Seaside hotels near London where the food is great

Planning a trip to the coast, now that the British summer is finally here? Here’s our shortlist of places to stay by the seaside where the food is as good as the sea views.


Fort Road

Margate - 18 Fort Road, Margate CT9 1HF

Overlooking the Turner Contemporary gallery along with the coastline, Fort Road is a luxurious reimagining of a landmark building in Margate with the co-founder of Frieze, Matthew Slotover one of the owners.

Food: The hotel's brand new all-day diner Colina opened at the start of 2024 and serves up a menu inspired by chef Luis Freitas' Portuguese childhood. Weekend brunches are particularly popular. There's also a rooftop terrace bar. If you're after a nightcap there's a subterranean den where the walls are covered in works by local artists (including Emin, of course). 

Rooms: There are 14 bedrooms, almost all with fabulous views over the sea. The superior rooms with the bay window seats look particularly great.

Getting here: It’s a 90-minute journey by high-speed train to Margate from St Pancras.


Forresters Hall

Foresters Hall

Isle of Wight - 30 Sun Hill, Cowes PO31 7HY

Mere metres from the seafront in Cowes Foresters Hall is a boutique hotel and restaurant situated in the heart of Cowes Old Town. Owners Sara Curran and Peter Sussmann know the business well from a customer standpoint - their work in the film industry meant spending most of the year away from home in hotels. Here in Cowes, they've created a beautiful haven, filled with art from around the world.

Food: Chef Jake Storey (ex-Lympstone Manor) and his team serve a menu that is super-local - think locally foraged nettles in the risotto and Isle of Wight tomatoes in the salads. Secure a table on the terrace here in summer and you can think yourself very lucky.

Rooms: There are 14 in total, many with sea views, but the pick of the bunch have to be the garden suites with direct access to the lovely outdoor pool.

Getting here: Take the train from London to Southampton (fasted connection is 90 minutes) where the Quay Connect bus takes you to the Red Funnel ferry terminal for a one-hour sailing to East Cowes.


The Suffolk

The Suffolk

Aldeburgh - 152 High St, Aldeburgh IP15 5AQ

The arrival of The Suffolk caused quite the kerfuffle in sleepy Aldeburgh, bringing with it a degree of big-city glamour from owner George Pell who used to be at L’Escargot. The hotel faces onto the town’s high street (although it’s barely a one-minute walk to the seafront) and attracts a nice mix of locals and visitors to its restaurant and bar. Best of all is the rooftop terrace with views over the beach.

Food: Suffolk born and bred, head chef Tom Payne presides over a menu that makes full use of the amazing local produce in this part of the world - think oysters from Orford and souffle made with Suffolk gold cheese. Cocktails in the bar are also very much on point.

Rooms: There are six bedrooms, all kitted out in seaside chic colours. Guests get access to a well-stocked bar with house-made cocktails and charcuterie. If you pick Orford Ness to stay in, there’s a sliver of sea view through the side streets.

Getting here: Aldeburgh isn’t the easiest of places to access with public transport. You’ll need to take two trains (2-3 hours), ending up at Saxmundham from which it’s a bus ride into Aldeburgh.

Read our review of The Suffolk


White Hart Inn

White Hart Inn

Mersea - 1 High St, West Mersea, Colchester CO5 8QD

Billed as a pub (with restaurant and rooms) rather than a hotel, this Essex hostelry has the benefit of being located on one of Britain's most easterly islands, Mersea. Although that sounds remote, it's really very close to London. What you'll probably know the island best for is its oyster beds which supply many of London's best restaurants. 

Food: As you'll imagine, oysters are on offer, sourced from Mersea business Richard Hayward (which also runs the oyster stall in Borough Market) served simply by the half dozen or dozen -and also employed in the oyster martinis. For the menu, think really good gastropub with ingredients reflecting what's in season.

Rooms: There are six guest rooms all of which are very nicely done out with walk-in showers, cosy bathrobes and super king beds. 

Getting here: It's an hour's train ride from Liverpool Street to Colchester where you can get a bus or a taxi over to the island (when the tide is out).


The Rose

The Rose

Deal - 91 High St, Deal CT14 6ED

A former coaching inn given a very stylish makeover by the grandson of the pub's old owner and his wife (the former style editor of Wallpaper), The Rose is tucked in just two streets off the seafront at Deal.

Food: When Nuno Mendes is executive chef, you know that the food is going to be good. Bringing his ideas to the table here in Deal is head chef David Gadd (ex-Sportsman). Menus change seasonally, relying on a roaster of local suppliers. The midweek set lunch is an absolute steal at two courses for £20. 

Rooms: There are eight rooms, all beautifully decorated and staying here gives you access to the guest-only terrace, which is a perfect hangout on sunny days. Staying over also gives you access to the brandy decanter on each landing...dangerous.

Getting here: It's a 90-minute journey by high-speed train to Deal from St Pancras.

Read our review of The Rose


The Gallivant

The Gallivant

Camber Sands - New Lydd Rd, Camber, Rye TN31 7RB

There's no better, smugger feeling on leaving the vast expanse of Camber Sands when you only have to wander down the lane to your room at The Gallivant rather than joining the epic traffic jams home. A former motel given a Hamptons-esque makeover, this seaside spot is a very luxurious south coast place to stay. Fancy yoga on the beach? Sorted. Picnic in the dunes? No problem. 

Food: Menus here change from easy eating during the day to more elaborate fare in the evening. If you can't bear to leave the beach, the hotel does a nice line in packed picnics (crab cocktail, local crisps). As for drink they have one of the largest English wine lists in the country and can arrange tailored wine tours with the nearby Gusbourne Estate. 

Rooms: There are 20 bedrooms ranging from snug doubles to a garden suite complete with a private deck. Guest packages include a yoga class as standard.

Getting here: Take the high speed link from St Pancras and change at Ashford to get the train to nearby Rye (total time around 1  hr 15. From here it's an easy taxi ride or a 20-minute bus journey to the hotel. 


Seaside hotels, mapped



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