insideSUSSEX Magazine Issue 14 - April 2016 - Page 60

GETAWAYS Sandways at Camber Sands a blissful beachside getaway A 1930s weatherboard house turned retro holiday home, Sandways, a very stylish but informal beachside cottage, is set just minutes away from the magnificent beach at Camber Sands. With four big bedrooms, a spacious garden (with visiting donkeys no less) and a glorious sundeck that runs the entire length of the property, it’s a fantastic escape for stressed-out city types, families looking to spend some quality time together, or groups of friends who want to hold a celebration somewhere special. B Y P O L L Y H U M P H R I S Approaching Sandways, you can feel the stress dissipating; travelling from bustling Brighton, we left the town behind us before passing through various little villages and finally approaching the property with little else but sheep and lush open countryside to distract us. Tucked away on a quiet lane, there is nothing ramshackle about the property; in fact, it’s really very cool. The black weatherboards marked proudly with a bright red front door give the exterior just the right amount of edge, but in a chic, not showy way. the west-facing garden, and every effort has been made to instil calm: other than one or two flashes of colour evinced in the quirky prints that hang on the walls, all is white, and welcomingly so. Reflecting on our time at Sandways, and where we found our natural hub, it’s clear to see how easily adaptable the space is to the many different groups that could visit it. Although the lounge is the biggest room in the bungalow, and is kitted out with soft leather sofas and a television connected to Apple TV – doubtless an ideal room for tired kids to flop in after a day spent careering around the infamous Camber Sands dunes – we found ourselves gathered in the kitchen more than anywhere else. Socially focused, with a long wooden table at its centre and plenty of room for food preparation, every evening was spent around that table; a gaggle of good friends happily talking over each other and probably drinking just a bit too much wine. The interior follows suit seamlessly. Decorated in muted tones and with an immediate beachy feel what strikes you instantly is how light Sandways is. Painted white throughout and with grey wooden floorboards, all but one of the rooms has floor-to-ceiling French doors leading to the deckchair-laden decking outside and flooding the rooms with natural light. Having undergone a recent contemporary makeover, small touches of modern such as the industrial, brushed steel lighting that hangs in the kitchen, combine beautifully with retro accessories like the powder blue Roberts radio I spotted in the bedroom; nothing is forced, and nothing is too stylised either, so you feel perfectly within your rights to kick your shoes off and lounge around. Although I imagine, especially during the colder months, that you could happily while away a stay at Sandways moving no further than between the kitchen, the lounge and your bedroom, we did venture out into nearby Rye. No more than three miles walk away, along a country path that leads you straight into the pretty, centuries-old town, Rye is well worth a visit and strikes an interesting balance between more modern flourishes as seen in the independent homeware and food shops that line its beautifully clean streets, and the hugely atmospheric and historic – do not miss Mermaid Street, a quaint and cobbled thoroughfare that dates back to medieval times and is marked at one end by the Mermaid Inn, one of England’s oldest inns with a rumoured resident ghost. Myself and the five girlfriends that joined me on our jaunt did do a fair bit of lounging around, of course; without the living alarm clock that is children and in an environment free from traffic, it’s surprising how easily lie-ins come. Plus, the bedrooms are each a peaceful haven in their own right. The beds are very comfortable with crisp white sheets, soft feather duvets and plump pillows that you can really sink into as you gaze out at 60