I spent a Friday in Hastings a couple of weeks ago and was intending to write a post about the whole visit when I realised that the highlight of the day, apart from a very good lunch at St Clement’s Restaurant, was yet another visit to A.G. Hendy’s Home Store in the Old Town. It’s always a delight to step into a space which feels as if it belongs to a bygone era: the time before plastic existed, before so many things became disposable. The door opens into a world of low light and muted colours, and we walk in to discover what is behind the worn façade this time round…

A G Hendy Hastings shop front

The building itself is very special: a three-storey late-Georgian townhouse which was lovingly restored by Alistair Hendy over the course of over three years, to sell mostly funcional items with a vintage feel. Everything is beautifully organised and carefully arranged: never before have cleaning implements and rolls of green twine been so covetable.

A G Hendy Hastings ground floor

At the back of the ground floor it’s possible to peek into the kitchen, which becomes a minuscule restaurant serving weekend lunches during the Summer. With just a few tables and a brief menu consisting of simple seafood dishes, it’s just the kind of place I’d love to try: on the list for next time!

A G Hendy Hastings view of kitchen

Going up the steep stairs there are tableaux of objects everywhere, from furniture to tailor’s dummies and medical charts: everywhere we look, another still life that would not be out of place in a 17th century Dutch painting.

A G Hendy Hastings 1st floor and stairs
A G Hendy Hastings 1st floor front and back
A G Hendy Hastings 1st floor

Back on the rabbit warren that is ground floor, we discover more interesting corners and carefully curated shelves housing utilitarian crockery and kitchen utensils. Did I buy anything, you may wonder? Well, to my surprise I could have walked away with most of the cleaning implements (you can see them all here, I promise they are much better in person) but I was sensible and chose just a ceiling cobweb brush for the studio. And I could not resist buying a couple of antique scissors: one large and sturdy, the other a more delicate Edwardian beauty. You’ll have to wait to see those, I’m sure they’ll make an appearance on my instagram feed before too long…

A G Hendy Hastings ground floor details
A. G. Hendy Home Store, 36 High Street, Hastings TN34 3ER
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 5.30pm and also Bank Holiday Mondays

 

 

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