The white clapboard house and palm trees seem to belong to another world. In fact, close your eyes and you can almost hear the Long Island fishermen returning from Oyster Bay, the gulls wheeling above their fresh catch. You can see the ferry chug its way over to Martha’s Vineyard. You can taste the salt in the air.
Nantucket Beach House is on a largely undiscovered stretch of Sussex coast. The air is briny, the ocean just a skimmed stone away and the house bathed in Ralph-Lauren-inspired luxury. Little wonder it was part of the glamorous Angmering-on-Sea Country Club in the 1930s.
If you can drag yourself from the deck, the seabirds and the fresh light of the seafront, there’s pool to be played indoors, a full Sky TV package to pick from, book-friendly nooks to escape to, and delicious sleep to be enjoyed wrapped in Egyptian cotton. Wake to bedroom TV and fresh mackerel on the deck.
Follow the stepping stones down to the gate, with the lapping waves getting ever louder, and you’re onto the beach. The scrunch of pebbles is literally a stone’s throw away, but save your skimming for the water’s edge. Before that, there’s plenty entertainment on site.
Out in the garden, it’s all hands on deck for sunbathing, dining al-fresco around the barbecue or bubbling and boiling away your cares in the 38-degree hot tub. Choose from three garden areas: the deck with built-in barbie and twin baths, the walled, pebbled beach garden, and the sheltered palm garden with screened-off hot tub.
The living is easy here, with the waves rolling up the pebbled beach and double doors leading out to the deck from every reception room. That Long-Island vibe continues every which way inside, with the stars-and-stripes flags mixing with Brit memorabilia for an eclectic feel.
Elegance is written into every piece of furniture and expanse of fabric. Country Life put the Nantucket Beach House into its ‘What to Do and Where to Go’ guide. Tatler called it ‘one of the 50 coolest houses in the world to rent’, and even The Times listed it in its ‘Best 50 Self-Catering Chic Retreats’.
The cool chic is woven into the lived-in Chesterfield sofas, the ceiling fans, the eclectic seascape art and the weather-beaten coffee table. Light the fire, tune in to Sky TV and get the family together for once. After dinner, head to the pool room with its panelled dresser creating a club-like feel.
The drawing room comes with wide and comfortable sofas; fling open the French doors to enjoy ocean views from the veranda. Stay in summer to enjoy fabrics as light and breezy as the Sussex seafront, or make unforgettable Christmas memories, with the Beach House festively dressed with tree and table decorations.
The fish is ocean-fresh around these parts and you’ll be inspired to do it justice in the fully equipped open-plan kitchen with Chalon kitchen units, island, Rangemaster, American fridge freezer and all the appliances you’ll ever need. Cook with the doors open out to the deck and let the sea breezes in.
Where will you eat today? Will it be the open-plan dining room seating 12, up on the balcony staring out at the sea, or on the granite table, al-fresco on the deck? If you want to cook sunny side up, choose from a gas or charcoal barbecue. And if it all seems like too much hard work? Relax: our chefs will get their whites on.
Pubs and restaurants? Close by, we’ve got posh ones, handy ones, Italian ones, Chinese ones, relaxed ones, beachy ones and whatever-you-want ones. Kick things off at Ristorante Al Mare, Restaurante Andalucia or So India. For hearty English fare with real ale, try The Spotted Cow, or go gastro at The Lamb.
Walking the beach? You’ll want something warming in winter or cool and refreshing in summer. The Seahorse Café can do both. Nowhere does English country pub better than The Woodman Arms. Try Sussex Smokies or Steak and Ale Pies washed down with guest ales. Takeaways include Barnham Kebab and Golden House.
Sleeping here is like being on a boat – a luxurious one, with Egyptian-cotton sheets and towels, beds it’s impossible to leave, and an unmistakable New-England finesse. You can even sleep away from the main house, in a tasteful homage to Ralph Lauren.
Titanic, the en-suite master bedroom on the first floor, with its superking bed and small double sofa bed, sleeps up to four. Wake to the sound of the sea and wander out to the balcony for croissants and coffee with a side order of panoramic sea views.
Also on the first floor, Seashell has a kingsize bed with similar access to the sea-view balcony, while en-suite Glacier comes with a superking zip-and-link that can be made into twins. En-suite Pebble and Safari on the ground floor both offer a superking that also double as twins.
For teens or couples looking for a little privacy, the Ralph Lauren annex is a refreshing alternative. It offers exquisite décor and a superking that can be made up as twins through the magic of zip-and-link.
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