Hastings Stories and Tips

A walk down the front and an ice-cream treat

The front at Hastings Photo, Hastings, England

It was a hot summer’s day in Hastings and we were taking a gentle walk along the promenade. The town was full of people some of whom would have visited to enjoy the start day of Hasting’s annual Old Town Carnival Weeks (3rd – 11th August) but many who were on holiday in this up and coming resort.

The promenade was an interesting mix of different aromas all designed to entice visitors to part with their holiday money and add to their waistline. There were stalls selling the brightly coloured fluffiness of Candyfloss (spun sugared calories on a stick) next to the sugary doughy doughnuts. What a fine combination of aromas that can only be found on seaside promenades or fairgrounds. Of course Hastings has the latter and the promenade is littered with small arcades and its infamous pleasure park. Just down from here is the skeletal shadow of the pier which was destroyed by fire in recent news. On a positive note it has been announced, only this week, that work will start on rebuilding the pier to try and restore the shoreline to its former glory.

But back to the food of the promenade... Along the town side there are restaurants and fish shops a-plenty (see my review on the Lifeboat Fish Restaurant) with their distinctive aromas tickling the olfactory organ and towards the funfair you can chew on a burger or a hot dog. However before we got to the funfair my grandson headed off towards the trampoline. My son explained that this was his "treat" and so for 10 minutes we watched him do star jumps and attempt a bit of a summersault. He was in good company as the trampolines seemed to be doing a rip roaring trade. It’s good to see youngsters enjoying the physical activity rather than standing next to an arcade game. The 10 minutes passed all too quickly but despite the numerous attractions my grandson made no more demands on his parents to have money spent on him.

Hastings promenade hosts the annual crazy golf competition and my son assured me that people travelled across the globe to participate. I reacted with surprise but then saw that people were queuing up to "have a go". Perhaps I should not have been too surprised after all. It certainly seemed popular with those in Hastings on this day.
The bright blue waters of the boating lake was also too much of a temptation for many holidaymakers as they clambered into the "swan" pedal boats on the man-made lake. An English seaside resort on a bright summer’s day is certainly attractive and must rake in the money for the local businesses. Mind you they need a good summer because these places are almost devoid of visitors over Autumn and Winter.

Heading in towards the old town (a road that runs parallel to the promenade, there are several really interesting pubs and some decent restaurants, but we’d eaten our fish and chips and now we were going to treat ourselves to something sweet. It had been a hot day so what better than an ice-cream. We, once again, were to be guided by our son who walked us past many of the "seaside booths" selling ice-cream toward an expensive looking shop that sold "boutique" ice-cream all made on the premises and with an offer of many different flavours. As well as the standard blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, chocolate Di Pola's offers some interesting and more quirky flavours including Sea Salt Caramel, marshmallow raspberry ripple, Turkish delight to mention just three. They’re all attractively laid out in front of you and it has the feel that it’s going to be on the pricey side. I was amazed that the prices were comparable with most of the other ice cream vendors on the promenade and for £2.80 you get a couple of decent sized scoops.

If you’re down Hastings’ front then give it a try – it’s also doubles up as a a coffee shop, so you can sit down and enjoy the flavours. Well worthy of a visit.

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