Albion House Ramsgate

Albion House Ramsgate

A Rather Regal Staycation in Ramsgate

March 3rd, 2023

Sitting atop a whimsical Victorian winding road, complete with a waterfall you’ll find the understated Albion House. Built way back in 1792, these four walls have seen plenty of hustle and bustle but to step in from the seafront is to step into a fortress of peace and calm. We visited Albion House as part of a spiritual retreat and there couldn’t have been a better matched location.

Our retreat was an extension of Evie Montila’s Women’s Circles, a safe and nurturing space she creates for groups across Kent. The feminine energy was certainly strong as we sat in a circle, a crystal altar in the centre in the beautifully appointed Georgian dining room. Albion House can boast sea views from all windows and even on the ground floor the floor-to-ceiling windows let in the coastline’s sunrays and menacing clouds, bringing mood and atmosphere to proceedings.

This is certainly a safe space to let go and reflect. In fact, Princess Victoria stayed at Albion House not long before being crowned Queen so perhaps her energy stays within the walls as we all felt our own power while respecting that of others. The footprint of the ground floor includes a regal drawing room with roaring open fire and wingback chairs that leads onto another fireplace and area which can be used as a private dining space. Or in our case a private dining space turned deep meditation and hands-on-healing space.

Too often period properties feel stuffy and like museums but the interior design work at Albion House feels more curated and homely. If only our homes looked this good. The property is bedecked with fresh and dried flowers and pampas grass along with curios like a seagull who keeps his beady eye on you over lunch.

Talking of lunch, the food on offer at Albion House is a reason to visit and stay alone. Be gone thoughts of greasy seaside fare, here the menu is well appointed British pub grub slash Bistro, with a considered coastal theme running throughout. Moules marinière for lunch is a standard but those with more restrictive diets are well catered for with a delicious vegan cauliflower risotto as an alternative, complete with vegan parmesan shavings.

Check in is from 2pm and the understated Georgian luxury of the public facing parts of the hotel extend seamlessly to the fourteen rooms on offer. Up the spiral staircase you’ll find cosy rooms in the eaves of the house through to a suite with sea view and balcony. Twelve rooms boast proper sea views (none of that Fawlty Towers’ nonsense here) and, even if you can’t see the sea from yours, fling open the sash window for all the scents and sounds of the crashing waves and gulls floating in the wind.

As tempting as it was to sink into the cosy luxury bed, other activities awaited us and while not every weekend can boast a spiritual retreat, there’s plenty to do just outside the hotel walls. A brisk 45 minute walk turning left out of the front door will take you to the postcard-perfect town of Broadstairs for a slap-up cheese toastie at Fort’s. Turn right and walk down Pugin’s colourful tiled steps which, if you squinted, could be in San Francisco and head down into the harbour. Yes, the world’s largest Wetherspoon’s is here but we prefer the cosy Ravensgate Arms on King Street or Bedford Inn on West Cliff Road for our bevvies, both just a short walk from the harbour.

Of course, if you are feeling adventurous there’s always a sea swim on offer, no matter the season. Keep your head, hands and feet as warm as you can and stride out into the gentle waves. Especially around dawn and sunset you’ll always find a brave local out for their usual exercise of the day.

Back at Albion House, a hot drink by the fire is the order of the day. Treat the drawing room like your very own lounge, order a cocktail once your cockles have been warmed through and it’s probably about time to think about dinner. Candlelit tables provide a magical setting for dinner and you could be forgiven for thinking you were across the water in France. Make sure you leave space for dessert which for us was a wickedly decadent chocolate mousse studded with hazelnuts.

As you float upstairs to bed the experience isn’t over. There’s still time for a beautiful breakfast as the sun streams into the dining room while you write your postcards - wish you were here.

Rooms at Albion House start from £115 including breakfast - albionhouseramsgate.co.uk

To find out more about Evie Montila’s work and retreats head to seaspiritandstones.com