DJ’s Danny and Ilona Rampling and their Sussex life

Danny and Ilona Rampling

Danny and Ilona Rampling - Credit: Archant

Legendary house music DJ Danny Rampling and his wife, fellow DJ Ilona, live a jet-set professional life but spend their downtime relaxing at home in Hastings, finds Nione Meakin

IT isn’t hard to spot superstar DJ Danny Rampling and his wife Ilona when they are out in the pubs of Hastings – just look for the couple monopolising the jukebox.

Even when taking time off from playing to international club crowds in Bali, Thailand, Australia and Dubai, the couple – who perform together as Mr and Mrs Rampling – can’t resist laying on the tunes. “We’ll often pop in to The Anchor Inn, on George Street, for Sunday lunch and end up staying for a few drinks which inevitably leads us to the jukebox,” laughs Danny, 54. “Last time I think I put The Sex Pistols on. But everyone enjoyed it – they were dancing at the bar!”

Danny moved to Sussex some six years ago and since his 2013 marriage to 35-year-old IIona, an equally fun-loving American DJ, the pair have spent most of their downtime in and around Hastings, with occasional soujourns to Brighton for the shops – including vintage specialists Hope & Harlequin where IIona found her 1930s silk wedding gown – and sushi favourite Moshimo, formerly Moshi Moshi. “The pace of life is different in Hastings and people are friendly which just makes such a difference.”

If they are not in The Anchor, the couple can often be found wolfing oysters at the shellfish bar opposite the town’s Jerwood Gallery or perusing dinner options at the fish stalls of Rock-a-Nore. “I love to cook light, healthy meals and I try to buy local where possible,” says Danny. “A perfect Saturday for us is a run or a swim in the morning, then off to the great fish shops to pick up something for dinner, maybe go to a bar, then head home to listen to music, watch films and cook.”

The abundance of delicious, fresh produce on their doorstep is one of the major draws of Sussex for the Ramplings. In the autumn, they will forage for mushrooms under the guidance of Hastings-based foraging expert Geoff Dann – “We like to eat them on toast with garlic,” enthuses IIona – while in September they help to bring in the grape harvest at the Kingscote Estate Vineyard in East Grinstead. “We’ve been friends for years with owners Alison and Christian Monge, who sadly passed away last year, and we’ve seen them develop the estate into one of the foremost English wine producers so we never miss helping out and enjoying the wine where we can.”

The Sussex landscape also provides Danny with the perfect training ground for the charity endurance challenges he regularly undertakes. “I did nine miles with 25 lbs on my back the other day. I must be barmy. But it was great. It was a sunny day and I walked along the coastline, enjoying the scenery and clearing my head. You can’t do that in London!”

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