When running away to the British seaside, you don’t want to be in some big chain hotel or small old flat stuck up away from town. You want your goldilocks moment. You’ve got to find the one which is just right.
For us, that comes in the form of the Hix Townhouse at Lyme Regis. The boutique hotel has just eight individually designed rooms, is located right in the thick of it and has bucket loads of relaxed yet polished charm. Absolute win.
From the Hix Townhouse, you can go searching for fossils along the Jurassic Coast and do all the quintessential British seaside activities – fish and chips on the beach, cream tea in the late afternoon and long walks along the coast (come rain or shine).
All the necessities come with each room – but what sets the Hix site up on another level are all the special features. First off, each room has its own unique design. One artist or one set of artists was given free reign over each room (very much in line with Mark Hix’s love for art and design).
And the Temperley room is a great example. It all comes together thanks to the entire Temperley family. Alice Temperley, the fashion designer did much of the soft furnishings herself. Her sister adds to the fun with photographs taken abroad, the parents step in with their own cider brandy beverages adorning the drinks cabinet and a big cider barrel being transformed into a hand basin. One of the family members even mixes essential oils locally sourced herbs to make the room’s bath foam. It all comes together in an eclectic blend of calming fun.
Large uneven wooden floorboards add to the historic nature of the old townhouse, giving it even more beachy charm. Some rooms have them painted white, others black and some are stripped back to their natural state. Slide through images of each of the rooms to find your fave – whichever suits your taste and mood for a little break.
Each room also comes with an epic king size bed, flat screen TV, WiFi, Nespresso machines and fresh milk, ironing facilities and a powerful hairdryer. Hunter wellies are also available at reception should you wish to borrow a pair during your stay – for those who want to go hunting for fossils or take to the coastal trails in winter.
When staying over at the Hix Townhouse, you really must get the in-room breakfast deal. They make each room a luxury breakfast hamper full of all the goodies. It features all kinds of seasonal local produce and homemade sweet and savoury goodies, fresh fruit and cereal. Our favourite had to be the fish scotch eggs which, while being a little rich for breakfast, were so damn good. We even kept the brownies for the train ride home to London.
As this is a small boutique hotel, you’re not going to find a gym, spa and sauna here. Instead, you’ve got the small-town charm of a townhouse. The kitchen downstairs has all the essential food and drink options if you need them (think Bloody Mary mix, Black Cow Vodka and local gins) as well as a daytime reception to give you all the town info and recommendations – these are locals so use their wisdom when visiting.
You do however get a great big terrace in the back for summer nights sipping on cider and downing a few oysters bought from one of the local fishmongers. It is a great little bonus feature.
Hix Oyster and Fish House
Just a 5-minute stroll away, down some winding little streets overlooking the sea is the Hix Oyster and Fish House. Here, Mark Hix has designed a local menu which changes twice a day and constantly reflects what’s been caught that day.
Oysters, of course, are a must. Go for a big portion of the beauties each – alternating between Brownsea Island, Portland Pearl and Oyster Mary variations. Dabble in some scrumpy fried rock oysters with garlic mayo if you have the space and fortitude too.
All other fresh seafood options are done in classic Mark Hix fashion – celebrating the local produce in all its glory, not fussing over competing flavours and theatrics. It’s British seafood done brilliantly. And with some damn good service for a small-town restaurant. And, for those wanting a proper winter warmer, look no further than the classic fish pie who’s contents change each day depending on what’s been caught near town. This hot and punchy pie is massive and full of hearty flavours.
Wash it all down with local and international wines or the famous Hix Fix cocktail. And finish off the festivities with some classic desserts and banging’ espresso martini.
And those staying at Hix Townhouse will get 10% off their total bill for either lunch or dinner – very smart. And, if you go for the dinner and breakfast option for winter, you’ll get £50 dinner or lunch while visiting Lyme Regis. Dinner here is superb but be sure to visit during the day too. While the sun is up, you get to take in their sensational view over the town and Jurassic Coast itself. It is one of the best lookouts in Lyme Regis.
Room prices range from £120-£150 per night with those staying on weekends needing to stay at least two nights. And there is also a special deal going for winter. Rooms are going for £75 per person per night (based on double occupancy) and include breakfast and £50 off dinner or lunch at the Hix Oyster and Fish House. That’s a massive win if we’ve seen one.
1 Pound Street, Lyme Regis DT7 3HZ