Summer is in full swing and Rye is basking in day after day of glorious sunshine. On the subject of swing, our friends over at the Rye International Jazz Festival have announced a knock-out line-up of headliners for the summer event over the August bank holiday weekend, 24th-27th! Legendary jazz saxophonist Courtney Pine and worldwide star Joan Armatrading are among the glittering performers. What’s more, the festival has now been extended into September, with Corinne Bailey Rae and Dionne Warwick taking to the stage at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill over the weekend of 7th and 8th! Get more information and tickets here.
In other news, a brand-new boutique music festival is coming to East Sussex this weekend, June 15th-17th. The TN32 Festival has been launched by local singer/songwriter Sam Calver as a way of bringing together the astonishing array of musical talent in the area. From soul to reggae, there will be something to cater for all musical tastes. What’s more, there will be street-food stalls and craft beer to satiate the crowds, plus hot tubs, sauna, yoga and massage for those in need of some pampering after all the partying! There will also be plenty to keep the little ones entertained, with a kids’ rave, fun-fair rides, face painting, craft activities and a forest school. Book tickets here.
Our local Nature Reserve at Rye Harbour is one of the largest and most important wildlife sites in England. The Rye Harbour Discovery Centre Appeal is raising money for a much-needed, brand new visitor centre at the site and it’s getting a big boost from the Hastings Philharmonic this Saturday June 16th, at 7.30pm, from their special opera gala at Rye’s newest venue. The Old Bourne Auction House in Rock Channel Quay has been transformed for this special event, featuring the Hastings Philharmonic orchestra and chamber choir, plus conductor and baritone Marcio da Silva, soprano Alice Privett, tenor Leonel Pinheiro and bass Vedat Dalgiran. There will be stirring music from a selection of composing heavyweights, including Puccini and Verdi. Book tickets here.
Until next month!
Rye Lodge Hotel
The hedgerows are frothing with cow parsley, the sun is shining and the calendar is chock-a-block with fabulous things to do in Rye and the surrounding area!
We cannot wait for the Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival on June 21st-24th. This special event features world-class musicians performing in nine-concerts over a four-day run. On June 22nd, at 8pm, the festival comes to St Mary’s Church in Rye with its fabulous orchestral concert.
The National Open Gardens Scheme sees a stunning selection of local gardens throw open their gates during the month of June. Whether you’re a dab hand at horticulture or a novice who can’t even care for a cactus, these quintessentially English gardens are the perfect source of inspiration. Beauchamps, open during the afternoon of June 10th in nearby Udimore, is a real gem, affording beautiful valley views and a colourful, mature cottage garden.
For some fresh air and stunning scenery, take the short trip down to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve for a guided walk by the sea. On Saturday May 26th, as part of the 1066 Walking Festival, there is a Coastal Plants walk, giving ramblers the opportunity to discover how the flora and fauna thrive in the shingle and saltmarsh environment. The walk starts at 10am from the Rye Harbour village car park and lasts some 2 hours. After the exertion, we recommend a massage in Rye Lodge’s own treatment room.
Finally, the weekend of June 30th and July 1st heralds the Wealden Literary Festival in Woodchurch. Set in the spectacular garden of a family home, Boldshaves, the event brings together authors and artists from all over the country and offers a wonderful programme of events. Not to mention a yummy selection of street food!
Until next month!
With best wishes
Every year, Rye, East Sussex devotes an entire week to one scrumptious underwater clam—the scallop. The 16th Rye Bay Scallop Week is scheduled for Saturday 24th February – Sunday 4th March 2018.
Scallop fossils date back 3 million years, and the shell of this tiny seafaring creature has been used symbolically for hundreds of thousands of years. Its shell is found in many well-known business logos as well as in Princess Diana’s coat of arms. It can also be seen on Prince William’s Knight of the Garter crest.
Aside from its history with the Royal family, the scallop holds many secrets that the average person may or may not realize. It is a hermaphrodite in its shell, and includes both a male gonad and a female gonad, along with a gill, a foot, a mouth, a fully working digestive gland, mantle and hinge ligament. It swims along the ocean floor when startled but moves very little aside from being spooked. It also has a tentacle and eye spot along with ears. It is very similar to a fish but is known in the scientific community as a mollusc.
Scallops tend to prefer clean, fresh salinity water and do quite well in the warmer waters off of the southern coast of England and Wales. They don’t grow to maturity until around 3 years of age, and you can tell this by looking at their stripes on their shells. For every band on their shell, they’ve been alive for one year. They spawn every year from April to September and increase in growth from April to June.
When consumed, the Scallop is widely accepted to be an aphrodisiac. In terms of nutrition, the Scallop provides a nutrient dense source of Vitamin B12, protein, iron and calcium.
