Stylist contributor Mandie Gower discovers why everyone who’s anyone is heading to the town of Southwold on the Suffolk coast.
“I’m in Southwold, Suffolk, one of the UK’s most popular seaside towns. At first glance it’s a world away from the buzzy scene and bus-clogged arteries of the chi-chi north London enclave. But don’t be fooled by the candy coloured beach huts and quintessentially English tearooms. Trad little Southwold is a hotspot, with a long history of celebrities, intellectuals and, yes, wealthy Londoners in Hunters making it their second home. It’s not unusual to see a Hollywood name in a local restaurant, nor eye-watering prices in estate agents’ windows. A ‘humble’ beach hut recently commanded a £120,000 tag.”
The Swan’s just been given a complete makeover by Shoreditch design studio Project Orange and is now an Instagrammer’s fantasy. The 35 rooms are divided into three different categories: Excellent, Outstanding and Fabulous and they stick to a colour palette of contrasting millennial pinks, baby blues and duck egg greys with the odd lime green sofa thrown in.
“Right in the centre of pretty, seaside Southwold, The Swan has been an affable gathering point for centuries. Now, after a dramatic facelift, it’s open for business again, for artisan-coffee-clutching weekend walks along the wind-whipped sandy beach, dips in the bracing North Sea, jaunts to the madcap pier arcade and pints from Suffolk’s most accomplished beer-maker.”
Stepping into The Swan from Southwold’s high street you’re greeted with a wooden deck chair – just one of the many seaside nods that feature throughout the hotel. Coastal tones of teal, navy blue and green are prominent but velvet textiles and pops of vibrant pink give it a modern feel.
A £6 million transformation of Adnams’ flagship property, The Swan at Southwold, is more than skin deep. As Tessa Allingham discovers, it’s about positioning the company as the country’s go-to luxury boutique hotel brand.
Oonagh Brennan from Red reviews The Swan in the February 2018 edition.
“There’s nothing like a wintry seaside break. If summer is all melted ice creams and seagulls stealing your fish and chips, winter by the sea, for me, is about wrapping up in a cosy Woolrich parka for a long walk by the water, the salty air whipping fresh colour back into my cheeks.”