We often take the route described below - it takes about half a day to do it thoroughly. There are many other interesting shops along the way, and many charity shops, which I have not covered individually. This post only covers St Leonard's - I will do another on the Old Town shortly. Opening times for some of these places are erratic, but you are usually safe on a Saturday.
The walk actually starts in Hastings, because I didn't want to leave out the places on the seafront - and it is nice to have a walk by the sea on a sunny day.
Start at the end of Robertson Street, and walk along the front past the British Heart Foundation furniture shop. You sometimes see nice bits of mid-century G plan type stuff in here.
Next, there is the similar, but smaller and plainer White Rock Antiques Centre.
That's it for a bit. The desperate can stop off at the White Rock Hotel for a coffee or pint break - the front terrace is very popular, or alternatively cross the road and walk along the sea front, viewing progress on the pier renovation works (if any), until you get past Warrior Square. There is a seafront cafe by the loos - warm weather only - or cross the road back again.
We tend to stop for coffee at Smiths - they do excellent food too, but the cafe does get hot and crowded. It is almost next door to our next shop - Stuff by the Sea. The name is currently just chalked on a clothes bin outside this large, inexpensive vintage clothes shop - ideal for a rummage.
Opposite is the large London Road Antiques Centre, with a London Underground theme. This is well worth a browse - a fair bit of reproduction stuff, but many gems as well, and prices are very reasonable. It is right next door to the Love Cafe - popular with many, but every time Philosopher and I have been, the service has been too slow.
Firstly, on the right, the enormous Kings Road Bazaar has been around for a long while. This is mostly full of junk, but we have found many little gems over the years, and it is always worth a poke about. Almost opposite is its higher class cousin - Kings Road Antiques. This has a varied stock and usually some interesting things - not cheap though.
Back down London Road, and right up Norman Road. Interestingly, the bottom stretch of Norman Road going down to Warrior Square has become very Middle Eastern, with many Turkish shops and cafes. The upper stretch is becoming very arty, with its own shopping website. First, Xanadu vintage, next to the Little Larder Cafe, is excellent, if a bit cramped. (the same can be said of the cafe!). Opposite is Shop - this used to have nice retro stuff, but is now mostly gifts and high-end retro style homeware, with the delicious Michala's Cute Cakes Cafe taking up more and more room.
We particularly like the Baker Mamonova Gallery, which has recently moved into a large new space in what was an old cinema. It specialises in twentieth-century Russian art, and many of the paintings are
|Baker Mamonova Gallery|
Next door, our friend Patrick Robbins has moved in, vacating his old premises at the top of the road. His new place, now called the Fleet Gallery, is bigger, lighter and very attractive. Several paintings in our house came from Patrick, but now he has moved a bit upmarket.
As with Kings Road, shops tend to come and go, and move around a bit. We like one very high-end mid-century shop - I think it is 'Antiques on Sea' but at the moment it has no name outside, and Gensing Antiques, which is a chaotic mass of stacked up paintings, kept by a very talkative old guy. We can't go in there too often because we never come out empty handed. There is also the Hastings Antiques Centre, which deals in older stuff, the Wayward vintage haberdashery shop, and several more, including a strange junky place at the top of the road.
|Gensing and Wayward|
By this time we have usually had enough - we walk down to Warrior Square and get the bus home!
Here a few more pictures!
|Arthur Green's interior|
|Gensing Antiques - all those pictures!|
|Norman Road Street art, with a bit from Scrabbleman - it says 'I'm mad as hell'|