Visit St-Leonards-On-SeaWhat will you be doing next weekend? I think I will take the walk to St Leonards, (long neglected but believe it or not), the posh end in the past, it seemed everyone put their heart into our Old Town and somewhat forgot about traveling the other way along the promenade. But now it’s community is growing stronger and more interesting every year. New shops and cafes popping up. New and old folk moving in and over. Fresh eyes-fresh start. Here are a few of my favourite places.

Visit St Leonards On SeaFor lunch stop in the friendly bohemian Love Cafe, last time I made a panic order of goulash and mash. As it turned out, the best stew I have ever eaten that wasn’t cooked by a member of my own family. Norman Road (No 1 on my map below), just on the left after Love cafe is SHOP, a department store with a difference. Inside is a cafe (with the prettiest cakes), clothing, vintage, handmade, new and seasonal products all blend together to make an inspiring open space. The Kula is a carefully curated space filled with glamorous and stylish vintage furniture. I am very heavy hearted for a desk we don’t have space for, that they have in there at the moment.

Visit St Leonards On Sea

Across the street is Little Larder, great for breakfast, making lovely coffee, cakes and light meals all day too, I love to sit at the big table in the window and watch the world go by. Norman Road also has lots of other good vintage and antique shops, including Wayward the vintage haberdashery, an absolute treasure chest of wonders from eras past. Just around the corner at the other end of Norman Rd (No 5) from a slightly shabby but dear stamp and coin shop, (which has been around forever), is our first choice for Indian food Taj-Mahal, with southern and northern menu’s the food is just too good, get there early and spend the evening.

 Go back up London Road and you’ll find my favourite florist Bobo (No4), it’s filled with wild flowers and just now the sweetest collection of baby cacti and succulents. I always want to just take a whole vase of the same bloom home when I pop in. For real junk filled thrift stores Kings Road (unmarked but No 6 on my map) is good, and I also love to gather up some ingredients for the kitchen in the oriental supermarket.
Back down on the seafront you have the shops, bars, galleries, and cafes below the Marina building (No 2), and walking back towards Hastings (No 3), you’ll pass the beautiful studio of wallpaper designer Deborah Bowness and Plenty Provisions, stocking delicious bread from the artisan bakers at Lighthouse Bakery in Bodiam, healthy store cupboard treats and local, eco, organic and fair-trade groceries.

Hopefully you have enjoyed my tour, not included all the shops as I’m sure you like the joy of discovery as much as me, but I hear a lovely new pub has opened up and another closed and turned into a huge space filled with antique lighting and fairground sculptures, (keep your eyes peeled for the two largest charcoal painted buildings on London Rd, that’s them!) and also be aware that this area is still a work in progress, but the more visitors that come and support the local traders, the more progress right? Below I have made a simple map, but click at the bottom of the page for the detailed google version.

St Leonards On Sea MapFor a more specific map click here!

  • Brittany – the Home Ground

    This looks like somewhere I’d love to visit! I really need to get to know the shops in my new town, too. There are a lot of really great ones!

  • Victoria Pichel

    Bexhill-on-sea… that’s where the Keane video was shot! I didn’t know it was near or IN London!

    Anyway, these places look adorable to spend some time… you must enjoy them for all of us!

  • Decorator’s Notebook

    Thanks for this Jeska – I didn’t make it to the St Leonards end when I came to visit Hastings a few weeks ago but now I must make a return visit. I was born in St Leonards many moons ago so it would fun to see where it all began!

  • sarah

    wow, st leonards has really moved on, mid you i still loved it when we lived there 18 yrs ago! i am looking forward to a revisit next spring, and fish and chips on the beach and lots of rummaging in the lovely shops!
    thanks for the guide – added it to my pinterest places to visit!