Hastings Battleaxe basks in the sun

July has gone so quickly…. it has been beautiful weather, and I have missed blogging about all sorts of sunny outings……… High Beeches Gardens near Haywards Heath, King John’s Lodge in Etchingham, eating on the Pier, strange Turkish film night at the Electric Palace, a trip out to Romney Marsh, the latest exhibition at the Jerwood….

Early evening sky – from our house

It is a bit alarming that as you get a bit older, time goes so quickly. It is like the sand running out of the pointy bit at the bottom of an hour glass. I remember as a child, the summer seemed to be everlasting. Endless, mysteriously always sunny days – not as endless as double maths though, or hockey on a cold afternoon.
     When time goes so fast, it is easy to forget things, and I wanted to focus on sunny, happy stuff for this post – the global situation is so awful it is good to remember the positives -and we are so lucky living here, with all this beauty around us.
     So, what have I missed?
     High Beeches is an interesting place – we went with our friends Bob and Alison, who live in Horsham. It is a wild, natural garden, once the site of an old house, destroyed when a plane crashed into it in WW2.  The wild flowers were beautiful, and there were many, many butterflies, and lovely old trees.  Clearly, much of it was green, and it would have been better at bluebell, rhododendron time or in autumn, but I found it very restful.. The place also has a fantastic tearoom with a lovely garden area – fresh homemade food at reasonable prices, in pretty surroundings. Battleaxe would recommend!

High Beeches
Orchid at High Beeches
Twisted roots – High Beeches

 Another garden outing to King John’s Lodge at Etchingham, with the WI Gardening Group. This is a nursery, shop, fabulous tearoom and lovely gardens, all in the grounds of the family manor house. It is cosy and informal, with ducks, the owners’ dogs – and the owners themselves – living their lives around you.  Battleaxe would recommend!

Ducks at King John’s Lodge
King John’s Lodge
King John’s Lodge
Lovely little hut

After the garden, we went for lunch to  Bistro@the Station at Etchingham. This is a great place converted from the original station refreshment room – we sat out in the pretty garden. It would be an excellent place to break the train journey from London, have a meal and then catch the next train on to Hastings. Battleaxe would recommend this too!

Bistro @the station, Etchingham

    Eating on Hastings Pier? Just fabulous in sunny (and windless) weather. The Pier Pavilion cafe serves evening meals until about 8pm, and there is a bar, and you can get fish and chips as well.  The food is perfectly OK, although the service can be a bit haphazard. It was an absolutely perfect evening when we went down – forget the Italian Riviera says Battleaxe – try Hastings.

Perfect evening on the Pier
Getting towards sunset
End of the Pier….
Moon rise from the beach

     I’ll not get into earnest Turkish films – that will remind me of the terrible clamp-down situation there now, following the failed coup.  Poor Turkey, one of my favourite countries.

     Let’s go to Dungeness and Romney Marsh instead, with our friends Dave and Carol.  They wanted to see Dungeness, and then we took them to the lovely little Fairfield Church, which was looking wonderful in the afternoon sun.  Standing alone in the middle of nowhere, it is a particularly special place.


Church interior

     Finally, this morning we went to the Jerwood.  Maybe I’ll leave the exhibition until another time…. let’s stop with us sitting in the sun on the terrace having coffee, looking about us…. ‘aah, this is the life’ we said.

View from the Jerwood terrace – the fishing boats
Study of birds and boats….

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