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Saturday, 7 January 2012

Rediscovering My Town

I live in a rural part of East Sussex and the closest towns are Eastbourne and Hastings (20 minutes away), with Tunbridge Wells a bit further away (40 minutes). Since moving down from London, one thing which I really miss is a good place to go shopping. To be honest, neither Eastbourne or Hastings have particularly good shopping centres and I really miss that trendy London shopping vibe.

The day after boxing day, we went to the sales in Eastbourne and it was hell on Earth. I wished I hadn't bothered going because it was crazy busy yet the quality of the shops and items was so poor. Today I needed to go back to exchange something and I was dreading it. So I decided I would try and have a look around other parts of the town, convinced that there must be some decent shops somewhere!

So I ventured off the beaten track a.k.a the dull, run of the mill high street which is essentially a clone of every other town high street in Britain. The first place I came across was a Chocolate Cafe which had a beautiful 12 Days of Christmas cake in the window, each layer decorated according to the song. (None of the photos in this post were taken by me, they're all off Google as I didn't have my camera).

It was nearly lunch time and I noticed they did savoury food as well as sweet so we decided to have lunch here instead of the usual sandwich in Marks and Sparks where we queued for half an hour to get a coffee last week, arrghh! Inside it looked like this:

It had a black and pink theme which wasn't at all over the top. I liked the black silhouette canvases and chandeliers. Immediately, I felt that trendy London vibe. The food was delicous too. The coffee was served with a single chocolate truffle which was a nice touch and the sandwiches were on freshly made granary bread with some more unusual fillings like Thai Green Chicken.

Success! I had found somewhere new and interesting! After lunch I headed to an older part of the town called Little Chelsea. It is basically two streets of independent shops, close to the attractive Town Hall which can be seen in the picture below. The bells in the clock tower happened to chime as we walked past, cute!

There were a few more cafes, tea rooms and pubs which looked rather nice. There were also lots of cute and quirky gift, furniture and craft shops. I also saw a huge second hand bookshop but ran out of time to go in because of the parking meter. I love rummaging in old book shops, you never know what you'll find - I will definitely go in next time. Not only were the books piled to the ceiling inside, they were also wrapped around the shop on the streets either side of it. Unusually in this day and age, the books are left outside when the shop is closed and customers put the money through the letter box!!!

I was so glad I made the effort to seek out new places today. I feel much better about my local town now. When I first moved down here I was excited to discover new places but I think since I've been working, I havn't made the effort so much. Today reminded me not to be lazy! More on Eastbourne in my next post as I discovered some interesting facts about the future of the town today.


houndstooth said...

That cake is just fantastic! What a sight! I'd have been in heaven in that bookstore, too!

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