Last Christmas we escaped the usual rituals and London and headed down to a cottage in Hastings for the duration. Browsing through the photos on my phone - yes most of my blog photos are taken on my iPhone as it's always close to hand - I was taken by just how charming and quaint our walk into the Old Town in search of the sea was. That's such a seaside thing to do isn't it, head off to see the sea?
I'd been to Hastings many years ago, and remembered the funicular, mainly because my uncle tried to convince the ticket seller he was one of the children, and of course the six children found it hilarious. I've no idea what fare he paid, or rather my dad paid, because why would the child pay, but it's a memory that stuck. I think it may have obscured all my other Hastings memory as none of the rest of it looked familiar, not even the fish sheds (more on those another day), but then again at that age I probably wasn't that interested in them and no doubt the seafront has changed in the many years that have gone by.
But I'm not sure all of the views have changed, just look:
It looks so much more appealing than a standard row of terraced houses doesn't it? You might imagine that even all the higgledy-piggledy-ness soon gets taken for granted but there is such a mix of architectural styles it was almost too much to take in on a single visit. Almost. It was one of those walks that was very stop-start, much to MOH's fake annoyance - it had to be fake annoyance as I'm sure no one could be annoyed with stopping to look at these, and on Christmas Day morning too.
I was fascinated by the brickwork on the house below, and the flower pots on top of the bay, which I presume hints there's an outdoor space up there. But even the ironwork on the front of the upper bay, and then the alleyway leading to another part of the town.
And the more modern style of the grey, sleek and stylish house next door. It's a real reminder that traditional and contemporary styles really can work together, which is always a relief as I can never choose between the two. Further along there's an old shop converted into living accommodation but in keeping with the street, retaining the fantastic - and dare I call it - vintage sign.
The colours too contribute to the general ambience, and it's not just pastels either as you'll see further down the post. Unsurprisingly for a seaside town blue and white features heavily, but splashes of pinks and yellows and corals add to the mix.
I'd been looking out for the Piece of Cheese Cottage, and never did I expect it to be so yellow and cheese-coloured, or even shaped like a wedge of cheese, but it was. It's easy to see how it got its name isn't it?
Going back to colour there's pale pinks and brighter pinks, creamy yellows and cheese yellows and brick fronted houses too. Plus the coral or orange which on its own might appear garish, but not here.
As we reached the front the wood panelled or clapboard style buildings, and they were a hint of what was to come as we wandered around the fish sheds. It was eerily quiet in this part of town, most likely because everyone else was no doubt opening presents!
But we weren't quite done yet. We found an even more quirky house, whose outside was just full of texture and charm. And check out the name plate.
There was one more house that I insisted we stop and investigate and all because it had these giant plants and seedheads seemingly growing out of the building's foundations. Their shape though, made them appear to be decorations, in the most rustic of styles.
And now we really were ready for all the usual trimmings of the day, all that remained was to find our way back to our holiday cottage and work out how to use the oven!