The historic centre of the seaside town of Hastings in East Sussex is always a treat to explore. It’s quirky and colourful with plenty of independent and interesting shops and when it comes to dining there’s a rather bewildering choice. I recently visited Suzanne, my partner in crime at Sussex Bloggers. She lives near Hastings so we popped by there for lunch. As we wandered along the streets of Hastings Old Town a number of places tempted us but, attracted by the unique decor, we checked out the menu at Isabella’s in George Street. Inside wistful Turkish music played but I think it was the character of the place that clinched the deal.
The cheerful owner, Ali, who exuded as much character as the decor, offered us a meze of mixed dishes for £10 each. We weren’t sure what this might include but it sounded like a good deal. It wasn’t long before we had dishes of hummus, cacik (yoghurt with cucumber and mint which you might know as tzatziki), salad with a couple of dolma (stuffed vine leaves), warmed pitta bread, grilled halloumi, a mixed vegetable and sausage dish plus a few other small bites laid out before us. It was all so tasty, colourful and very filling. Sadly, it didn’t leave room for dessert but I’ve heard the baklava is excellent.
Service was friendly and informal and the warm atmosphere we found inside tumbled out onto the pavement where a few further tables made the most of the pedestrianised street. There’s a relatively small choice on the menu but I’ve often found it’s better to offer a few things done well rather than a huge choice.
Whether you’re after a leisurely lunch, cake and coffee, out in the evening with a group of friends or looking for a romantic meal for two in Hastings Old Town, Isabella’s is a great choice. I’m looking forward to going back one day to check out that baklava!
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Isabella, Hastings Old Town
27, George Street, Hastings, TN34 3EA
Turkish, vegetarian and gluten-free options
Meze and tapas
£4.50 to £8.50 per dish
Main courses are offered in three sizes tapas, meze and main.
For example, Patlican Tava (Marinated lamb fried in olive oil with aubergine, courgette, onion, peppers and tomatoes) costs £12.60, £16.60 or £18.60
Turkish Feast for two £44.60 Chef’s Special
Vegetarian Platter for two £34.60
Baklava £4.60 (Sweet filo pastry filled with chopped pistachio and walnuts and sweetened with syrup)
Chocolate, lemon or carrot cake £3.20
Wine from £17.60 per bottle
Wine by the glass £5.20 / £6.20
Bottled beer £5.40
Draught beer from £3.50 / £5.20
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Travel Blogger ‘Travel With Kat’ and Co-founder of Sussex Bloggers