, Mermaid Street, Rye.
Jeakes House stands in a narrow cobbled street in the centre of historic Rye, rubbing shoulders with a higgledy-piggledy amalgamation of similarly characterful properties. In its time the house has been a grain store, a chapel (breakfast at Jeakes House is served in the former chapel), a house, a school and now of course a guesthouse.
No self-respecting English hotel could fail to serve a top-class full English breakfast, but there are plenty of other choices too at Jeakes. Smoked salmon, kippers, avocado on toast, vegetarian options all feature, along with a sideboard laden with fruit, cereals, toast and homemade preserves.
The honesty bar is not just a place to take a drink, but a homely place to relax too after a day of sightseeing. It’s an ideal stopping-off point in the early evening where you can study a folder containing the menus of local recommended restaurants. In winter there’s always a fire going in the parlour.
The bedrooms and suites reveal the long history of the house and are finely furnished with antiques and period pieces. On a more modern note, they also include a television, docking station, hairdryer, fluffy towels, hospitality tray and an en-suite bathroom. Each of the rooms is named after a writer, artist or social reformer who has been associated with Jeakes House.
Although the street is narrow, you can park outside in order to unload and then Jenny or Richard will direct you to their nearby private car park.
Once a seaport and trading centre, Rye has played an important role in the history of England ever since the Norman Conquest. It’s a great place for visiting historic houses, castles and churches and also the scenic beauty of Rye harbour, Camber Sands, Romney Marsh and the strange shingle banks of Dungeness.
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This is a building that exudes history from every pore.