Rye and Rye Bay have long since been a source for scallops and have been fished there for hundreds of years. Even King Charles himself stated, “The cheapest sea-towne for provision of fish in our house,” when referring to this tiny sea faring town. Rye’s fishing fleet moors nearly two miles from the sea, but nonetheless bring up hundreds of thousands of scallops every single year.
If you’re looking for an easy way to indulge your taste buds in seafood dishes, then you don’t want to miss this event. A variety of restaurants will be there showcasing their scallop based dishes, all featuring freshly caught scallops and other seafood-based culinary fair. If you have your heart set on tasting and enjoying the finest scallops in England, then you’ll definitely want to make it out to this festival.
In addition to the wide array of delicious foods and perfectly cooked scallops, the Scallop Festival will also be including tasting events, cookery schools and demonstrations as well as local live music and much more. The Scallop Festival is an all ages event and perfect for the entire family, so don’t hesitate to bring the whole lot!
The Rye Lodge Hotel is the perfect place to stay during your visit. Rye is an ancient city that holds a rich history, and the Hotel is located right in the town.
2017 Rye Jazz Festival – Rye Lodge Nyetimber TerraceSUNSHINE, JAZZ, EXCEPTIONAL FOOD & AWARD WINNING SPARKLING WINES
Now in its sixth year, the Rye international jazz & blues festival is regarded as one of the best boutique music festivals in the UK.
Join us the Rye Lodge Hotel during the festival at the end of August, and enjoy stunning views, wonderful music, award winning wines and a selection of superb food platters, prepared by our executive chef Attila Csicso, which will combine to create a relaxed and truly memorable experience.
Tickets will be in high demand for these very special events so we would encourage you to book early!
The terrace will be elegantly styled with tables, chairs and parasols surrounding the outdoor bar, a perfect way to watch the world-class live jazz and Latin music taking place from 1.00pm to 3.00pm each day on the terrace.
The terrace bar will also be open for drinks both before and after the scheduled live jazz performances and wine tastings from 12.00pm – 1.00pm and from 3.00pm – 6.00pm from Saturday 26th – Monday 28th August.
For over 25 years Nyetimber has had a single aim: to make the finest English sparkling wine, one to rival the very best in the world, including Champagne. A true pioneer, Nyetimber was the first producer of English sparkling wine to exclusively grow the three celebrated grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay.
Nyetimber is made from one hundred percent estate-grown grapes and is regarded as England’s finest sparkling wine. Owner and Chief Executive Eric Heerema and winemaker Cherie Spriggs are committed to producing wines of exceptional quality.
Saturday 26th August 1pm to 3pm – Trio Manouche – An intoxicating Blend of Gypsy Jazz
To book tickets click here:Book Now
Iain Rae Jazz Trio
Sunday 27th August 1pm to 3pm – Iain Rae Jazz Trio – Sophisticated Modern Jazz & Timeless Classics
To book tickets click here:Book Now
Paul Richards Latin Trio
Monday 28th August Paul Richards Latin Trio – Samba’s, Bossa’s & Latin Grooves
To book tickets click here:Book Now
Nyetimber Wine TastingSaturday 26th & Sunday 27th August
In addition to the three live lunchtime music events, there will be two wine tasting events taking place on the terrace from 6.00pm – 7.00pm on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th August.
Each evening will be an exclusive tasting of Nyetimber’s award-winning sparkling wines.
A Nyetimber Brand Ambassador will guide you through the Nyetimber range, revealing and exploring what has lead Nyetimber wines to stand proudly alongside some of the best sparkling wines in the world.
To book tickets click here:Book a wine tasting
The Rye International Jazz and Blues Festival
The Rye International Jazz and Blues Festival takes place from Thursday 25th August through to Monday 29th August and offers the finest in Jazz, Blues and other genre including Soul, R&B, Funk, Gospel and World Music. There is a fantastic line-up every day and many of the events are free to enter. Festival performances are held in several venues including local pubs, bars and inns; St Mary’s Church; outside on the Kino Cinema Terrace; the cricket club; and of course, here at Rye Lodge Hotel.
Some of the headliners include Mica Paris, dubbed the UK’s Queen of Soul, along with the renowned jazz singers Liane Carroll and Joe Stilgoe; there will also be a host of other talented performers from various genre along with a fringe festival.
Stay at Rye Lodge Hotel and dine in our brand new Salts Restaurant
Rye Lodge Hotel is the ideal place to base your stay; we love jazz too and will be hosting our own festival Jazz & Champagne on the Terrace event at between 1 & 3pm on Sunday 28th August. The brilliant Dave Barrett Trio will be playing music to get your feet tapping. Tickets for the event cost £17.50 (including a glass of champagne) and can be booked on 01797 223838.
