The 16th-century smuggler’s warehouse stands by the quay at the bottom of cobbled Mermaid Street. Climb the church tower for stunning coast and marsh views, then retreat to the laid-back warmth of the Ship’s rustic bars. Cosy nooks, ancient timbers, blazing fires and a quirky delicious décor characterise this place; there are battered leather sofas, simple café-style chairs, old pine tables and good paintings and prints. Quaff a pint of Harvey’s Sussex or local farm cider, leaf through the daily papers, play one of the board games – there are heaps. Lunch and dinner menus are short and imaginative and make good use of local ingredients, so tuck into confit duck with grilled aubergine and saffron yoghurt, roast sea bream with buttered samphire, warm salad of squid, fennel and chorizo, and fresh Rye Bay fish. The relaxed funky feel extends to bright and beachy bedrooms upstairs: find painted wooden floors, jazzy wall coverings, comfortable beds, splashes of colour. Quirky extras include Roberts radios, sticks of rock, and rubber ducks in simple bathrooms. And they love dogs!