WHAT The Guardian review makes of the new Port Hotel:

“The airy restaurant-cum-reception of Eastbourne’s newest hotel, Port, has blush pink walls hung with local art above mid-century modern furniture, and is filled with the clatter of sharing plates being passed around. Sitting here, I find it hard to imagine how this boutique newcomer could provoke any controversy.

Yet it did. Before Port opened its doors in May, a local Facebook page was flooded with comments. Residents argued about the black facade standing out from the traditional white seafront buildings. Was Port adding a touch of modern design to the town and broadening its appeal; or ruining the very essence of this grand seaside spot?

The brainchild of property developer Peter Cadwallader, the hotel aims to attract arty city dwellers to the seaside – something he says was missing from Eastbourne’s offering. “My hope is other hotels copy us,” he says.

It’s focus on sustainability chimes with this: cork floors, Faith in Nature products, ingredients sourced from within 30 miles, and room service run through WhatsApp. It has 19 rooms, five of which look seaward, including the “apartment”, a luxury suite with sea views from the bath. We stay in a standard “town” room. Compact and designed with minimalism and sustainability in mind – a clothing rail instead of a wardrobe, milk available on request rather than wasting away in the fridge – it manages to fit in a desk, a Nespresso machine and a Netflix-ready TV without feeling cramped.

Clearly Port is doing something right. The dining room is full when we tuck into our dinner of shared plates: highlights include barbecued mullet, its smokiness cut through with a sharp yet sweet red pepper salsa; and asparagus with capers and lemon preserves bringing a cleansing acidity. A dessert of almond and blood orange financier elegantly paired with a burwash rose cheese from Sussex’s High Welad will be well memorialised on Instagram, as will the brunch offering of duck royale – confit duck leg and egg served on a waffle – . The sea-view drinks terrace is full, too, until the rain empties it.”

And it ends with Accommodation was provided by Port Hotel, which has doubles from £107 B&B