Coast Guest House, Eastbourne – Review
By Angie Aspinall
Whether you’re visiting Eastbourne for business or pleasure, Coast Guest House is a delightful place to stay. Viv and Mario give all their visitors a warm, friendly welcome: mine included a slice of home-made chocolate cake and a pot of tea! Eastbourne prides itself on its reputation of the ‘sunniest town in England’ and visitors have flocked there for many years to soak up the rays. Coast Guest House is one of the best-positioned places to stay. Eastbourne is quite a long, spread out place with the town and pier at one end and the harbour at the other. Coast, positioned as it is in the middle of the two, is ideally situated.
Guest parking is available at the rear of the property, which is always a bonus for out of town visitors. Nothing is too much trouble for Viv and Mario for them to ensure their guests have a comfortable, relaxing stay. In the entrance hall, which has a stunning stained-glass feature door, there are sweets for visitors and umbrellas on loan. In the conservatory, there is a plentiful array of tourist brochures and local recommendations. From the moment you arrive, there’s offers of assistance with your luggage and an invitation to have tea. This means you just know you are going to be incredibly well looked after, over and above the usual niceties you find at a family run guest house.
“Set you up for a good day”
Breakfast at Coast is an extravagant affair and one I have sorely missed since returning home. Former chef and restauranteur Mario believes breakfast is the most important meal of the day. During my stay he feeds me up on freshly made pancakes, croissants and jam, poached eggs, and bacon with eggs. Not all on the same day, I hasten to add! As a backyard chicken-keeper, I am delighted to learn that all the eggs served at Coast come from ‘happy hens’ – free range hens from a nearby farm.
Being from Sardinia, Mario also appreciates the requirements of guests of different nationalities. He is happy to provide appropriate fare to suit all tastes. He takes great pride in getting it ‘just right’ for the guests and he is so obviously a ‘morning person’. His greeting and his breakfast is bound to set you up to have a good day. In addition to your individual breakfast selection, there is always fresh fruit salad on offer. Vivid green kiwi fruit and pomegranate seeds glisten like jewels, elevating the fruit salad to new heights. And, to accompany the fruit, is a selection of yoghurt and a plentiful variety of cereals.
“A nautical feel”
My room, romantically named ‘Yacht’, is at the top of the house and commands a sea view. The decoration is tasteful and fresh with white and pale blue walls and blue and cream stripy cushions on the bed and sofa. They give the room a nautical feel. Elegant white furniture offers a suggestion of New England and in addition to the cast iron fireplace, the room is spacious enough for a full length mirror, dressing table, bedside cabinet, refreshments area and even a suitcase stand. It’s all about the little touches: the tea and coffee tray is enhanced by biscotti and mint chocolates. The bathroom treats you to high quality toiletries and there’s a hairdryer and ironing facilities on request. There is also free WiFi in guest rooms and flat screen televisions with Freeview.
On my way down to breakfast one morning, I peeped into another room, called ‘Lighthouse’, as it was being made up. This one was a sunny yellow with a feature fireplace with matching tiled washstand, a Victorian style double bedstead and stripped floorboards. It looked so inviting and summery even in the depths of winter. If you’re the sort of guest who likes to get to know your hosts – and I know I’m one of those guests – then Viv is happy to chat about everything from the weather to growing up in Kenya. Mario is also happy to talk about his time as a restaurateur in London, telling stories of when Frank Sinatra used to visit to dine (and drink).
“Best pizzas outside of Rome”
When it comes to making good recommendations for eating out, Viv and Mario are only too happy to help. One of their recommendations – Pomodoro e Mozzerella – even came with a 10% discount card. This was used to purchase one of the best pizzas I’ve eaten outside of Rome. There are also some lovely eateries at The Waterfront. I enjoyed a lunch and an evening meal at Simply Italian and some good ‘pub food’ at The Harvester. However, the best food I had on my trip was Mario’s pancakes. They alone are enough to take me back there next time I’m in Eastbourne.
Information for visitors:
Visit Eastbourne: visiteastbourne.com
Where to stay:
Coast Guest House – coasteastbourne.co.uk
Where to dine:
The Waterfront and Pomodoro e Mozzerella