Alastair Hendy’s Homestore in Hastings, experential retail at its best

alistair hendy 04What is it with the Hastings/Rye area that encourages such wonderful stores? Last week it was Merchant & Mills from Rye, and while there Carolyn tipped me off about Alastair Hendy’s amazing Homestore in Hastings. It was another ‘bucket of cold water’ moment.

Alastair Hendy is a food writer and photographer who moved to Hastings half a dozen years ago. Before long he’d bought a relic of a house in Hasting’s High Street and spent three years painstakingly piecing together a store with a distinctly polished Dickensian feel. It is the most gorgeous place, with dark painted and rubbed down wood panel walls, scrubbed floor boards, completely original fixtures everywhere and vintage/salvaged lighting and electric accessories. And that’s just the shop.

Tables and shelves are neatly crammed with simple but useful home product, from a huge collection of natural haired brushes, endless different scissors, every width and height of beeswax candle and cooking china to make Mary Berry swoon.

And the displays!

alistair hendy 03I can’t tell you how this store lifted my spirits and reaffirmed my thoughts that if you make the store an irresistible place, people will find you out. And a store with this standard of product presentation and selection deserves to be on its own retail coach tour, frankly speaking. The store doesn’t yet have a selling website, so if you want to experience this, you have to head down to Hastings and immerse yourself, and I urge you to do just that.

Not only is this a great store, at the weekends, Alastair cooks in the small old-school kitchen at the back of the shop and you can book a space in the teeny dining room. The kitchen opens Saturday-Sunday 12.30- 4.00pm. Don’t even think of not booking.

alistair hendyI bought the most excellent ceiling brush, with a 5ft long handle and goat hair bristles that has made short work of all my cobwebby cornicing.

alistair hendy 06There are three floors of beautiful product..three! There are vintage bits of furniture and accessories scattered amongst the new stuff. And all the time you are climbing the stairs you can admired the rubbed down paintwork on the stair bannister and panelled walls.

alistair hendy 05I really wanted one of everything….and I wanted to move in.

alistair hendy 07Homestore is open at 36 High Street, Hastings, Wednesday to Sunday 10.00 – 5.30pm, the website is still under construction but the blog with contact details etc is here . Go people, go soon.

6 Comments

  • Leanne says:

    Gorgeous, I would love a shop like this but I am sure I would find it hard to part with my little treasures,

  • Louise says:

    We must have been shadowing each other – my first visit was last week and I could barely contain my exitement. The building is absolutely beautiful, so lovingly restored, and the brilliant sunshine created some wonderful light – each room is like a still life!
    There are some real gems in this area…..am sorely tempted to up sticks!

  • sarah says:

    The man is a merchandising genius. I had a long talk with him and his delightful assistant about brushes and their uses!. A lovely way to spend money.

  • Amanda says:

    I agree Sarah, the merchandising was genius and Louise it would have been fab to bump into you! Am seriously thinking about moving to Hastings A

  • rebecca says:

    I’ve been here. It’s good isn’t it? It kind of blew my mind too!

  • Tess says:

    So glad you have featured Merchant & Mills and Hendy’s Homestore, I live midway between Hastings and Rye and it’s fantastic to have such inspirational stores so close. Let me know if you come again! Have you been to the vintage haberdashery shop Wayward on Norman Road St Leonard’s? It’s not new but a real treasure trove.

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