The drive from London took under 2 hours and it was a beautiful drive, despite the rain. the A roads from London towards the coast are beautiful to drive along. Especially if driving through central London where you rarely get out of 3rd gear is your norm.
We arrived in time to check out our rooms, park the car and walk to our spa appointment. Everything was running smoothly.
The Rye Retreat was the perfect way to start our trip. We had massages, facials, mani-pedi's and ended with a wash and blow dry. We walked in feeling a little stressed and frazzled and floated out feeling fabulous. We organised everything via email and it worked perfectly.
A very good friend of mine from when I first moved to London at the age of 21 recently hit quite a stressful point in her life.
I had also been quite busy recently and so we decided a little break away might be what we both needed. Although we always try to catch up with each other when I am in London we decided that instead of a few hours over dinner it would be nice to drive away and spend a couple of nights in a B&B and have some quality time away from daily life, relax, chatter, drink good wine, eat nice food and not have to worry about making the bed.
After a bit of googling we decided on Rye. Its cute old town and cobbled streets is not so big we couldn't walk everywhere and there were several good restaurants, pubs and hotels we could eat in. We also discovered Jeake's House B&B and managed to make a half day appointment at The Rye Retreat.
Rye has a good mixture of restaurants, coffee shops and antiques shops to occupy most people on a short stay. During the dryer months there are some beautiful walks nearby and the coast at Hastings is a short drive. There are also some great National Trust properties and even some vineyards nearby. What's not to like about Rye ??
The Rye Retreat 36-38 Cinque Ports Street Rye East Sussex 01797 222211
Jeake's House Mermaid Street Rye East Sussex 01797 222828
I chose Jeake's House of our two nights stay after reading some great reviews online and we were not disappointed.
It is a beautiful old building renovated into a B&B. It is right in the centre of town on an old cobbled street, so after abandoning the car we could walk everywhere.
The rooms were all individually renovated, beautifully decorated with very comfy beds. Breakfast was a great mixture of continental style fruit/cereals/yoghurt with additional cooked classics. Full English to Eggs Benedict. cooked to order and using fresh local ingredients.
They have an honesty bar that is a lovely place to wind down after dinner, with a selection of board games.
We were really please with our choice and are seriously thinking of making this an annual trip, including Jeake's House.
Today I was talking to a woman in my Pilates class who said she was Irish American and that her Irish blood sometimes gets her into trouble. Her Grandparents were Irish, Her parents born in NY and she has never been to Ireland. In my eyes she is American, and no more Irish than I am (my grandparents were also Irish).
This isn't the first time I have heard this type of claim and this over emphasis on 'heritage' may not be exclusive to Americans but in the US certainly is where I have noticed it most. Perhaps it is because America is a huge melting pot of immigrant nations and so heritage is a point of difference, I have no idea. I really haven't quite worked out why there appears to be such a desire to be '______/American' and not simply 'American'. I can't imagine describing myself as Irish-English or if I get Swiss citizenship as English-Swiss.
I often get asked where I come from. In Switzerland it is clear from my appalling German (and some would say my colourful dress sense) that I am not Swiss. After I have answered by saying that I am from England then the conversation usually moves on quickly with a focus on my appalling German, the latest football disaster or my capacity to drink a large volume of alcohol whilst wearing stiletto sandals in the middle of the winter.
During my current stay in NYC I probably get asked where I come from at least 2 or 3 times a day. The minute I open my mouth to buy something, ask directions or simply say thank you it is clear I am not American. And so the question is asked. Again my usual answer is to simply say "I'm from England". Often this is sufficient and the follow-up can be anything from "I love your accent" to a story about how the person I am talking to was once in England or knows someone from England etc etc.
If the conversation develops then things get more complicated. Sure, I was born in England, but I haven't lived there for almost 10 years and 'home' is now Switzerland (I'm even going through the citizenship process). So when people are asking me if I know the restaurant they once went to in Manchester and I stop them to explain that I haven't lived there for 24 years I can tell by their faces they find it a bit confusing. Perhaps the same confused face I have when I meet someone from the Bronx who tells me they are Italian-American and that they can recommend a great restaurant that does Italian style deep pan pizza.
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