Beside the Seaside

Typography & Signage in Hastings and Rye

At the end of last year, we took a little trip to the seaside, for a final little break before the Christmas season started in earnest……The thing that became apparent on our return, was the large amount of photos we’d taken of old handwritten/handmade signs and signage: Shop signs, house names, road names, fishing boat numbers and fish and chip shop signs…..seaside

RYE, East Sussex. 

We actually spent a weekend in the seaside towns of Hastings and the fishing port of Rye a few miles along the southern English coast. We’ve been to Rye a few times over the years, and it never fails to charm us, with its picturesque old town and cobbled lanes of cottages and houses…mermaid street 2

There’s an abundance of antique shops and emporiums, small boutiques – and a good choice of restaurants and coffee shops (and traditional tea shops- it is a very English town after all) There’s also a fantastic old Vinyl record store; Grammar School Records – situated in an old Grammar school (funnily enough) It’s always worth a visit, if you like a long player!

We found there are a lot of quirky houses in Rye if you keep your eyes open…2 front doorsPatriotic too…..fish and shipsprinters

Lovely little boutique – Violetta – closed unfortunately!violetta

A very neat and tidy looking homewares and ironmongers….Crockery

Philosophical messages atop the buildings! You just have to look up……DSCN1895

HASTINGS, East Sussex

Hastings is a contrasting town of two halves. Having never been before, we were surprised at the difference between the Old town and the ‘New’ town. The lovely Old town to the west of the town, has a wonderful mix of independent shops, pubs and restaurants, including many vintage/antique and lifestyle shops. We particularly liked the fantastic Myerscough & Mairs antiques and vintage shop, on the old high street. Lovely guy and great pieces. The ‘New’ town to the east, appears to consist of a mix of once beautiful old Victorian buildings, that have seemingly been long neglected (the magnificent old Palace Court Hotel on the seafront in particular) and a sprawling, shabby looking, commercial shopping centre. And dodgy looking guest houses…B&B

….we liked the front door of this B&B – but didn’t fancy staying there! And the ‘Antiques sign was clearly more interesting than the shop – it had closed down.antiques

Always handy to have a shop that serves soup, while choosing your wedding cakes – don’t you think?……DSCN1607

light steps

Alastair Hendy’s Homestore on the High Street is enough on it’s own, to warrant a visit to Hastings. We had a delicious, freshly caught sea food lunch here too….home store

The Haunted Waterloo Passage – off the old high street…waerloo

Who wouldn’t want to live at No.1 Pleasant row?pleasant rowHand painted signwriting….right Like the idea of a rock shop…rock shop

There are many more photo opportunities to be had down on the seafront. Hastings is still home to Europe’s largest beach based fishing fleet and you will find many old and abandoned fishing boats, amongst the working boats and fishmongers, selling their freshly caught produce….fresh fish Look out for the seagulls though…..fishing boat

By the way, we stayed at the George Hotel in Rye, on the high street. Fantastic, stylishly designed hotel, with great rooms and a cosy bar (with roaring log fire) and a great restaurant! Worth a stay….DSCN1863

Advertisements

Cotswolds (in a day) Pt.2

On the way back from our trip to Cowley Manor, a few weeks ago, we had a quick whistle-stop tour through the Cotswolds. We had never really been to this part of England before, so we thought seeing as we were down there anyway, it would be rude not to explore, at least a little!First stop on the way to Oxford, (where we were staying for that night) was Stow on the Wold, a pretty market town that centres around the market square at the top of the hill. As i’m sure most of the thousands of tourists that visit Stow every year would agree, there are plenty of photo opportunities…

After a couple of hours in Stow, we headed off to Burford, another popular destination in the Cotswolds. Again, a beautiful town with the typical Cotswold stone built buildings and quaint English charm….

Although the whole town is lovely, particularly worth a stroll down is ‘Sheep Street’ off the main high street. This is where we took the majority of the photos. A street with as many beautiful cottages and houses would be hard to find…

In 2009, Burford was ranked sixth in Forbes Magazine‘s list of “Europe’s Most Idyllic Places To Live”. Not hard to see why….

Cotswolds, Pt.1

As a reward to ourselves for all the work we put into launching our new website, we took a few days off last week, and headed off for a few days, in and around the Cotswolds.  We stayed two nights at the wonderful Cowley Manor, a contemporary country house, boutique hotel & spa in….well, Cowley!Just outside Cheltenham in the Cotswolds, Cowley Manor has been a Hotel & Spa since 2002 and has been recognised as pioneering a new wave of country house hotels.On arrival, the first thing that struck us about Cowley Manor (apart from the obvious beauty of the building itself) is the view from inside the hotel, looking out onto the lakes and lawns. Breath-taking…The interior is cool & contemporary with an abundance of modern artwork and sculpture throughout the beautiful old building and its grounds.Old & New has always been at the core of everything we do, so we weren’t disappointed.The staff are friendly and the service is what you would expect of a hotel of this calibre – top notch! They even had a selection of multicoloured Hunter Wellies to borrow….. For us though, the jewel in Cowley’s crown, is the 55 acres of grounds. Its famous gardens include, parklands, woods & meadows, as well as a series of lakes and Victorian cascades…Rain or shine (and we had both) the grounds are truly beautiful. As we explored the gardens and land surrounding Cowley Manor, it was great fun discovering the many pieces of sculpture by post-graduate students from the Royal College of Art….…made all the more striking, seeing modern art & sculpture set in the traditional setting of an English landscaped garden.By the way, local history states that Lewis Carroll regularly visited Cowley village. During his stays, it is said, he drew inspiration for his best known book ‘Alice in Wonderland’, from Cowley Manor and it’s grounds. Croquet anyone?