Going Places

The Shopkeepers Going Places guide to Rye

A Day Trip to Rye

by Jeska Hearne

Rye, East Sussex,  is the perfect destination for a day trip or even a long, lazy weekend with lots of visual delights to inspire. Jeska, a photographer, stylist, blogger (Lobster & Swan), and shop owner lives nearby in East Sussex with husband Dean and their two tabby cats. Together they run the online lifestyle store The Future Kept. Jeska photographed and penned this guide for 91 Magazine – Thank you for sharing with The Shopkeepers.

Cobbled lanes like Mermaid Street are lined with medieval, half-timbered houses and the redbrick Lamb House was once owned by writer Henry James. The town is steeped in history, and has become home to a plethora of beautiful boutiques, cosy cafes and stylish pubs to explore for hours. If you visit in May, you’ll discover the houses and shops all around Rye are draped with stunning swathes of purple buds. All throughout the year is great for photos too though – autumn leaves are just as good as blooms! Favourites include houses on Hilders Cliff, East Street, Mermaid Street and the High Street.

Merchant & Mills

22a Winchelsea Road

Merchant and Mills, a warehouse treasure trove and reason alone to come to Rye! They supply patterns, fabrics and all the amazing tools that allow the creation of a desirable, functioning wardrobe. From fastenings to Japanese fabrics, this shop has it all, I never leave empty handed. If you are not much of a maker, they also sell ready to wear items from their collection now. Read more

McCully & Crane

27a Cinque Ports Street

In McCully and Crane on Cinque Ports Street, you’ll find cleverly re-worked statement furniture amongst walls covered with emerging artists, daring lighting and fabulous one-off objet trouvé, all with a rough luxe aesthetic. The signage is lovely and their styled shop floor is always inspiring.

More Shops

My favourite place to buy flowers (and coffee!) is Cafe Des Fleurs – perfectly situated if you are travelling by train, as it is just outside the station. They have beautiful blooms, unusual stems and ready made bouquets – perfect for bringing some seasonal joy home with you! On cold days, grab a hot chocolate and a box of truffles for the journey too.  For vintage and antiques lovers Strand House has two shop rooms which are filled with unique and awe-inspiring antiques and one off collectable pieces. Stroll down the Mint and on to the Strand Quay where Crock & Cosy has kitchen accessories from all eras. On the opposite side of the street is one of my favourite shops on the quay – Hunter Jones Vintage. They usually have a collection of beautiful styled crates and homewares outside, and inside – enamel lamp shades, beautiful rugs, vintage lassi cups, drawer pulls and more. At the bottom of Mermaid street at number 21, you’ll find the perfectly petite boutique Pale and Interesting, owned by husband and wife team, Atlanta Bartlett and Dave Coote. The store is inspired by their love of the functional, beautiful and out-of-the-ordinary. Their philosophy is all about mixing it up, teaming old with new, contrasting rough with smooth and pairing femininity with utility. Visit in all seasons for different offerings and shimmering window displays in December. If you still have time for one more shop, or are staying the night in the George Hotel – stock up on hotel chic with colourful dinner candles, joyful home accessories and even Farrow and Ball paint in The Shop Next Door.

Eat & Drink

Eat in stylish surroundings – there are so many great eating spots in Rye. The Standard Inn, The George, Cobbles Tea room – I could go on – but you might want to hunt out this new favourite of mine. We love to fuel up for a day of wandering in the lovely Fig cafe – bistro chairs, old tables and bare bulbs twinkling, with a great brunch and daily menus on offer. Coffee for him, tea for me and homemade cake for all. Slip around the corner from the Land Gate and over the railway bridge towards Military Road and you’ll spot a sign for the Globe Inn Marsh, a beautiful pub with great seasonal meals and inspiring coastal decor. Amongst the recycled timber, lobster pots and open fires, find a cosy table and snuggle in for an hour or three.

The Future Kept

The Future Kept is an online lifestyle shop based in East Sussex. Proprietors Jeska and Dean Hearne ascribe to a “buy less, buy better” ethos. All the products sold on The Future Kept are either made by independent makers and designers, or from companies that share a similar ideology: that regard sustainability and the environment with foremost importance. Read more