Postcard from Hastings

Hastings’ burnt-out pier is a sad reminder of the town’s one-time seaside splendour.

The houses cluster against the cliffs, a mixture of curved Victorian terraces in pretty pastel colours, tall whitewashed townhouses arranged around grassy squares, a few grand mansions with big art-deco windows looking out to sea, and – tucked up winding passages – little crooked pubs and cottages with wooden beams that date back to the 1600s.

The new Jerwood Gallery¬†has divided opinion in the town, but in truth it doesn’t look out of place next to the iconic fishermen’s huts.

Gillian Ayres’ Hampstead Mural

We’ve still not managed to secure a table in this, possibly the most sought-after restaurant in Hastings. By day it’s a higgledy-piggledy bookshop; by night it becomes a tiny Thai restaurant where diners can eat amidst the books. There’s no menu as such, as the owners cook to your preference using authentic ingredients flown from Thailand. I’ve seen this mentioned in a lot of London press lately so it’s only bound to get busier. Better book ahead next time…¬†http://thaicafeandbookshop.com/

But for Sunday lunch, it’s definitely about the Dragon Bar in the Old Town…

…where the menu also included an original take on the locally caught cod, with a fennel and champagne sauce: