A few months back I went to far off East Sussex. It’s my neighbouring county and I’ve never been further than Brighton – tut tut. SO I thought I’d better go and check it out. Camber Sands sounded nice but Rye looked like the place to be. What followed was a lovely indulgent weekend of GREAT food and bloomin’ marvellous drink in a beautiful country/seaside setting. The old town is beautiful with its cobbled stones, old listed building and arch that sits atop the wonderfully British town.
But what struck me was how nicely EVERYTHING was designed throughout the town. Whether it was interior design in the George In Rye (great menu and staff too), the style of Webbe’s Fish cafe, the Kentish and East Sussex local produce packaging, Chapel Down vineyard, the artwork used by Three Legs Brewery in nearby Kent – everything was well chosen and designed thoughtfully with skill. But why or how does one area come to have such good and consistent design throughout a single area?
I’ll come back to that. Worth mentioning that its not just the design – the food is well chosen too. Great local seafood and French and English wines were big highlights, including a sparkling Picpoul. Who knew that even existed?! The label was cool too…
Chapel Down vineyard is beautiful, really well kept and the interior design is fantastic. Re-used and up-cycled materials are used really well. Deconstructed wine barrels used as panelling on the walls was particularly eye catching. The packaging of the produce they sell there was as good as it gets. High quality layout, smart typography, lovely choice of colour, illustration and most importantly very well finished.
There’s obviously a lot of talented artists and illustrators in the area too. This shop front window caught my eye…
Whilst Three Legs Brewery used a friend of theirs to create their packaging artwork. Unique, beautiful and elegant illustrations really work to convey the character of the beer. The beers are fantastic. Lovely craft beers, brewed with a load of passion and locally grown Kentish hops from their own farm. The Pale Ale is very tasty, the American Wheat Ale is the most drinkable Wheat beer I’ve ever had, the Dark Ale is also surprisingly moreish and the English IPA was memorable. They were really friendly and generous with their time and knowledge. By far and away the best craft microbrewery in Kent.
So why does the area have such great design? Maybe its a pride in the choices made, maybe its a local appreciation of the finer things or maybe good design breeds good design. Maybe the local colleges feed into the community. Or maybe just maybe it was because I went without the kids! I love them dearly but any parent knows it’s nice to have a break without children. I think the time not dealing with nappies and hungry tums gave me more time to look around, soak it up, notice the details and appreciate them. But either way – the Sussex Kent border is a great place to go! Rich with talent and good ideas.
If you need good ideas and consistently well thought out design get in touch.