Beachy Weddings and Minimoon Heaven at The Gallivant, Camber Sands | UK WEDDING BLOG

facebook-profile-picture By Rebecca

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Last summer, a photographer friend of ours, Olivia Shaw, got married at The Gallivant Hotel down in Camber Sands. Her photos are ridiculously beautiful and I really couldn’t believe that their wedding was in England. We’ll be sharing her wedding on the blog next week so you can see what I’m talking about. But today I’d love to tell you more about the rustic nautical chic, New England style hotel that sits behind the most beautiful beach in the UK and is the perfect setting for a beachy wedding or a mini-moon. It feels like a nautical beach house in the Hamptons and if you want to get married here, you can hire it exclusively for the weekend. Eat, sleep and beach! 

I’ll split this post into two, first up weddings at The Gallivant.

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The hotel is licensed to host civil wedding ceremonies for up to 120 people in the New England room, meaning you can host your entire day in one location. Alternatively though, there are some rather special locations nearby including a lighthouse on the beach and beautiful churches.

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Celebrations normally begin with a reception in the dunes overlooking the magnificent golden sandy beach. After the ceremony, swap your heels for flip-flops and enjoy cocktails and canapés served out of picnic hampers on the sand dunes. The hotel can arrange games on the beach to keep guests amused while you have photos taken.

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What a setting! Couples who have got married there say that their guests felt like they were on holiday, it’s just such a dreamy place.

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Then it’s back to The Gallivant for the wedding feast in the Beach Hut Marquee. Food is served on bespoke driftwood tables, decorated with shells, lanterns and beach bunting. The hotel is famed for it’s restaurant, there’s a real emphasis on good food here and 95% of the menu comes from within 10 miles which is impressive.

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In the summer, the Gallivant feels like a beach house in the Hamptons for you to celebrate in style, the beach hut opens out onto the garden filled with deck chairs and a bar to extend the party outside. In the winter however, weddings are just as magical and feel more like a Scandinavian coastal house. The marquee is turned into a cosy twinkly Winter wonderland with open log fires, sheepskin rugs to snuggle in and storm festoon lanterns fill every vantage point.

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You can then go and party on in the New England room or go back to the beach for sunset. All weddings, with the exception of smaller weddings from October to April, are on an exclusive use basis – during this time The Gallivant becomes your private beach house for you and your guests to enjoy with the team working around the clock to ensure your celebration is everything you dreamt it would be. This includes all twenty bedrooms for the night with breakfast the next morning. You have the property as yours from 11am on the day of your wedding until 11am the day after. What I especially like about The Gallivant is the way that they never schedule two weddings back to back meaning that you will never feel rushed, and it makes your day even more special. Pricing is very fair too. You can find out more here  or contact the lovely Diana.

Minimooning –

Dreamy weddings aside, The Gallivant also makes the perfect place for a little getaway for a couple of nights. We drove down early to make the most of our stay and arrived to the bluest skies and softest sand at Camber, I can’t think of a better beach in England. If you know any then pass them my way please because this will take some beating. And despite being a sunny weekend in August, it’s such a large expanse of sand that it never gets crowded.

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Just across the road, The Gallivant is a nautically dressed former motel that’s been transformed with wave washed wood, Hampton’s style wooden panelling, boutiquey touches and one of the best restaurants in the UK.  This year it’s been rated by the Daily Telegraph as one of the top 25 seaside hotels and the Independent as one of the top 13 best beachside hotels.

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There are twenty rooms to choose from, the Deck rooms are my favourite with beautiful bathrooms {there are only two right now but every room is being renovated over the Winter so by next Spring all rooms will be up to the Deck standard} and outdoor terraces but there’s also super-king outdoor rooms which are bigger and suitable to take your pooch with you!

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Rates are reasonable and include breakfast the next morning {which was to die for} and afternoon tea at 4pm every day. We had spent the morning exploring the beach and Rye so by 4pm we couldn’t wait to snuggle up with the papers and a piece of cake in the cosy lounge area! Why is the sea air so tiring?

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If you’re a bit beached out but still want to sit outside there’s a lovely garden with deck chairs and an outdoor bar that you can sit out in until after dark on a warm evening with the lanterns lit.

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The location is really perfect, only five minutes from Rye and just along the coast from Hastings, it was an area we hadn’t explored before but boy was it gorgeous. It’s the kind of place where there are fields for miles that then meet the sea. And cute fresh produce stalls set up on the side of the road! I’ve declared Rye as my new favourite place. It’s one of the oldest towns in England and is literally chocolate box worthy. There are amazing old streets to wander, with some of the prettiest houses I’ve ever seen, all with quirky wonky roofs and climbing roses. Houses aside, there are castles to explore, church spires to climb, independent shops with some good opportunity for antiques and interior shopping and some great cafes and restaurants. There are boats by the harbour and views over the countryside. You must visit Winchelsea too, my husband and I came home to Rightmove properties there. Next time we’ll take our bikes and/or walking shoes as there are some amazing places to explore there, and the kind of place which is just as lovely in Winter as it is in the Summer.

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The Gallivant describes itself more as a restaurant with rooms than a hotel, so food is a real focal point so we were looking forward to dinner! The menus are seasonal using the best ingredients from local suppliers, as I said before in the wedding section 95% of food comes from within 10 miles. All the fish is caught within 48 hours of eating it, and often a lot less.

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Dinner was definitely amazing, I had the lobster roll to start with, Ben had the pigeon. Then we both had salt marsh lamb leg with rainbow chard for mains. My pudding was a highlight, a peanut butter, raspberry jelly delight!

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Followed by a sunset beach walk through the dunes and then snuggly hotel gowns. The Gallivant have it made. And that’s before you mention breakfast! A table of continental treats plus a choice of cooked eggs/pancakes etc. And even a recovery station complete with Bloody Mary’s and Berocca tablets if you’re feeling a bit delicate.

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We were sad to leave, and had one last walk on the beach but have vowed to return once the room renovations are complete next Spring. You really must visit.

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You can find out more on The Gallivant’s website here.

And some info about the local area here.

Look out for the gorgeous Olivia’s wedding on SYGM next week.

R <3 xx

{I was a guest of The Gallivant but as always I would never ever promote something that I didn’t truly love. All opinions are my own. With thanks to James Fear Photography and David Long Photography for some of the wedding photos in this post}.

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