Please wait, the site is loading...

Travel

Staycation: The House in Hastings

by Liz Stansfield
Staycation: The House in Hastings
The 'atmospheric' streets of Hastings

The Sainsbury’s magazine team escaped London’s fume-filled streets and headed to Hastings for a couple of days of brainstorming and team bonding. Liz Stansfield, our digital editor, reports.

The Sainsbury's magazine team
The Sainsbury's magazine team

Our arrival at Hastings railway station is the usual British seaside town affair – no taxis, drizzling rain and a seemingly chaotic bus queue filled with art students. So we’re mightily relieved when a couple of taxis eventually turn up and we head to the atmospheric Old Town, with its cobbled streets and gorgeous higgledy-piggledy houses – a mix of quaint clapboard cottages, revamped Victorian terraces and grand Georgian villas.

Tucked away in a back street we find our home for the next few days, simply known as The House In Hastings. This smart, five-storey Regency former sea captain’s house has kept its traditional charms while undergoing a complete interior makeover to become a self-catering property for large groups.

Chandelier chic

We ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ our way around, admiring the cool mid-century furniture, the rich jewel tones in the ombré velvet curtains and quirky collectibles. The chandeliers alone could have their own Instagram feed.

First things first, we celebrate the start of what will be a very busy few days with drinks in the dramatic dark blue sitting room, with its velvet furniture and views to the seafront. We’d ordered an online grocery delivery, which we unpack in the brilliantly equipped scullery-style kitchen. Snacks are served in the dining room, where we are to spend the next few days sitting at the ginormous round table, drilling down our plans for the magazine and website, and coming up with brilliant ideas.

The very well-equipped kitchen
The very well-equipped kitchen

After unpacking, dinner is on the cards and, for our first meal, we choose nearby The Crown, a friendly gastropub packed with locals and their dogs. Here, we wolf down plates of ham, egg and chips, vegetarian kofte platters and succulent salt marsh lamb cutlets with sweetcorn. At bedtime there’s no squabbling over bathrooms, as there are four between us, plus two separate loos. We make the most of the luxurious ‘drench’ showers, roll-top baths, piles of gorgeous REN products and fluffy towels.

One of the roll-top baths
One of the roll-top baths

Overnight the weather changes and we wake to a glorious day. The healthiest among us drift off on runs or walks along the seafront, where we take photos of a beautiful sunrise before heading back for breakfast, picking up bread at Judges Bakery on the way. This quaint bakery has been delivering cottage loaves, giant homemade sausage rolls and glistening buns to the good people of Hastings since 1826, and becomes our go-to stop for lunch essentials and great coffee. That night we enjoy dinner at Dragon Bar, a cool hipster hangout (but don’t let that put you off). It’s got a fun, upbeat atmosphere with delicious dishes scrawled on a blackboard. We tuck into pork belly, steaks and pans piled high with paella.

The 'dramatic dark blue' sitting room
The 'dramatic dark blue' sitting room

The streets of Hastings are a bric-a-brac browser’s paradise; the team snaps up bargains including leather handbags, collectable LPs, vintage clothing and arty homeware. Ex-food stylist and Sainsbury’s magazine contributor Alastair Hendy has a must-visit shop, AG Hendy that sells cooking essentials and treats. He also runs a tiny seafood restaurant and cookery school. Other attractions include the small but beautifully contemporary Jerwood Gallery on the seafront and the charming funicular East Hill Cliff Railway.

Our last night in Hastings is a celebration of a brilliantly productive few days, so we dive into the First In Last Out pub, a proper boozer with no fruit machines or jukebox, just lively banter, an amazing selection of beers, and good, classic pub grub such as (yes, our favourite) ham, egg and chips with bubble and squeak and coleslaw, beef and ale pies and proper old-school fish and chips. If the locals had started singing sea shanties, we wouldn’t have been surprised.

The Fernery courtyard
The Fernery courtyard

Hastings has long been in the shadow of its neighbour Brighton as a staycation destination, but if you are looking for authenticity, culture, style and charm, we think it’s got its big brother beat.

Where we stayed

The House In Hastings sleeps 10 and is perfect for group getaways. It can be booked (only in its entirety) Monday to Thursday, from £1,450; weekends Friday to Monday, from £1,850; and full weeks from £2,250. 

Don`t miss

We value your privacy

We use cookies to help give you the best experience on our site and to allow us and third parties to customise the marketing content you see across websites and social media. For more information see our cookie policy.

Cookie Preference Centre

Learn more about what each cookie category does and choose your settings (toggle right to opt in or left to opt out). Cookie policy


Strictly Necessary

These technologies are needed to enable our websites and apps to run and to keep it secure.

Sainsbury's Magazine

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
PHPSESSID Until the browsing session ends
device_view 1 month
recentlyViewedRecipes 1 year
subscription-{popup-version-date}-PopupClosed 12 days

Vimeo

Enables Vimeo videos on the site

Cookie name Duration
_derived_epik 1 year

Constant Commerce

Enables shopping tools for recipe ingredients

Cookie name Duration
cc_a_h 10 years
cc_a_s Until the browsing session ends

DoubleClick

DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) is an integrated ad-technology platform that enables us to more effectively create, manage and grow high-impact digital marketing campaigns.

Cookie name Duration
DSID 10 days
IDE 1 year
RUL 11 months

Performance/Analytics

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Google

Google Analytics tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
__gads 13 months
_ga 28 months
_gat 1 minute
_gid 1 day
1P_JAR 1 month
ANID 10 days
CONSENT 18 years
NID 6 months
__Secure-3PAPISID 2 years
__Secure-3PSID 2 years
__Secure-3PSIDCC 1 year

Marketing/Targeting

These technologies help us decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you. We use this data to customise the marketing content you see on websites, apps and social media. They also help us understand the performance of our marketing activities. These cookies are set by us or our carefully-selected third parties.

Pinterest

Pinterest conversion tracking gathers conversion insights and builds audiences to target based on actions our visitors have taken on the site.

Cookie name Duration
_pinterest_ct_rt 1 year
_pinterest_ct_ua 1 year
_pin_unauth 1 year

Outbrain

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
outbrain_cid_fetch 5 minutes
adrl 5 weeks
apnxs 6 weeks
criteo 2 months
obuid 6 months

Twitter

Twitter conversion tracking enables us to measure our return on ad spend by tracking the actions people take after viewing or engaging with our ads on Twitter.

Cookie name Duration
personalization_id 2 years
muc 2 years
ads_prefs 5 years
auth_token 5 years
dnt 5 years
guest_id 2 years
twid 5 years