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by Emma Hla

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I’d been badgering the boy about visiting Rye for as long as I care to remember.

Now, we’re not adverse to travel… Far from it. Why, our first year together was pretty much a long adventure involving 11 cities and 10 countries! But, could we make it an hour and a half down the blinking road…? Could we heck.

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the daily routine of work, deadlines and the sudden arrival of a brand new puppy. But all that changed, when in April I decided to follow in the words of a renowned sporting brand and just do it.

So I did.

With the pup booked into his own little holiday camp and our out of office on, we set off on a road trip through the East Sussex countryside on our way to The George in Rye.

The Facts

Location… Rye, East Sussex, close to the Kent border.

Capacity… 120.

Vibe… The George, a gorgeous Town House in the hub of the Rye High Street, stands proud, waiting to welcome you. The eighteenth Century Ballroom, with its original Georgian features, silk hand-painted wallpaper, chandeliers and large bay windows is unrivalled for its elegance.

Style… london-wedding-venues-the-dolls-house-hoxton-coco-wedding-venues-images-by-christiana-courtright-the-lifestyle-directory-19

notes on the george in rye

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Top Row Left: Image by Anneli Marinovich. Top Row Right: Image by Emma at Coco. Bottom Row: Images by Anneli Marinovich.

I can’t even begin to tell you how pretty Rye is – a Medieval chocolate-box bubble standing just two miles from the sea, think cobbled streets, untouched houses and a wistful coastal vibe seeping through every corner. I instantly fell in love with this time-locked town.

From the moment we pulled up outside The George in Rye I knew we were in for a treat. This contemporary and stylish hotel dates around 1575 and you can feel the heritage all around you. But fear not, this stunning Town House allows discerning guests to revel in modern day comforts.

Upon checking in we were swiftly shown to our bedroom, a luxuriously cosy den for me and the boy to call home for the next two nights… This boutique hotel cleverly and subtly merges old with new. Beautiful antiques, seaside touches, carefully chosen palettes, fresh flowers and local artwork create something eclectic and unique. I instantly spotted the beautiful branded bottles of water, a cashmere hot water bottle at the end of the bed, and a tea chest full of goodies.

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Top Row Left: Image by Emma at Coco. Top Row Right: Image by Anneli Marinovich. Bottom Row: Images by Emma at Coco.

Now we like to think we’re pretty good tourists so we didn’t want to waste any time in heading out to explore (and more of that in a minute), but I also wanted to catch up with the lovely Alice, Events Manager extraordinaire.

The George in Rye host the most fabulous weddings and, of course, as a purveyor of beautiful wedding venues I just had to take a look around. As Alice showed me into the beautiful banqueting room my breath caught just ever-so-slightly…

What lay before me was a grand yet intimate room with the most beautiful silken walls, wooden floor and the prettiest glittering chandeliers I’ve ever seen.

I instantly imagined my wedding here. Don’t tell the husband I said that.

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Images by Anneli Marinovich.

The eighteenth Century Ballroom seats 120 guests and with its original Georgian features, silk hand-painted wallpaper, chandeliers and large bay windows is unrivalled for its elegance.

Whilst the Ballroom is light, airy and let’s face, a girls idea of heaven, The Benson Room is it’s masculine companion. All moody dark colours, open fireplaces and an altogether cosier setting. This space suits smaller wedding parties or can be utilised as a bar for your evening reception.

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Images by Anneli Marinovich.

With a team of chefs and staff focused purely on your wedding, the rest of the hotel whispers around you… Attention to detail at The George in Rye is second-to-none and you can relax into the planning knowing you are in safe hands.

Alice and her team can recommend local suppliers – from florists, photographers, cakes, musicians – you just name it! Oh and with 34 beautiful bedrooms you and your girls can stay the night before your big day, and then, the morning of your wedding, let the spa come to you! Yep, from Make-up Artists, Hair Stylists through to grooming for your Groom, The George in Rye can be on hand to offer assistance… Utter perfection.

So with me daydreaming about yet another wedding, I picked up the boy from the beautiful reception (the perfect spot for some reading and an afternoon cocktail… or three) and we headed out into Rye, with the prettiest of maps in hand!

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Images by Emma at Coco.

Now we were only here for 48 hours and I had grand plans of driving to the neighbouring beach Camber Sands, lunching at The Gallivant, visiting the local National Trust establishment and so on, and so on… But so smitten were we by Rye that we didn’t even leave the town!

So this is our list of tourist hotspots…

  • Mermaid Street – take a photo of the sign. Obvs.
  • Lamb House (National Trust)
  • Rye Museum & Model Show!
  • The Old Penny Arcade
  • Lunch at The Olde Bell, sit under the wisteria and order a pint of prawns!
  • The Antiques Trail
  • The Ypres Tower
  • St Mary’s Church (climb to the top)
  • The Mint

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Images by Emma at Coco.

After a full day of walking and taking in the Rye culture we sloped to our snug for a snooze before heading to The George Tap for our signature cocktails… Me, a Mojito and the boy, a Whiskey Sour. My mouth is watering just thinking about how good these were!

Dinner (each night!) was an extravagant affair of Oysters Charentaise with Merguez sausage, Côte de boeuf, dark chocolate tart and espresso ice cream…

Full with delicious food and love for Rye, we headed back to our big bed, sinking into the most amazingly soft bedding.

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Images by Emma at Coco.

I would run back to The George in Rye in a heartbeat…

My moment may have slipped by to marry in this beautiful setting (there’s always the vow renewal right!?) but for all you newly-engaged folks looking for a classic venue with an air of intimacy you simply must check out this jewel in the Coco Collection

Oh and there’s a rather fancy Open Day Spectacular coming up on Sunday 29th June! Between the hours of 11am and 3pm, The George in Rye will be bursting with inspiration, goodies bags and bubbles!

A huge thank you to Alice for making us feel so very welcome at this beautiful venue…

Lots of love…

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