Calla & Co. in Rye is perfect for all types of flowers from simple stems to special occasion, they stock a lovely selection of super fresh blooms sourced at the famous New Covent Garden Flower Market. They are very experienced and take real pleasure in their work, which is evident in the sheer variety of floral displays and ever changing selection of tenderly tied bouquets. Florists here are very welcoming, helpful and knowledgable both about suitability of flowers, flower care and flower meanings - very helpful if you want to say something special. They deliver locally for free and even offer a same-day service. My favourite thing though, is that they are always more than happy for me to just pop in and buy one stem when I want just one or two flowers for painting and treat me with the same kindness as the big spenders. A lovely place to visit and I can’t recommend them more highly!
The Mermaid Inn is a Grade II historical inn located on Mermaid Street in the ancient town of Rye. One of the best-known inns in southeast England, it was established in the 12th century and has a long, turbulent history. The current building dates from 1420 and has 16th-century additions in the Tudor style, but cellars dating back to 1156. The inn has a strong connection with the notorious Hawkhurst Gang, smugglers, who used it in the 1730s and 1740s as one of their strongholds: Rye was a thriving port during this period. Some of the smugglers, their mistresses and other characters are reported to haunt the inn.
11 Landgate is a small boutique cottage available to rent through Air B&B. We had a lovely weekend here and made the most of the luxury bath and beautiful interior, enjoying a peaceful weekend right in the heart of Rye. Very reasonably Priced, it was a little luxury that we will definitely be returning to.
Dating back to the 17th Century and situated on the delightful cobbled streets in the heart of the citadel, The Hope Anchor is famous for it’s stunning views over the beautiful medieval town. The hotel has a rich and intriguing history. Once surrounded on three sides by the sea, Rye’s maritime heritage dates back to Norman times. To defend it against frequent attacks from the French, Rye became an ‘ancient town’ of the powerful Cinque Ports Confederation and soon became a smugglers paradise. The Hope Anchor was a favourite haunt of the infamous Tenterden Gang who took shelter after out gunning their rivals. The beautiful beam in the Tea Room was even salvaged from a real ship which was sunk in Rye Harbour. The Hope Anchor also features as ‘The Traders Arms’ in the popular Mapp & Lucia novels written by E.F Benson, who lived and wrote at Lamb House, and also stars in Malcolm Saville’s childrens stories as ‘The Gay Dolphin’. It is one of the smallest hotels in Rye, and a traditional family-run establishment which prides itself on a warm and friendly welcome.
We are delighted to have launched our second venue together with The Hope Anchor on 17th May. The Featuring Afternoon Teas alongside refreshing Gin Cocktails and a selection of the UK’s finest Craft Beers with a cute and quirky vintage feel, and stacked to the beautiful rafters with unique and inspiring locally produced art & crafts, it is be a delight to Art Lovers, Gin Connoisseurs & foodies alike! Read more about the collaboration here or visit the Hope Anchor Collection to shop online.
In a word ... Lush! Knoops seem to have customers spilling out onto the street regardless of season or weather. We were slightly awestruck by the dazzling array of choice. My husband and I have completely different tastes and both were satisfied on the first visit after a few simple questions, we were offered the perfect cup of expertly made hot chocolate. Totally indulgent and absolutely delicious. They are closed on occasion so please check their website for current opening hours.
Ethel Loves Me is a cool and quirky concept store on East Street, set just off Rye High Street presenting a range of unique inspirations and original pieces, limited editions and collectables. The team behind Ethel work with local makers, artists, artisans and craftspeople to offer an ever-changing collection plus regular inspiring exhibitions. Specialities are arts, craft, curios, lifestyle, upcycled, salvage, vintage and fun fashion, presented in a unique and upbeat environment with special guest tastemakers and curators helping shape the store. Part art gallery, part lifestyle and gift shop, part experimental space, there is also a real heart for the community in providing a platform for both up-and-coming and established creatives with an ever-evolving space in which they can show and sell their work. Ethel also has an ethical approach. No-leather and cruelty free policies come as standard, and the focus is on the up-cycled, the natural and a buy/shop-local ethos. You can also find out about their charities, events and collections online with the option to buy direct on their website – but remember, with Ethel you have to act fast - because when it’s gone, it’s gone!
P.S Ethel have been nominated to win Muddy Stilettos best Interiors Store 2018 - vote for them here!
An art gallery and tea room specialising in local artists and local food, the Advocet Gallery is on the edge of the Rye Harbour nature reserve. They have an excellent range of original prints, photographs, textiles, ceramics and 3D pieces often on wildlife / landscape themes, along with a great range of local foods. Renown for their friendliness and lovely atmosphere, they also bake all their own own cakes and scones and serve award-winning Sussex cheeses, locally-sourced smoked mackerel and wonderful fruit juice from orchards nearby. Also fantastic spot for walking and birding, with a long shingle beach and masses of pools and hides, the gallery is a wonderful destination for nature lovers. You can now also view their collection and purchase directly on their website.
East of the estuary of the River Rother at Rye Bay, stretching as one vast expanse beyond the Kent border, Camber Sands is a popular beach just a short 3 mile drive from Rye. Boasting silky soft golden sand, and long breesy grasses, not only is it a very vast and beautiful beach, it is also the only sand dune system in East Sussex. Kitesurfing, windsurfing and sailing are popular activities at this stunning location, and you can book lessons at Rye Watersports or The Kitesurf Center. You can check tide times before your visit on Magic Seaweed Here. Dogs ae welcome and there are facilities at the beach although they are very crowded at peak times. Out top Pick for beach treats is Tatners Kitchen, run by Chef Kyle Tatner who creates delicious gourmet dishes including scallops and his famous halloumi fries.
In the early 14th century, Rye was one of the most important ports on the South Coast, and with the start of the Hundred Years War with France, was very vulnerable to attack by raiding French warships. In 1339 the French attacked the town, and burnt 52 houses and a mill. It was at about this time that the mayor and corporation made a start on the town walls and gates, aided by ‘murage’ granted by the King. The Landgate dates from about 1340, during the reign of Edward III. Built of stone rubble, the two towers have moulded plinths.
Rye is incredibly popular for Antiquing. There are plenty of places to hunt for vintage fare & curios as well as shabby chic interior items and unique hand made goods. Glass Etc, possibly Britain's largest antique and 20th century glass shop, is owned by the Antique Roadshow's glass specialist, Andy McConnell and his wife, Helen. Needles Antiques on Cinque Port Street offers a wide variety of antique and collectable goods including china, glass, toys, kitchenalia, vintage clothing and accessories. Mint antiques offers a great selection of curious little treasures and Herbert Gasson, on Lion Street offers deliciously decadent period furniture. there are plenty more too, with the Quay area being a focal point for tourists.