Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Rye - shopping with Battleaxe

Never mind all ye olde worlde cobbled streets and ancient stones, what we do in Rye is potter round the shops. Given our tastes, it will be a somewhat eccentric collection mentioned here.....
     We always follow the same route. First, we cruise the antique shops down by the quay. The big place on the corner, Quay Antiques, generally has nothing but tat, but today we found: a very kitsch 60s round chrome wine bottle holder, just right for a raffia chianti bottle, a nice 70s Hornsea tiger mug and an old terracotta garden statue of a fox - his ear is broken but he has personality and was only £15.00. There are a number of antique shops down there of varying expensiveness and interest - the vintage kitchenalia shop is good, but it has got too expensive.
     Had coffee in little gallery/coffee shop - I don't know what it is called. Every time we go in the woman is carefully spreading jam on a homemade sponge cake. Every time I say 'Is that going to be just jam, or will it have cream on as well?' She says she is going to put cream on, so I say I won't  have any. However, today, ground-breakingly, we had a slice to share, and I actually scraped the cream off. Very good it was too.
     Then we wander up to the High Street, looking at a couple of antique shops before hitting the proper shopping strip. I used to like a particular mad pagan cat lady clothes shop, but it has gone off....
      Visited one favourite, the Herald and Heart hat shop, and bought myself a new sun hat.  They do great brightly coloured, big floppy raffia hats that you can roll up and pack for holidays.. We are off to Turkey in September so will need yet another one.
     I love David Purdie's photographs - we had a look in his gallery in the High Street today. Compared with
Pig by David Purdie
many local artists he markets his stuff well  - he sells plenty of cards of his work, which at least means visitors to the gallery at least buy something. His posters are only £19.95, and he sells mounted prints in standard shop frame sizes. Clearly it pays off - I see many of his prints are on sale in John Lewis. As well as land and seascapes he does farm animals, which I particularly like.
Great Dixter by Louis Turpin
     Then, next door to the Rye Art Gallery.  This has even more eccentric opening hours than the Jerwood- it closes for lunch as well as being closed at other odd times, but today we were OK. As well as items on sale, the permanent collection is excellent, and they usually have small, but interesting, exhibitions. We particularly like a contemporary local artist called Louis Turpin. Our friend Karol in Lyme Regis has two large canvases by him - unfortunately his work is now very expensive. They have several in the Rye collection. Our favourite, of a cabbage field, does not reproduce too well, so here is one of Great Dixter instead.
Edith's House
      We ate lunch in a little place close by, Edith's House, which is relatively new. We found it last time we visited Rye with our offspring Anna and her partner Gareth. I see the place has gone from nowhere to number one eatery in Rye on Tripadviser. It is quite small, very quirky and cosy, and the food is reasonably priced and delicious. I had red Thai chicken soup, and Philosopher had smoked salmon and avocado platter. The boys in the cafe have a funny little French bulldog who sat for most of the time with his chin on Philosopher's knee, looking beseeching.
        We always used to go to Haydens, but last time we went there we ended up with a table next to a Yummy Mummy with her clearly estranged partner and a small child who was so badly behaved we literally felt ill with rage and could not eat our food.
         Pub-wise, if we want such a thing in Rye we always go to the Ypres Castle.  It has a good garden for the summer.




New to You
       After lunch, down the steep cobbled hill, looking in at the craft fair in the community hall as we passed. Nothing there for us today. Then, across the main road and into Glass etc., the shop belonging to TV antiques glass guru Andy McConnell. More often than not, Andy is in the shop, and very friendly he is too - I have taken him pieces of mine that I can't identify. Today he was out and about, and his wife was in charge. There is always nice stuff to look at, but nothing there for us today either.
     Onwards along Cinque Ports Street, looking in at New to You retro homewares shop. It has a great collection of kitschy stuff, but oddly we rarely find anything we want. Today was no exception.
      However, in one of the other antique shops further I found a spaghetti cat for my collection. She is so very very repulsively bad she is good....Was so pleased by this I scarcely noticed that it had started to pour with rain.



New spaghetti cat
      Battleaxe has done a new post on Bombastic Battleaxe, moving away from spaghetti onto more serious things - no, not the demolition of the welfare state, nor the death of Mrs T, but some local issues I get worked up about.
      On the theme of Mrs T for a moment, it is funny how it has brought old-style left/right ranting out again - in the coffee shop in Rye there was a Daily Mail with a truly ridiculous two-page spread article about how 'Trots' are infiltrating all our establishment institutions. I haven't heard the word 'Trot' for years.....















David Purdie - wood