Monday, 3 February 2014

Hastings: A south coast snapshot

A trip to Hastings for a January pick-me-up proved just what the fun-doctor ordered at the weekend. I first visited the small town on the Sussex coast a couple of years ago to the incredulity of those from nearby who hadn't seen its charm underneath the multitude of pound shops and dilapidated seaside amusements. 

On my previous visit, we had to cut short our stay as our vintage mini looked in danger of being snowed in and on this occasion heavy wind and rain did their best to attack our bobble hats but not before enjoying the friendly locals and interesting sights. I mean, you even get to pass a bar named the 'Route 1066' en route! 

Hasting's charm is in the Old Town, effectively two roads - the High Street and George Street - in which antiques shops stuffed with great records and odd finds, book shops with stacks higher than their owners and plenty of great pubs can be found. I stayed at The Old Rectory, the sister bed and breakfast to Swan House, both of which are highly recommended, stylish and comfortable.

The Jerwood Gallery, a box-y shaped building which stands on the seafront, had opened since my last visit and the works contained within, taken from businessman and philanthropist John Jerwood's own collection were interesting if slightly patchy. The gallery was also a tad pricey and I was interested to spot signs outside for an amateurish but passionate protest site - The highlight was John Piper's The Churchyard which I found a fascinating mix of colour and movement. Here's a few snaps from my trip to the town where battle once commenced.

The AG Hendy and Co Home Store, which dates back to the 19th century, is a fascinating combination of incredibly well put together stylish products and an amazing rickety building. Just being within its wonky walls makes you feel happy.

AG Hendy and Co Home Store

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