A Weekend in Hastings

View of Hastings & the Sea

Sonia and her wife Triona, Further Afield travellers, recently had the opportunity for a child-free escape and chose to head to seaside Hastings and the wonderful Old Rectory Hotel. Check out Sonia’s top tips for a few of the best things to in Hastings on a weekend away.

Getting to Hastings

After 10 years we decided to head back to Hastings and check out for ourselves if the stories of its transformation were true. Having spotted The Old Rectory on Further Afield some time ago, we jumped at the chance to try it for a late March Mothers day celebration (without the child).

An easy journey from London (we went by train but driving’s easy too) and our first impressions were that the stories were true! It’s now a lovely blend of classic British seaside and gentle hipster invasion.

Straight to the hotel, where we received a warm welcome from Susie and Tina. Our room ‘Sinnock’ was lovely; spacious, light, beautifully decorated with a waterfall shower. A well stocked hospitality tray makes me irrationally happy and here we had homemade biscuits, fresh milk and Yorkshire tea so, job done.

The decor throughout the hotel is exquisite – modern classic with some eccentric twists. The guest lounge with it’s well stocked honesty bar and huge plush sofas was so enticing that it was hard to drag ourselves out to dinner… but we managed to eventually.

Where to Eat in Hastings

For us a trip away is “make or break”  when it comes to food. Luckily much has changed in Hastings in 10 years, particularly so on the food and drink front. We tried Webbes, The Crown and eat @ the stade. All delicious, but we could have eaten our way around town happily for another five days trying out The Rock a Nore Kitchen and the town’s other great options. The Crown’s cheeseboard was a highlight and the cafe at the recently renamed Hastings Contemporary is a lovely spot for coffee and cake.

For coffee, deli loveliness and baked treats The High Street has a selection of food and drink places to rival any hipster enclave. Penbuckles Deli sells local specialities as does Monmouth coffee, whilst next door at Judges bakery the scones and cakes are incredible.

All this talk of food, I nearly forgot the breakfasts at the Old Rectory which I couldn’t fail to mention.  Home-made and hand made from the sausages to the bread. Yum, all of it.

Shopping on Hastings Old High Street

The Twittens, or lanes and passageways, which dart off from the High Street in Hastings Old Town make it worth a wander in itself, but there’s also a selection of unusual home and antique shops along the street as it winds down towards the harbour. We loved AG Hendy (above) which has any wooden spoon or pastry brush you were ever not looking for.

Made in Hastings has some fun arts stuff in its gallery and shop. It also has a great story behind it; set up over 10 years ago by five friends to showcase their own work, but now full of the work of all types of local artists. Nelson House Antiques had a real mix of antique furniture which was worth a browse.

Other Things to Do in Hastings

If you can stop eating, drinking and buying utensils for a while, there’s plenty to do in the relaxed vibe of Hastings. Coastal walks, galleries, crazy golf, something for everyone, but in a slow paced slightly random way. It’s got a rich and proud fishing history explained at the Fisherman’s museum which is next to the Aquarium and the beach and seafront perfect for an afternoon’s wander. We would happily bring our 7 year old to Hastings, there’s more than enough to keep kids busy – but we’ll have to wait until he’s 10 to be able to stay at the Old Rectory with him.

Beach and boats in Hastings

Treat Yourself at The Old Rectory Hastings

One of the best things about not having your kids with you is availing of the spa treatments at The Old Rectory. The small and serene treatment rooms are a real treat and the prices are very reasonable. I had a back massage which at £35 for 30 minutes was the best value down time I’ve found in a while. Check out their offerings at http://theoldrectoryhastings.co.uk/treatment-rooms

We would go back to the Old Rectory in a Hastings heartbeat, good for the soul, for the mind and for the hungry.


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