The sands of time

One of the few places in Sussex that has gorgeous sandy beaches is Camber, near Rye. Sam Harrington-Lowe went to check out the Gallivant restaurant there, where 95% of the menu is sourced within a ten-mile radius…

Photo: Mark O'Reilly

I visited Camber Sands as a child in the 70s and I can still remember feeling stunned at the size of the beach, and the sight of actual sand.

Until then, I’d just thought that all English beaches were made up of painful stones and litter. The endless hours spent on the beach at Camber are still some of the happiest childhood memories I have. In reality, we only stayed there for a couple of weeks, but in my mind it feels like an entire summer.

cutgallivant__MG_0226-(2)Camber is extraordinary, even more so when the tide is out, with its endless sandy shallows and dunes it’s like something from a foreign land.

It’s no surprise that it’s been voted into the Top 50 Beaches in the World by The Sunday Times Travel magazine April 2015. This is something that The Gallivant is keen to capitalise on…

With its beachy neutral tones, tasteful linen, distressed woods and clean glassware, this place has it all. The service is efficient, with attentive, knowledgeable staff who are clearly excited about the restaurant’s local produce ethics. The menu is small but has enough choice, reflecting native, seasonal food.

The food itself was delicious and arrived beautifully presented. The fish in my soup was caught down the road the same day, and Matt’s pigeon breast was so tender he could’ve given up chewing completely.

cutPLEASE-USE-gallivant__MG_1487My pink Salt Marsh lamb was served with rhubarb and had a real depth of flavour. We’d passed some lambs in a field on the way in to Camber – I suspected I was eating one of their relatives.

For desert we had a local cheese board and an orange cake with coconut ice cream – a lovely finish to a faultless three-course meal.

The wines we had were also English; a flinty white from Chapel Down and the red was a quaffable Pinot Noir from Bolney in West Sussex. There’s an extensive wine list from regions around the world, but the Gallivant’s English listings range from sparkling whites to respectable reds.

The restaurant is a stone’s throw from the beach and if you’re planning to extend your stay, they have accommodation too. But book ahead. Something tells me this is going to be swamped in summer.

Starters from £6, main courses from £12, puddings from £6
Glasses of local wine from £6

The Gallivant

About Sam Harrington-Lowe
As the managing editor Sam is responsible for all the Title publications and works diligently to develop the brand and support relationships with all partners and clients. She runs things with her dedicated PA Ms Alice Pickle Pug