Sunday, 14 May 2017
Fish & Chips For Tea
Yesterday evening was like a mini stay-cation to Hastings. We visited my Grandmother and her new hip, both of whom appear to be doing well (this is the second hip she's had done- she's practically bionic!) and then as we were so near to the seafront, carried on down to a little carpark right on the beach in the fishing quarter of Hastings. The weather was beautiful with blue sky, blue sea and bright sunshine and, although it was a tad brisk, it was wonderful to breathe in the salty air and watch the seagulls squabbling amongst themselves.
Further along this stretch of coastline, you do eventually reach long sandy beaches but for this part you just get an interesting selection of pebbles which crunch underfoot and pile up into drifts for you to slide down in a tumble of stones.
Our intention was to walk along to the shops and grab ourselves some dinner to take away, and as we walked along the path, following the tracks of the miniature railway line, we walked past the East Hill Cliff funicular Railway, which is actually the steepest funicular railway in the United Kingdom and was built in 1903 by Hastings Council.
This little seaside town is steeped in history; it is home to the first castle in England built by William the Conqueror (or the remains of it), and is actually made up of three towns joined together- the Old Town to the East, the contemporary town centre in the middle and St. Leonard's to the West. There are various museums you can visit which will tell you more about the Old Town and the historic fishing and trading centre which dates back to the time of the Norman conquest. In St. Clements Caves on the West side, there are tales of daring smugglers and on the other side, at the top of the East Hill, is Hastings Country Park which boasts 660 acres of ancient woodland and heathland stretching across five miles of exposed cliffs. I haven't even mentioned anything about the 1066 Battle of Hastings!
Nearly every other building on this seafront is a fish and chip shop and we wandered along until there was one that took our fancy, The Cod Father! The chips were delicious, not soggy at all, and my fish cake was really tasty too. Eaten with the little wooden fork, out in the open air, surrounded by warm sunshine and salty breezes- there isn't a better way to eat fish and chips.
I really loved the contrast of the blue sky against the yellow lichen that appears to be flourishing on many of the old rooftops. With the little twittens, old wooden houses lining the twisty side roads, and these fantastic yellow/orange roofs, it really was very scenic.
After wandering back towards the car, we stayed for a few minutes down on the beach, walking (or sliding) down to the waters edge so that Dad could practice throwing pebbles into the sea and The Mother and I could hunt for interesting shells and sea glass.
Such a treat to have dinner 'out' in this amazing location! It really did feel like being on holiday!