Hastings Battleaxe is back on form!

Phew, about time. Back on form and even visitng some new places. Last week we went with friends for the first time to newish restaurant Bayte, in Kings Road St Leonards, had a rather chilly trip out to old favourite Scotney Castle, followed by another first – a visit to Planters on the A21 outside Hurst Green. Had lunch with friends in Pissarros, an evening meal at Rustico, and a good lunch in Turkish place Layla’s in Rye, followed by the cinema – ‘Zone of Interest’.  Plus coffee with friend Jan and neighbours round for drinks. Goodness, no wonder I’m not losing any weight. I’ve tried very hard, honest.  Anyway, here’s one of the usual views of Scotney. We had expected sun, but it was cloudy. All photos on here, except for the Scotney ones, are from the internet.

Let’s start with Bayte. We went with friends Peter and Jenny.  The place used to be an antiques centre – one of our preferred browsing grounds, so we were a bit sniffy at first when it metamorphasised in to a restaurant. But it has had very good reviews, and we like trying new places with P and J. We decided on a preliminary lunch-time visit, when they do a pared-down cafe menu. It is well-laid out inside, with an agreeable atmosphere – we all approved. Service was good, and the food was excellent. I had Riboletto, which is a sort of Italian soup/stew. The only tiny quibble I’d have was with the bread – it was all sourdough, with very crunchy and extremely crusty crust – a bit tricky for fragile teeth. Peter had pate with toasted sourdough – really hard to eat. Nevertheless, Battleaxe would definitely recommend. We’ll go in the evening next time.

Scotney? We had hoped to see plenty of camellias and daffs, but the camellias weren’t quite out, and the daffs were, surprisingly, a bit sparse. Still, it was a good morning’s outing. Our National Trust renewal has just come out of our bank account – £113 for the two of us, and that is the reduced ‘loyalty’ subscription. It seems a lot – but then the standard admission price to Scotney is now £17.00, plus £4.50 parking! That would have been £38.50 for the two of us. Scotney does seem more expensive than many, but you don’t have to visit many NT places to get £113 back. Here are another few pics.

On the way home we stopped by Planters. We last went, would you believe, back in 2015! Back then I did a post about all the farm shops along the A21, and was very dismissive of the place, then called the Orchard Farm Shop. They had a big sign in the road advertising ‘Probably the best coffee in  Sussex’ but we were served dishwater. Here is the blog about it. Now, however, it is totally different. Of course it was, after nearly 10 years! It is now a glitzy destination shopping and eating experience… They have a massive food and drink section, fresh meat, deli, loads of gifty tat, and a big antiques section as well as the garden stuff. We didn’t go into the caff but it looked good – will definitely go again. Looks like Battleaxe would recommend!

Pissarros, Rustico in Ore – have done those, so on to Rye. Philospher and I have been to Layla’s plenty of times before, so not new, but have never written about it. It’s not the best Turkish in our area – that accolade goes to the one in Tenterden, but it is perfectly OK. Food is fresh and tasty. Battleaxe would pretty much recommend, but would not walk across hot coals for it… Then, on to the Kino.

‘The Zone of Interest’ is the film about the family of Rudolf Höss, the Auschwitz commandant, who live right next door to the camp, with a beautiful fantasy garden and an apparently idyllic family life. We were told it was deeply moving and disturbing because it is so understated – you never actually see the camp, just hear it, see the smoke-belching furnace chimneys over their garden wall. However, on the contrary, we found it was a bit unecessarily overstated… eg ‘I got it off a JEWESS,’  ‘The JEWS are over the wall…’.  Well, yes they were, it was Auschwitz. Also, in the film, Höss was constantly commended by the Nazi higher-ups for his efficient management, yet the camp was portrayed as so noisy with barking dogs, gun shots, shouting and screams that I did wonder about his managerial competence. In addition, what was he doing letting grey tides of ash and body parts wash down the local river? Ah well. But it was a strange and interesting film, and I am glad we went to see it.  I know Höss was executed at the end of the war, but what happened to his wife and children? I know the families of those in the highest ranks often didn’t survive – eg Goebbels poisoned his wife and children.  Ah, look, I’ve found it.



  1. Frances
    March 12, 2024 / 7:14 pm

    Planters cafe seems pretty good now – I’ve only been once for coffee and scone but both were nice. Bayte looks great!

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