Hastings is about a 20 minute drive from Rye and is described by many as ‘Brighton before it became chi-chi’. So basically, it’s a cheaper version of Brighton with less shops, cafes and good haircuts. ‘Less’ in that there are fewer, but those that there are, are certainly not of a lesser quality. It’s a bit more rough & edgy that’s true, but definitely on it’s way to chic. So what all of this means is that you can find really cool stuff that’s not expensive because people haven’t really got their head around it being stylish, yet.

Shops wise you want to head to the old town – that’s George Street & the High Street – and there are loads of lifestyle/antiques/homeware/junk shops. There’s also a very cool bar called The Dragon (they have a sister bar in East London for those of you who might know it) and they make delicious pizzas.

Then of course there’s the Pier, for a bit of good old fashioned arcade game entertainment….

St Leonards is about another 5 minutes along the coast after Hastings and has some of East Sussex’s most civilized antiques shops and stylish cafes, all on one street called Norman Road. There are two good places we at the Ship can personally recommend to eat / have coffee down there – one is a michelin starred restaurant called St Clements, the other is a cafe called The Little Larder.

Visit thenormanroad.co.uk for more information on ‘the Portobello of East Sussex’ don’t you know…