restaurant interior

The other week, I shared my day trip guide to Hastings, the Sussex coastal town, around a 40-minute drive or train ride west from Brighton. It’s one of my favourite places to escape Brighton for the day and I try to go once a year if not more. Today, I wanted to tell you about a cool little restaurant we visited on the trip, in case you’re planning a day trip to Hastings and looking for ideas.

Side point: I’ve had dinner here a couple of times and although it features in my second guidebook, Secret Sussex, I have always thought it would make a great blog post on its own. So without further delay, let me take you for dinner in Hastings!

english shopfront

my secret hastings thai restaurant

Introducing Boulevard Books and Thai Café: a bookshop by day, and a cosy Thai restaurant come the evening. It’s located in my favourite part of Hastings, the Old Town, along George Street, a pedestrianised lane lined with shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants all with historic frontages.

thai restaurant interior

As you can see inside, this tiny little shop is filled to the brim with books crammed into floor-to-ceiling shelves lining every wall, each table set for dinner tucked neatly into little corners.  I must admit I got totally distracted looking around and taking photos as soon as I set foot through the door. Eventually I made it to our little table for two in the politics section (!) in the back part of the restaurant filled with natural light.

table in a bookshop

books on shelf

It felt a bit like having dinner in a library, but I really loved the atmosphere, the homely feel. The service is friendly and food arrives promptly. Little delicate plates of spring rolls to start, which we ravenously scoff – all the seaside air giving us huge appetites – alongside a flick through some of the books.

Another side point: My favourite books near our table were the volumes of something called The Saturday Book. You can see on the shelf in the below photo. I’d describe it as a magazine in a book,  filled with long-form stories about literature, art and life in Britain. After I got home, I did a little Googling and found out that it was published annually from the Second World War until 1981!

spring rolls on plate

Our main courses arrive soon after, spicy and filing plates of dlelcious chicken with lovely sticky Thai jasmine rice which doesn’t last long. The relaxing finale to our day trip to Hastings, I highly recommend.

Some practical info: Our date dinner at Boulevard Books and Thai Café was a spontaneous decision, and we were lucky to nab the last table for two, so I recommend you book ahead. They also don’t serve alcohol but you can bring your own for a  £2 corkage fee, it’s also cash-only and they serve a set two-course menu for £17 per person.

Find Boulevard Books and Thai Cafe at 32 George Street, Hastings TN34 3EA

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