Food Shopping

Food Shopping

Thankfully we’ve found the King’s Oriental on Kings Road and I’m told there is another similar shop in Hastings town centre so finding Chinese ingredients isn’t going to be a problem. As food lovers who enjoy cooking I was concerned that we might not find certain products but there seem to be a plethora of small Eastern type shops that sell spices and even fresh curry leaves. One thing we do miss is having several great Japanese restaurants on our doorstep. On doing some research I have discovered that there is a Japanese takeaway, Wasabi Hut, on Marine Parade – http://www.wasabihut.co.uk – which looks good and had some very favourable reviews. We went in the other day and they were extremely helpful and friendly. You can ring your order in during the day and they deliver between 5-6pm, including bottled saki which is just great.

Previously in London we were unable to order from Able & Cole due to the rather complex nature of our block and security so you can imagine my delight when an Able & Cole rep rang our bell a fortnight ago. We’ll suck it and see for a few weeks but what we’d rather do is shop locally in farm shops and support as many local producers as possible. I have been to a deli’ in Winchelsea that stocked free range/organic meat but closer to home, the butcher on Norman Road is apparently free range. Of course fresh fish is caught daily and is available in the various little huts at Rock-A-Nore and we very much look forward to finding our favourite fish monger down there. I popped down yesterday and went into one of the three on the beach side of the road only to be shouted at by a lady telling me that I couldn’t stay in the shop whilst she served next door. I did try to tell her I was only looking but to no avail. Hopefully I’ll have better luck next time. I only wanted to explain that we’d just moved here and we were looking for a new local fish shop but maybe she was just run off her feet.

There is a fine fruit and veg shop on the London Road but I must say I was saddened last week when walking up the Kings Road to see that the fruit and veg shop there had shut down. All that remained were empty baskets and a sign in the door saying the shop is now for let. There seem to be shops moving around a lot around there at the moment so with any luck another will open. I’ll chat about the Kings Road another day but suffice to say, we’re satisfied that this part of East Sussex has more than enough on offer when it comes to sourcing ingredients.

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Britain’s Best Tonic

Britain's Best Tonic

We found this poster yesterday.  Searching through the archives online we’re astounded at what these towns once had to offer.  And the potential they still have!  We have talked a lot about the open air bathing pool though in this hot weather.  The pool was built on a massive scale – 330 ft by 90 ft – but sadly was destroyed only a few years ago, presumably after too many years of non-use.  Disappointing indeed but there’s always the sea to swim in…

Banksy or Copycat?

Banksy or Copycat?

This is on the wall of an alley just off the Norman Road in St Leonards.

Comparisons

Comparisons

It’s hard not to do constant comparisons with London now that we are here but one of the first (and the most obvious one) was just how much space we now have in our lives. Coming from a one bedroom flat where life really had got on top of us, we still marvel at not knowing which room one or the other of us is in. But it’s not just the house. Walking down the Kings Road you are struck by how quiet it is, how people aren’t rushing around as they go about their day, taking the time to stop and chat to others in the street. This is what we experienced in our respective hometowns a couple of decades ago before London swallowed us whole and I feel very relieved to be free of the rush and look forward to not jumping and thinking “nutter alert” when someone starts up a conversation in the Post Office queue. There are simply less people here and it affects your pace. Even in the recent blistering weather it’s been quiet here. Not like Brighton with tens of thousands heading there to escape the sweltering heat of the smoke. Each trip we have made up to London has been a sobering reminder of just how many people there are there. The place is positively swarming. I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing but space here equals a slower pace and for us that most definitely is a good thing.

I’m Sexy An I Know It

I'm Sexy An I Know It

Alongside writing about our relocation to St Leonards, there are many special visual aspects to this part of the world. Here is a taster…

The Beach at St Leonards

The Beach at St Leonards Many people told us we were mad to move so far out of London, considering that it is where the bulk of our work lies. Six weeks on, since we got the keys to our beautiful new home & a dozen or so commutes later, I can look at this picture (taken a few minutes walk from our front door) and think yes, our decision was the right one. Hastings  and St Leonards have so much to offer and we haven’t even scratched the surface yet. What we have experienced so far has been life affirming and heartening – friendliness, a sense of community, some very funky arty types that cut through and shine brilliantly amongst the handful of substance abuse zombies, fabulous regeneration along the Norman Road, junk shops, vibrant little cafes and galleries, community garden projects and friendly neighbours are just a few of the positive aspects we have witnessed so far. Did I mention substance abuse zombies? Yes, like all major towns and cities, there is an element of social despondency going on here but no more so than in London or Glasgow or Manchester. We moved down from Kings Cross so come on Hastings/St Leonards, show us your worst in that department! St Leonards has been described as “Shoreditch-by-the-Sea” and we can’t argue with that. There is an exciting air of creativity here as more and more artists, musicians, writers, set designers and general creative types flock here from London with young families, attracted by the enormous (yet affordable) houses. The degradation of much of the glorious architecture in this once decadent and thriving town definitely lends itself to the artists imagination – of bygone times, halted lifestyles, voyagers, fishermen, seaside escapism and of course, 80’s hardship. How could you not get creative living here?