A Weekend in Hastings by Debi Zornes
Last weekend I spent a few days in Hastings. I wanted to get away for a few days, to smell the sea air, have brisk walks along the front, eat fresh fish (and cake!) and explore with my camera. I’d also had my eye on a couple of shops that I had wanted to visit for a good while – AG Hendy’s and Warp & Weft.
Usually when I go somewhere new, if there is an old part of town I will always head there first. And so we did. The main street that runs through Old Hastings, George Street, was full of interesting independent shops selling homewares, art and antiques, flowers, artisan bread, and of course cake. What I really loved was the amount of building/shops with original old features and signage – it was like stepping back in time.
A visit wouldn’t be complete without a walk along the front – even if it’s cold and blustery. The dark wood buildings gave this part of town, for me, a very Scandinavian feel. The fishing huts, said to be early 17th Century, are approximately 25 feet high, and were originally used as workshops and storage for nets, sails, and ropes. The East Hill lift, built some ten years later than its sister on the West Hill, opened in April 1902. The original Victorian cars are still in use today, but were converted to an electric motor system in 1974. The East Hill lift is the steepest funicular railway in the country with an angle of 38 degrees – a 1 in 2.8 gradient.
The Crown came highly recommended by anyone we asked where to eat, and had a very good selection of gin. I also highly recommend a fish lunch or dinner at Rock A Nore Kitchen – dark wood panelled restaurant with candles burning in the windows (see photo above) giving it that Scandinavian feel. We also enjoyed a dinner on the seafront in St Leonards at the stylish Graze on Grand, serving seasonal food with an extensive wine list.
We stayed at a great airbnb a few minutes walk from the pier – the perfect location – click here to view.
AG Hendy & Co
36 High Street
A G Hendy & Co home store is a unique shop stocked with practical goods that are made to last and stand the test of time. There are goods suited to both the modern and traditional home. New and vintage equipment for the kitchen, scullery, pantry, along with useful items and furniture for the dining room, office and garden sourced and curated by shopkeeper, Alistair Hendy.
70 George Street
Butlers Emporium is housed in a former hardware store and iron mongers. This beautiful building with its high ceilings and original furniture, fixtures and display cabinets intact dates from around 1832. There is a lovely assortment of new and vintage, textiles, accessories and garments.
Warp & Weft
68a George Street
Warp & Weft focuses on timeless products rather than following trends. There are carefully selected vintage pieces, a handmade ‘made to order’ range, and products from other independent British brands.