Hastings is like a band before they get famous; rough around the edges and full of artistic integrity. It’s still authentic and hasn’t had the personality beaten out of it by becoming too commercialised.
For those in the know, this little coastal town is quietly becoming cool. The creative scene here is buzzing and Hastings Old Town is where you’ll bump into the eccentric artists, shop-keepers and musicians. The Old Town is located on the sea-front and is a little patch of historic Hastings littered with independent boutiques and cafes. You can while away an afternoon perusing down the lanes, whilst the smell of fish and chips hovers on the salty sea air.
One shop you HAVE to go to is A.G. Hendy & Co.
Hendy’s is the most, inspiring, immersive retail experience I have ever had. The old exterior is reminiscent of when towns had proper communities and shops had heritage, being owned by families for generations.
Hendy’s call itself a Home Shop – it’s filled with utilitarian hardware, vintage equipment and tools for most rooms of the house, helping you to carry out your life with timeless design, oozing practical luxury. Gimme some practical luxury any day!
The Styling. Is. Beyond.
This is where the Hendy’s experience comes to life. It’s the sort of place where, you’ll convince yourself your life cannot go on without, say… a Long Handle Boot Brush. It will have been styled to perfection. You need it. No. You want it – knowing you just need to have a piece of Hendy’s in your home…and ignoring the whispering voice that says…”You have no use for this whatsoever.”
The shop is like exploring a stranger’s house when they’re not there (I know you’ve done it too…). I kept dashing amongst different floors into different rooms, all filled with different kinds of oddities and carefully curated homeware. The products are displayed in, on and around individually-sourced antique furniture which makes it such a delight to explore and interact with. The homeware ranges from glamorous-looking feather dusters (feather dusters will forever remind me of the feather duster in Beauty and the Beast – anyone else?) to old hotel silverware. If it all gets too much, which it will, there’s a log fire going on the upper floor. Yeah.
If you happen to go on a Saturday, they serve up fresh catch of the day amongst other deliciousness (the owner, Alastair Hendy is an award-winning food writer and photographer).
Or they have a Tudor House you can stay at.
Or you can partake in the creative Workshops they host.
I know. They’ve thought of everything.
They say Home is where the Heart is. I’d say my Heart is where Hendy’s Home is.
AG Hendy & Co | 36 High Street, Hastings