October 29, 2012 in inspiring places
We visited the charming seaside town of Hastings on a day trip from Hawthbush Farm where we stayed a couple of weeks ago. It is a favourite place of my fathers and we have friends here too so have visited a few times in the past. It is a working fishing town, with tall, imposing shiplap huts lining one end of the sea front. These towering wooden structures, where the fishermen hang their nets to dry, have the most beautiful, functional hand-drawn graphics painted on them and it was this that I captured with my camera.
Among the net huts were smaller sheds and shacks where fishermen would unload or fix machinery and some were selling fresh fish and seafood where we stocked up on cockles and winkles, pints of prawns and dressed crab for our tea. I love the buildings’ ‘no frills’ simplicity and utilitarian quality.
The new Jerwood Gallery has just opened in a stunning contemporary building clad in gloss black tiles, mirroring the black shiplap huts next door. As we were wandering with the children on the beach and around the old town we ran out of time to go inside, but my parents went in and loved it. It made us want to return soon.
Hastings old town is quaint with narrow streets, independent and interesting shops, cafés and a great selection of secondhand and antique shops. Some of the best ones I popped into included Made in Hastings selling handmade goods, Alastair Hendy‘s gorgeous Home Store and also Butlers Emporium. All are worth hunting out if you visit.
There was also a wonderful old sweet shop selling all the types of sweets I had when I was little. The children’s eyes grew huge at the sight and we all left happy with liquorice sherbert dips, planning our return trip to Hastings.
Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, creative director and best-selling author based in London. She is a contributing stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for 14 years, and is known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, as well as for leading retailers and well-known brands. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.
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