Hastings Battleaxe enjoys sunny Chichester

On Tuesday it was Valentine’s Day. Battleaxe and Philospher have been together a long time but we still enjoy the odd romantic moment… so off we went to Chichester. Stayed at the lovely 4 Canon Lane again, shopped ’til we dropped, had a retro-style Chinese meal, and visited a really lovely Sussex Landscapes exhibition at the Pallant House Gallery. And the sun shone all the time.

Chichester Bishop’s Palace Gardens – glorious morning sun…

When we left Hastings it was actually quite foggy and murky. Had planned to stop at our old faithful haunt, Middle Farm, for a coffee sitting in the sun. It was still foggy at 10.30, but we still stopped and sat inside. Battleaxe would always recommend. We have been there so many times over the years – doing the farm thing with grand daughter Eve, and have stopped plenty of times when we are passing as well. It has an excellent farm shop and cider store, a good selection of plants for sale, and there are always a few creatures for me to commune with, even if you don’t pay to go into the farm.  This time a couple of cows poked their heads over a fence as we passed. One loved having her head scratched, so obliged, while not noticing her friend was sticking her big wet whiskery nose into my handbag and licking the contents… Good thing she didn’t swallow my phone…

Shopping in Chichester is excellent. For example, in just a few yards from the end of Canon Lane in South Street there is Seasalt, White Stuff, Mistral and Jaba Yard – some of Battleaxe’s favourite places to buy clothes, and an excellent independent shoe shop… There are shops that have long disappeared from our local streets, like Jones shoes – and heavens, even Clarks. Our local Clarks closed a while ago…

I won’t go on about 4 Canon Lane again – I wrote a post about it in October 2021, when we were last there. It is an oasis of peace in the middle of the bustling city. This time our room was not so nice, much smaller, at the back of the building, but still with lovely views over to the Deanery and the Gardens.

In the evening, we headed out to eat.

We had left it late to book a restaurant, all the obvious suspects like Cote, Bill’s and the Ivy were all booked up, so we went to a little local Chinese, the Confucius, which had very good reviews. Battleaxe loves good quality old-style Chinese food – crispy seaweed, sticky spare-ribs, duck with pancakes, yuk shung (that thing with minced stuff and lettuce leaves), sizzling platters of this and that, gooey noodles… We have not found anywhere in Hastings that is any good, which is a disappointment.  However, this place was fine. They even had toffee bananas and pineapple fritters. Heaven.

Next day we went to the Pallant House Gallery. Again, Battleaxe has written about it many times. It is one of our very favourite galleries. We had wanted to see the Sussex Landscapes exhibition, and it was excellent. If you click on the link, you’ll see that the exhibition is advertised with an image of ‘Chalk Path’ by Ravillious.  We have a print of that on our stairs, and it was interesting to see the original in the exhibition. Here are a few more pictures:

C R Nevinson, View of the Sussex Weald, 1927

I liked this one for two reasons. Firstly, it shows this particular time of year. The early spring catkins, the blackthorn blossom, and the view through the window to the Sussex landscape and the wintry sky. Secondly, Nevinson is mostly known for his powerful, stark paintings of WW1 battlefields- he was an official war artist. This, painted after the war, is in a totally different style.

Ditchling Beacon, Charles Knight, 1940

This is a very traditional painting, but I love the light on the Downs.

The Harbour, Hastings, Edward Burra, 1947

I have seen this exhibited at the Jerwood, in the good old days.

Finally, Pallant House has an excellent permanent collection. This is another painting that struck me.

Promise (A window in Hampstead) Mary Donaldson, 1937.

Interesting to see that this is another view out of a window into a wintry landscape, with the ‘promises’, the hyacinths and daffodils not yet in bloom, visible in the foreground. What does that say about Battleaxe’s current state of mind?

Anyway, after the exhibition and coffee in the gallery, we ate a picnic lunch sunning ourselves in the Bishop’s Palace Garden. To finish this post, here is one more item from the gallery – the sun was actually shining through the disc. Lovely.

Emily Young. Solar Disc 1.






  1. Shirley Lawrd
    February 17, 2023 / 12:00 pm

    Pleased you had an enjoyable time. The weather was stunning. Precious days after such a bleak few weeks since Christmas. Loved the paintings.

  2. Susannah Farley-Green
    February 17, 2023 / 12:40 pm

    Glad you enjoyed your Valentines break in Chichester. We are looking forward to our next visit in March but we don’t expect to get the beautiful cathedral room either, this time. Everywhere is so busy again. I will follow up your recommendation for a good Chinese restaurant too.

    See you soon.

    • February 17, 2023 / 4:54 pm

      Yes, Susannah we had a lovely break. Chinese restaurant is fine as long as you don’t want modern style Chinese!

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