The Grand in Eastbourne overlooks Western Lawns and the seafront with all the elegance and grace of a great duchess. Shimmering white on a sunny day and known as the ‘The White Palace’, she was built in 1875 and is the only 5-star luxury resort to be found on the south coast. She has seen some grand guests too that include Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Arthur Conan Doyle, King Constantine of Greece and Claude Debussy.
A visit to The Grand is a very special experience whether you’re staying (and enjoying views of the sea and the South Downs) or whether you’re visiting for a meal in one of their restaurants.
You arrive to a vast hall with marble columns, beautifully decorated ceilings high above, and antique furniture. Friendly attention to detail is the order of the day for staff who wrap your visit up in a way that feels luxurious with every attention to detail catered for.
A bespoke Grand gin
And talking of attention to detail, The Grand has now commissioned Hawkridge Distillers to create its own unique London Dry Gin that uses local botanicals to deliver a smooth and memorable gin reflective of the hotel. Ingredients include local honey, and wild gorse and samphire handpicked from the coastline nearby. The samphire delivers a nuttiness whilst the gorse brings a coconut and pineapple edge with the honey creating a smooth finish.
As another reflection of the hotel, The Grand gin is distilled using a traditional Victorian method and comes in a beautifully elegant bottle with the original hotel crest stamped on the glass topper. It’s all part of ensuring that any visit to The Grand is both unique but also evocative of the Eastbourne area.
Lucky enough to be at the launch of this new gin, we sampled gin-infused homemade canapés and a selection of gin cocktails.
The gin is designed to be smooth enough to drink on the rocks so we sampled that too, and it really is, delivering a velvet, almost caramel taste. And the makers have really nailed the flavour of Eastbourne. It has a slight hint of the exotic and conjures up some of the palms of the seafront combined with the warm elegance of the hotel … perfect for sipping in the sumptuous hotel lounge at the end of a long day or on a balcony overlooking the sea. And thank goodness you can also buy a bottle (or two) to take home.
And for the really big gin fans, The Grand’s Executive Chef will be infusing their new gin into their menus (think ‘Grand Gin cured Sea Trout’ and ‘Grand Gin and Tonic Lemon Tart’) which feel like excellent reasons to head back to Eastbourne soon.
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