Monday, 23 March 2009

The Weekend

Saturday dawned bright and clear and despite thinking I should be doing lots of things at home, I thought we may as well make the most of the weather so off we set, heading South towards the coast...

Yes, to Hastings, Brighton's lesser known neighbour.  We parked up and strolled along a good length of the front, finally ending up in the old town, which is rather eclectic to say the least! First stop had to be the old fashioned sweetie shop for some strawberry bon bons.  Mr HenHouse was very disappointed when he requested to buy "a quarter" that the lady informed him it was now 100g.  He really does not do metric (as you might imagine from someone obsessed with steam trains!)

I just loved this screen as I adore anemones.  Shame about the cigarette connotations!

We still had not managed to find the main reason for our trip to Hastings by this point.  If you read my post about the Christmas Country Living Fair, you will remember I was rather taken with the goods on a particular stall, their wares being from a shop, yes indeedy, a shop in Hastings.  Oh the wonders of the mobile 'phone which meant I could look up the address.  So, we finally found High Street, undoubtedly the best bit of Hastings (IMHO).

There were quite a few vintage and homewares shops.

This one was pretty interesting, full of retro clothing and furniture.

We found the infamous Judges' Bakery.  I was very hopeful on seeing the pretty window display that they had a tea room but sadly not.  Can't help thinking there's a missed opportunity there. Hastings is certainly not land of the tea room, it could do with taking a leaf out of Totnes' book!

But onto the real jewel in the Crown.

Made ... Hastings.

Hmm, even the exterior did not disappoint, it's painted duck egg blue! A quick peek in the windows whetted the appetite...

Made in Hastings has featured in Country Living and Coast magazines several times.  The shop sells the wares of home crafters based in the local area.  I had a good chat with the charming lady manning the shop on Saturday and she told me they have about 100 producers and at Christmas, that number rises to about 150.

Inside the front part of the shop with its lovely vintage haberdashery cabinet serving as the counter, (I want one, pleeease!) lots of lovely items were on display including my personal faves, the artwork of Claire Fletcher, the illustrator.  I bought quite a few of her cards at the Christmas CL Fair and she is known for having illustrated Jools Oliver's children's book (oh to have a little girl and therefore an excuse to buy this book!)

Through to the backroom (sorry, my photography skills, or rather lack of them, let me down here!) There is a charming old fireplace and lots more lovely goodies.

So, I very much enjoyed visiting Made in Hastings but was a tad disappointed by Hastings as a whole (perhaps I just didn't find the best bits).

Yesterday, was of course, Mothers' Day and I was presented with some goodies by the Munchkin.  Home-made wrapping paper no less which apparently sported a portrait of me!  He had bought me the present himself, with his own money (at the Yeovil car boot sale the week before!)  It was a little Lilliput Lane cottage.  Mr HenHouse tells me that the Munchkin was adamant he had to get it for me because "mummy likes cottages and she likes those flowers round the cottage".  Clearly well thought out.

I was also treated to breakfast and lunch cooked by the boys, including a yummy pud.  

I had a nice restful day, getting up very early, as usual, which meant I started off making some more crochet hook rolls.

This must, in turn, have inspired me to do a spot of crochet myself.

I hope all the mums out there enjoyed their day.  Unfortunately it looks as if the sunny weather is behind us as typically, just at school run time, it looks absolutely awful outside!  Best stay put for a bit more crafting then?  (Once the small person is safely picked up, of course!)


  1. It looks you had a nice Mothers Day. Ours doesn't happen until May for which I'm grateful: the weather should be much warmer!
    I just love your crochet hook rolls: the fabric and your combination of it is to die for!

  2. OMG,I do love those crochet hook rolls, even if it has been years since I actually croched! I have added them to my birthday list of wants! x

  3. Hi Hen, I just adore your blog as you seem to take me on so many of your days out..thank you!!! My nan had a caravan at Hastings and when I was little every summer holidays was spent there, real 1970s holiday! The Made in Hastings shop looked lovely. Your crochet rolls are lovely, gorgeous colours. Really looking forward to having a "shop" at your stall at the V&H fair!! Kathyx

  4. I remember reading about this shop in CL and wishing I lived closer. Its always good to get the view of someone who has actually been there (and has no financial interest). I love the crochet rolls (still don't crochet !)the colours are fab. Have a lovely evening - jacqui

  5. It looks like you had a fun packed weekend Hen! The Made in Hastings shop looks really lovely. It must be nice to be part of a co-operative. I could do with a strawberry bon bon right now. You are such a busy bee. I wish I could be as productive as you are.

  6. that shop looked good pity its a bit far for me to get to :-(
    i just dont know how you have enough hours in the day to keep producing more crafty goodness :-)
    its blowing a gale here last night and all day today we have nearly lost our climbing frame!!
    lesley x

  7. The shop looks lovely, wish I lived closer & had more money!!! The sweet shop looks good but I don't think it's the same asking for 100g...LOL!! I can remember when all sweet shops looked a bit like this...does that make me really old?? Sunday afternoon treats...yum :)x

  8. I love Made in Hastings - I saw them at the CL Fair and bought quite a few bits including one of their paper rabbits. We live too far away, so am quite envious of your lovely trip out!

