Bella visits Rye

I only need the merest hint of a reason to suggest driving Bella our Fiat down to Rye and today was such a day, good weather! Fine and sunny, the prospect of a hot chocolate for breakfast at the truly fabulous Knoops, lunch at The George in Rye and a walk on Camber Sands. What could be better! We pack our quite giant Labrador, Lily, into the back and off we go. Fiat 500 Everything has literally burst into bloom in the warm Spring sunshine and after all this rain, vibrant green beech trees and the bluest bluebells paint the Weald in very pretty colours so I marvel in the most exhuberant, and possibly annoying, fashion all the way to Rye!

Mr Suppernut has had his head turned having been introduced to Knoops hot chocolate. Not having a sweet tooth he wasn’t at all sure he would become a hot chocolate drinker (Knoop style only at present). Lily looks wistfully at the bowls, it’s a shame dogs can’t drink hot chocolate too. She would give anything to lick out the bowl. Better not! I am working my way through the menu. I started a few weeks ago with the mellow and sweet 34% and am slowly climbing the choc content to a 59%. It’s always completely delicious. Hot chocolate We mooch around the town, blissful in the knowledge that there will be a darned fine lunch later at The George, we always seem to be hungry. We meet the black cat in the Church, marvel at the wonderful swinging pendulum in the portico, it’s steady tick is quite mesmerising. We don’t get to climb the Tower today as dogs clearly can’t do this, and Lily absolutely couldn’t make it anyway, so we settle on walking round the cobbled streets, dipping into the art galleries, buying a few pieces of ceramics and checking out the haunts of Mapp and Lucia, E F Benson’s wonderful creations. Notice the famous crooked chimney.

Unfortunately Camber beaches are closed to dogs until the end of the summer now, so we drive the extra few miles to Dungeness and buy some fresh fish, checking out the fabulous little black (and some pretty swanky) beach houses/huts.

Back to The George for lunch. There’s a party of wedding revellers enjoying the courtyard garden and spilling into the bar, adding an air of jollility. A lovely day for a wedding. We tuck into mussel and clam stew and lobster salad. There’s a warm welcome for dogs in the bar area, Lily laps this up along with the complimentary bowl of water and makes a few new friends. On the way back I pick up my new fish plates from the Ironmonger – see below!

On our way home we stop by the Etchingham village store, which is a real find. Lots of homemade delicious things. So I buy a pot of their wonderful hummous and some delicious grissini, some basil oil and fat tomatoes. Etchingham  village store Supper tonight is my lentil and rice salad with some cod, smothered in harissa paste, hummous and grissini. Delicious! Lentil and rice salad with cod

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