Last weekend, during my visit to the seaside town of Hastings, I got the pleasure of experiencing one of the coolest restaurants I have ever been to!
Being an English graduate, I love books and being an over-indulgent eater, I love food. Therefore, when my friend told me that she had booked us a table at a Thai restaurant… in a bookshop, I was one happy bunny.
Nestled down one of Hastings’ old town’s side streets, Boulevard Books is cute in every sense…
From the outside, it disguises itself as an ordinary, iconic bookshop. With dusty secondhand books cluttering the windows and shelves upon shelves of ancient novels crying out to be flicked through from inside, Boulevard Bookshop oozes so much mystery and character that I would go in within a second, even without the promise of scrumptious Thai food.
On entering the bookshop, we were greeted by a collection of dining tables, which were adorably tucked into cubbyholes amongst the abundance of bookshelves. Each table was embellished with its own unique, Thai-inspired throw and the chairs and cushions were a mishmash of different shapes, sizes, materials and colours – adding to the disorderly yet, cosy feel of the restaurant.
Our table was surrounded by shelves and shelves of old, literary classics (which you are allowed to buy/read at the table, if you wish) and was already laid out with menus, wine glasses, prawn crackers and two heavenly, Thai dipping sauces – it had such a comforting and homely atmosphere, that I almost forgot not to slurp my wine and eat with my elbows on the table!
The menu offered up a selection of tasty traditional Thai starters and mains including tom yam kai (a fragrant Thai soup), som tum ma mung (a vibrant Thai style salad) and panaeng nua (to name but a few)…
I went for the salad to start, which was light, flavoursome and fresh and for the chicken mussaman curry for main, which was authentic and delicious.
Although the presentation of the food wasn’t quite up to Masterchef standards, the dishes rusticity only made them that bit more unique and wholesome.
And at the bargain price of £13 for both courses and the fact that you can take your own alcohol (at a £2 supplement charge), you can’t go wrong with a visit to this charming and homely restaurant.
Make sure you book a table before you go as it gets very busy (especially at weekends) and don’t forget to pick up a bottle en route!
Feed your inner geek (literally) and head down to Boulevard Books!