Hastings is a funny old place- it’s got three very clearly separate sections, each with its own individual vibe. There’s the totally bohemian America Ground at Claremont (AKA The Trinity Triangle), home of Hastings Library, Trinity Wholefoods, Bullet Coffee House, Wow and Flutter, Stooge Coffee and Hi-Store, The Printworks hotel and uber-fashionable nightclub, the Home Ground Kitchen, Gotham Alley and various other eateries and trendy places. Then there’s main town, which is very… erm... towny. There's Priory Meadow shopping centre, an M&S, Primark, H&M and various other chain stores and whatnot. A short walk along the seafront takes you to Hastings Old Town, which is very old and higgledy-piggledy and is a mix of too-cool-for-school boutiques and eateries, secret passages and antique shops, fish and chip establishments and, like, 84 thousand pubs. It’s home to Hastings Contemporary (previously The Jerwood Gallery), the fishing quarter with its iconic black beach huts and funicular railways and has arcades and seaside amusements aplenty. It’s the perfect place for a mooch. And mooch I did on a recent visit.
Polly (my Cocker Spaniel) and I met two of our friends in Hanushka for a glass of apple juice and cake. It’s a lovely little place whose walls are lined with books (which is always pleasing), great service (Polly got a dog biscuit on a plate which she was most happy with), exceedingly good cake (we had the lemon sponge) and a lovely, cosy-corner atmosphere. For those coming from St Leonards there is a second Hanushka Coffee House that’s recently opened in Robertson Street in the America Ground- so you don’t need to wend your way all the way to the Old Town to enjoy paninis, sandwiches, salads, alcohol and excellent coffee, of course!
Open 9am-6pm daily
I’d wanted to visit this gorgeous little jewellery shop for ages, so took the opportunity whilst on my mooch about. Stargazy is tucked away in the corner of the West Hill Arcade in George Street (next to the entrance to the West Hill funicular railway) and is full of sparkly, ethereal silver jewellery- think mood rings, crystal pendants, gems, coloured stones, moons and stars and all things cosmic and magical. It’s a magpie’s dream. I bought myself a little treat… can you guess which one I picked?
Open Saturday & Sunday during winter months from 11.30am- for out of hours visits please email Amanda at email@example.com
Oh my gosh, what a treat this shop is! I love plants and was reeled in by the gorgeous greenery on display outside the shop. I’m obsessed with the ‘Maranta Fascinator’, a stunning plant with dark green leaves with delicate pink lines that look like they’ve been painted on… rumour has it that the leaves move when you’re not looking! Simply Garden sells houseplants, air plants, pots, terrariums and all sorts of gardening goodies and interesting displays… anyone for a dolls head on a tea-cup?
Open Tuesday-Friday 11.30am until 5pm
Saturday 11am until 5pm
Sunday 11.30am until 5pm
Again, I’ve wanted to visit Sham City Roasters for so long, to try one of their vegan doughnuts that everyone is so mad about! It’s at the back of The Clockwork Crow, another beautiful and eclectic shop filled with interesting thingummy bobs and plants. Sham City Roasters is tiny and cosy and serves coffee and vegan/vegetarian goodies… including the infamous Deadbeat Doughnuts. I went for a peanut butter and chocolate concoction which was OUT OF THIS WORLD delicious. It reminded me of the chocolate doughnuts I used to get from the canteen at high school… only better. There's no photographic evidence of said doughnut as I ate it immediately #sorrynotsorry
Open Thursday- Monday 11am until 5pm
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
There’s a new dog shop in town and it’s called… wait for it… THE DOG SHOP! It does exactly what it says on the tin and sells toys, treats, food and all kinds of bits and bobs for your precious pooches. I took Polly in to say hello and buy her some treats, which she was very happy about. I also sent Polly’s photo in to Becky, which will get printed and put on The Dog Shop’s ‘Wall of Fame’… keep an eye out for her!
For opening hours please contact Becky via Facebook.
If you’re a bookworm and/ or stationery lover (like me!) you must visit this gorgeous bookshop. It’s the dream. A huge selection of books, calligraphy pens and beautiful stationery (is there anything better than a new pen and a fresh notebook? I think not), Moomin books and merchandise, posh wrapping paper and lots of other things besides.
Open Monday to Friday 11am-4pm
There are so many lovely places in Hastings Old Town… but we shall save those for another time. For now I shall leave you with a picture of my bling from Stargazy. Isn’t she a beaut?
All Old Town businesses mentioned are in George Street in Hastings, apart from the second Hanushka Coffee House which is in Robertson Street. If you're driving there are several pay and display places to park in the Old Town, including The Bourne car park near the Stables Theatre, on the road in the High Street and the main car parks at Carlisle Parade and at Rock-A-Nore... or why not get the bus or train? Stagecoach Buses even have a handy app where you can plan journeys, purchase tickets and find local bus stops.