very excellent cinnamon bun and coffee at Archive Homestore + Kitchen which is so close we could actually see it from our room. They sell some cute bits from independent brands, but also had a rather excellent looking brunch and lunch menu including avo on toast and sourdough toasties.
Best bits? The staff were awesome and so helpful – offering Atti bread at dinner and bringing him a highchair etc. I also loved the views from the room which was a really nice size and had plenty of space for our travel cot. Location was also ideal for getting out and exploring!
Worst bits? NO FLANNELS. Which always freaks me out a bit when I’ve forgotten to bring my own to take my make-up off (had to bloody use the baby wipes didn’t I?!). The windows rattled quite a lot in the wind as the hotel is perched on a hill, but that was only during an hour period of ‘ah so glad I did my hair today’ wind. Oh, and there’s a line in the directory book in the rooms about not wearing fake tan in the bed sheets otherwise you’ll get charged which freaked me out considering we’d accidentally got pureed carrot smears on the towels and two specks of period blood on the bottom sheet, but haven’t been charged anything extra so PHEW.
What would I do differently? I’d stay two nights for sure, so that I could properly explore the local area. I think I’d book the same size room again, but would a) bring flannels and b) attempt to be in a position where I could make full use of the extensive cocktail menu.
For more info, check out their website here.