The Standard Inn in the charming town of Rye, East Sussex, is over 500 years old, rich in history and situated in a superb location in the heart of the town’s citadel. The quintessentially English Inn serves up excellent regional produce such as lamb from the nearby Salt Marshes, the day’s catch from Rye harbour or deliciously sweet Sussex scallops. If you’re looking for bed and breakfast in Rye then the Standard also has five individually designed guest rooms each with its own unique features.
Rye, East Sussex
The ancient town sits nestled between the English Channel and the sheep-dotted hills of the South Downs. Rye is one of five Cinque Port towns. These are a series of maritime towns in Kent and Sussex formed for military and trade purposes. Rye used to sit right on the coast but since the river silted up it’s now two miles from the sea. The medieval town is as pretty as a postcard with crooked half-timbered houses, steep cobbled lanes and plenty of bars, restaurants and independent shops to explore. Step out of the Standard’s front door and everything Rye has to offer is right on the doorstep.
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The rooms have just as much character as the pub itself which is why the Standard is my favourite bed and breakfast in Rye. Original features were uncovered when the Inn was restored and they’ve added a few modern touches. We were in ‘Hythe’ a large room at the front of the building with exposed beams on the walls and ceiling. A log burner is ensconced in the fireplace for extra cosiness on chilly days.
The huge, comfortable bed with feather duvet meant we had an excellent night’s sleep. Wardrobe and drawer space for clothes and belongings was plentiful. Tea and coffee-making facilities with biscuits and flat screen TV were also provided.
All rooms have en-suite bathrooms. Hythe had a bath with overhead shower, basin and W.C. The bathroom, which overlooked the garden, it was on the small side but perfectly adequate. Pecksniff’s toiletries added a nice touch.
The view over the curving street outside and the half-timbered properties opposite made me feel like I’d stepped back in time.
Breakfast takes place downstairs in the pub’s atmospheric Jug and Bottle bar (look closely for the historic carved beams). A roaring fire will keep you toasty in winter as you dig into fruit juice, cereals, yoghurt and fruit from the self-service counter. Your order for cooked breakfast will be taken at your table. We went for a full English with locally made sausages and homemade bread which set us up for the day nicely.
The Standard is a popular Rye pub frequented by regulars, locals and tourists. It’s my idea of the perfect English pub. There’s always a buzzy feel with a great ambience and welcoming staff and it gets busy fairly early in the evening.
The inn has a small but select menu offering locally sourced food all reasonably priced. Table bookings aren’t taken so you’ll need to get there early if you want to eat. There’s a good wine list and the pub also serves local craft beers and ales including its own Standard Inn Farmer Ale. Vegetarian and gluten free meals are available on request. If you’re vegan the staff recommend The Fig at the other end of the High Street.
In summer head for the courtyard which is the perfect little sun trap. The pub is dog friendly.
What’s on in Rye
There’re some regular festivals in Rye that are worth checking out.
Scallop Festival – February
Jazz Festival – August
Rye Arts Festival – September
Christmas in Rye – December
Need to know
Some of the rooms are up steep stairs and may not be suitable for people with mobility issues. Downstairs is the pub so if you like an early night you might find the buzz from below disturbing.
There’s no on-site parking but plenty at nearby Station car park which is around five minutes away on foot. It’s reasonably priced at £2.60 per day.
Rye is easily accessible without a car. Trains from St Pancras London via Ashford take less than 1 hour 20 minutes.
The Standard Inn, 33 The Mint, East Sussex, TN31 7EN 01797 225 231