We started off at Strand Quay where we found a cluster of great antique shops in the bottom of some black weather-boarded fisherman’s houses.
I’ve been looking for a set of cake forks for ages and managed to find a really lovely set with a simple chevron pattern on the handle. Then I spotted an old linen map of Colombo in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) where my Mum was born, so I bought that too as I thought she and my Granny might be interested to see it. I just can’t resist yellowing old maps!
Country Ways, which specialises in kitchenalia, was another top shop and we spent ages sifting through the time-softened linens, French patisserie tins and Fanny Cradock cookery books on offer.
The message on this vintage typewriter made me smile!
Cobbled Mermaid Street is famous for being the prettiest in Rye, but to be honest, the whole town is made up of quaint and photogenic buildings. Here are a couple of houses I wouldn’t say no to…
Perhaps we’ve become cynical from living in London, but we were both overwhelmed by how friendly the people were in all the shops, most of which are independently owned. Andy from Glass etc (where misery, moaning and frowns are officially banned, according to the website) even made me a cup of tea and we spent nearly an hour playing dressing-up with the ladies in the vintage clothes shop, long after it had supposedly closed for the day.
After tea at Glass etc, it wasn’t long before we were on the hunt for something sweet. We sampled several establishments during our stay in the name of research. Fletcher’s House scored best for its roaring fire and freshly baked scones served with lashings of jam and clotted cream, but the prize for the best decor went to The Apothecary, where we loved the wall of labelled pharmacy drawers and Beano ceiling.
Sunday started with a full English breakfast apiece so we decided to walk to Camber Sands (about an hour each way) to burn off a few calories and ensure we had enough room for another cream tea in the afternoon! Lovely Rita (!) who ran our B&B wrote us directions and we headed across a field of adorable lambs towards the beach.
Even though the sun failed to make an appearance and Camber itself was disappointing, the long sandy beach was spectacular and we found ourselves dreaming of owning one of the stunning architectural homes right on the sand – I loved this garden decorated with driftwood and an upended boat.
Back in Rye, there was just enough time to pop into Pale & Interesting (Atlanta Bartlett’s shop) before jumping on the train back to London, where I’m already plotting my next visit!