  9. I remember that/ladies....they are stood outside in one photo...
    How fab that you got to go!

    In fact the whole visit looks a delight, I can remember asking for 2oz's of sweeties when I was I could get two different times have changed....:>)


  10. Thanks for that lovely tour, even the disappinting bit about the lack of tea shops! (That's something we get used to in France, but every now and then we have a lovely surprise and actually find one.)

  11. The shops in Hastings look worth a visit if I am going that way.
    I am pleased to hear that you had a lovely Mother's day and thank you for the beautiful comment that you left for me on my blog xxx

  12. Hastings is being smartened up, I believe, and losing its drab image from which it has suffered for a while. We motored along the sea front several years ago and it looked soooo shabby but the shops you have shown here look wonderful! And, of course, it's the place where Foyle's War was filmed, was it not?
    But surely Hastings was a long way from Somerset for a day visit? Living in deepest Devon it seems an age before we even cross the Devon/Somerset border to get anywhere!
    Margaret Powling

  13. I have just clicked onto the link for the 24th August 2008 and have seen that wonderful place in Battle which has things from Yesterday! I looked down the lovely photos and saw a kitchen cabinet that I had as a child, only when I had it, it was painted pale cream and green and the little canisters were along the top shelf! They had labels on for Tea, Coffee, Sago, Tapioca, etc. There was a little pull out bench and, if I recall, two little drawers, or I could be wrong and there were just the two little cupboards beneath the bench. It closed up with doors, just like a grown up cupboard. I loved it! Thank you for showing this, it has brought back many happy memories of playing with it in the late 1940s/early 1950s when such toys were scarce. I have often tried to describe it to my husband and now I've been able to show him what it was like!
    If ever you visit Torbay, there is a similar place called Bygones (in the village of St Marychurch.) Well worth a visit.
    Margaret Powling

  14. I don't rate Hastings either, I think Lewes is probably more up your street! :-)

  15. Hi Hen,

    Im very jealous that you have been down south and it looked like the weather was good to you, my dearest Hubby is from Bexhill on Sea so we spend lots and lots of time down there at the inlaws :-)) i am afraid tho you prob did see the best of hastings (the old town) anyway but you seemed to find a few gems hehe!!! Rye is very nice for future trips if you plan any


  16. Hi Hen,

    I love Hastings, we went there a couple of years ago, it's close but not 'that' close to where we live. I found it a strange mix of old and new. Loved the old town and boat houses and we even took a trip on the lift to take in the views!!

    I would love to go back, but I'm not sure the kiddies would be too chuffed!

    Nina x

  17. I've never been to Hastings, it does look lovely though. I always think of Foyle's War when I hear it mentioned!
    What a thougthful little boy the Munchkin is in his gift buying.
    Hope you had a great day.

  18. What a delight. I want to go!! x

  19. That's rather a nice looking beach! I grew up around white sandy beaches so the pebble variety seem odd to me!

    Such a nice shop too.

  20. Hello Hen, I remember reading about Made in CL ages ago. Thankyou for showing us round, it looks like my kind of shop. If only I lived nearby!
    Bertie x

  21. I bet they look great in your cottage. They remind me of staying at my grandparent's house. :-)

  22. btw, gorgeous crochet hook cases!

  23. Hi Hen. I was surprised about Hastings as I thought it would be amazing (never been). The shop did look fab though xx

  24. There certainly seems to be some gems to see in Hastings. I suppose it would be a good idea to combine it with another town. A little town I love is Rye. Lots of lovely shops and tea rooms!! I stayed there for a weekend with five friends a few years ago. We had a fantastic girly weekend!!
    The munchkin, certainly has good taste in presents bless him : )

    Have a great week : )

    Sharon xx

  25. I live in Brighton and would like to visit more of the surrounding areas, but have always been put off Hastings by the general consensus that it's not worth a visit. I think it is, if only for Made In Hastings, which I've seen in magazines and think looks lovely! A couple of those other shops looked sweet too. So thank you for this post - it was just what I needed to help me decide! Tara x

  26. I did enjoy reading about your day out. Glad you had a lovely weekend. Lucy x

  27. I remember reading about Made in Hastings in CL - it looks fab (I thought your pictures were great). Sounds like you had a lovely Mother's Day too - your son sounds like an absolute treasure - so thoughtful and kind. x

  28. Wow! I just la'love your blog! Your pictures have me glued to my laptop and I love reading your posts. Everything is so interesting! I'm a new follower and I can't wait to see what you'll post next! Great job!

  29. Love your blog - agree with you about Totnes - my hubby calls it the "Bun shop capitol of England"!! We plan to start our gastronomic tour of the UK in Totnes when we retire (long time off yet though - just building up to it!!). Great pictures

  30. wonderful shops Hen ...I would love a mooch around them...Pete desperately wants to go to Hastings....for cultural/historical you think I should put him off???

  31. Have you been to Rye, Hen? That's very sweet and quaint and has some interesting shops too. And it's not far from Camber Sands - lovely for a walk on a sunny day! x

  32. Hello Hen,

    What a lovely peek around Hastings. I used to go there as a child, when M&D lived 'down south', so it was a lovely read.
    The crochet rolls are delightful, if only I could master the darn thing! - off to try a you tube tutorial as a last resort...



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