At the encouragement of Jeska (Lobster & Swan) and Cat (Take Courage), we finally made our way down to Hastings one rainy Saturday. We had heard quite a bit about the antiques/vintage treasures to be found, and about the venerable Hendy’s Home Store, so were pretty excited! What probably excited the husband more was the promise of adventure golf and fish+chips at the end of a day of rummaging and vintage-hunting.
Hastings Old Town is where all the treasure is. It’s a quirky, fun little place with independent shops housed in really (really!) old buildings. We didn’t have time to see everything (blame the husband and the golf) but here are some of our favourite finds:
Butlers Emporium | 70 George Street, Hastings TN34 3EE
When we walked into this shop, the husband asked “are you about to pop with happiness?” Indeed I was about to – the store is set in an old house and has an incredibly charming exposed original wall in one corner of the floor. The shop fittings were beautiful and rustic, casually thrown together and filled with a mix of vintage and vintage-style stock. Ah. CHeck out the sign above, by the way, was our ABSOLUTE favourite sign ever.
Hendy’s Home Store | 36 High Street, Hastings TN34 3ER
I heard about Hendy’s before I heard about the War of the Roses. No, only joking! But Hendy’s is pretty well-known, and for good reason. It’s hard to describe, but the broody interior is set out like a person’s house, and the stock fits the theme of each room, which is pretty fun. Feels a bit like Anthropologie meets industrial New York.
S Forrest (Herbs & Spices) | 17 George Street, Hastings TN34 3EG
A random find, but we couldn’t help but be drawn to the reed baskets filled with bits of firewood filling the shop windows. We thought it might be an antiques shop selling wooden furniture, but it was a herb shop that smelled absolutely divine. Get herbs and spices for reasonable prices, and cooking tips from Sally Forrest, the owner of the shop (and another store-owner in a long heritage of retailers). She is passionate about cooking and eating well, as well as supporting local suppliers/growers. Can’t argue with that!
The Clockwork Crow | Westhill Arcade, George Street, Hastings TN34 3EA
This was the first shop we stopped by and we loved it straightaway. A cozy little store filled with colourful vintage ceramic tiles, antique glassware, old hunting horns… A real treasure cave. There was also the sweetest (quite large) poodle/labradoodle type dog (not for sale though)! We left with a vintage hand embosser.
The Goods Depot | 86 High Street, Hastings TN34 3ES
It was late in the day when we found The Goods Depot, and the door was locked, much to our disappointment! However, it was a good thing we hung around (I insisted on peering through the window to take in as much of the interior as I could), because the owner came back to let us in! Plenty of antique furniture, mid-century typewriters and telephones, iron-wrought bells, wooden boot lasts… Was wonderful! We didn’t have too much time in here, but do check out the website and photos of their current stock.
We did get to play some mini-golf, although embarrassingly I turned out to be pretty bad despite actually being able to play golf. How does that work??
There are plenty of other shops we didn’t have time to visit; if you are planning a visit do tell us what you think or if you’ve found any other places worth a peek.