A proud winner of the Visit England Gold Award and located close to Rye Town Centre, we provide outstanding personal service and attention for our guests. A great place to relax and recharge your batteries in our champagne bar after the festival events, we also have a swimming pool, sauna and spa, as well as offering in room treatments.
As an added bonus you can be one of the first diners to eat in our brand new Salts Restaurant which will be opening on Friday 26th August in time for the Jazz festival. We will be offering an exciting and varied menu prepared especially for you by our highly talented chef, along with an excellent selection of fine wines. You read about Salts Restaurant on our website http://ryelodge.co.uk/saltsrestaurant/ and make dinner reservations on 01797 722383.
Free Music at the Kino Cinema Terrace
There will be free live music on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the festival at the Kino Cinema Terrace from lunchtime onwards along with an outdoor bar and a wide selection of food including locally produced meat and vegetarian dishes and some exciting BBQ dishes including Cajun Jambalaya; the perfect spicy meat vegetable and rice combo to complement Louisiana jazz.
Bands playing at the Terrace include The Brilos, the Carter Burton Trio, Rod Pooley Organ Trio, The Fabulous Red Diesel, Carter Burton Trio, and The Violet Jive.
Special Jazz Festival Ale
The Old Dairy Brewery is located just a few miles away from Rye in the village of Tenterden. A microbrewery with a great reputation for its cask and bottled beers, it also has a shop where you can watch the brewers crafting their art and even book a brewery tour. To celebrate the Rye Jazz Festival, Old Dairy has brewed a special festival ale which they’ve named ‘Jazz Top’. A traditional Pale Ale, it’s immensely quaffable and will be available alongside several other Old Dairy brews at many of the festival venues; a perfect choice for entering into the spirit of the occasion.
Dubbed the UK’s Queen of Soul, her roots are in gospel and soul. She is currently recording a new album, and her first album ‘So Good’ has recently been re-released with a bunch of new bonus material. She will be performing at St Mary’s Church On the Saturday starting at 7.30 pm. It should be a stunning event.
A jazz singer and classically trained pianist, Liane has recently performed in the BBC Late Proms. She performs a mix of original songs and covers, all delivered in a voice that can fill her audience with joy or reduce them to tears. She will be performing at St Mary’s Church on Monday 29th August starting 6.00 pm along with Joe Stigaloe.
An internationally acclaimed singer songwriter and pianist, Joe was born in Kent. Amongst his other talents he also plays drums and acts on stage and film. His latest album ‘New Songs for Old Souls’ has been critically acclaimed as his best; no doubt he will be singing some numbers from it. He will be performing at St Mary’s Church on Monday 29th August starting 6.00 pm along with Liane Carroll.
Other talents include:
- Phil Law and Friends who play a delicious fusion of jazz, blues, and rock and roll
- Andy Williams jazz guitar
- Louis Turpin Trio blues band
- Cithara classical and acoustic guitar duo
- Dan Carter solo jazz and blues
- The Carter Burton Trio
- King Size Slim acoustic blues
and many other performers.
The 1066 Country Walk is a historic walk through Sussex that follows in the steps of William the Conqueror as he progressed with his army from Pevensey, his landing place, to Battle, where the famous Battle of Hastings took place. The battle famously resulted in the demise of King Harold of England who, it is said, was mortally wounded by an arrow in his eye. The walk includes several historic sites and passes through ancient villages, towns, woodlands, over hillsides, passing close to many other interesting landmarks.
You will discover a wealth of places to explore, but some you should try not to miss are:
- Pevensey Castle – built around 290 AD to guard the English coast against Saxon pirates, this castle has a rich history. The Normans reoccupied it in 1066 and used it as a major bulwark.
- Herstmonceux Castle – this is still a beautiful castle surrounded by a moat. Built in the 15th century, it is more of a large elaborate manor than a defensive castle. The estate covers 300 acres and includes several formal gardens and trails through managed woodland.
- Battle – now an elegant market town this is close to where the Battle of Hastings took place, resulting in 70,000 English and Norman deaths and a major change to England’s history. Visit the English Heritage site “Battle Abbey and Battlefield” where you can relive history. There is even a re-enactment of the famous battle in October.
- Icklesham – located on a ridge connecting the coast and the River Brede you will find some excellent views of the countryside. This was an important target in 1066 as whichever army held it would command the crossing of the River Brede.
- Rye – said to be England’s best preserved medieval town, it marks the end of the 1066 trail. With its cobbled Mermaid Street, its charming shops inns and restaurants, Ypres Castle, Rye Museum, and the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, it is one of the walk’s shining highlights.
Joining the walk
The complete walk is around 30 miles (50 kilometers) and extends from Pevensey Castle to Strand Quay in Rye, though if you don’t want to cover the complete walk, you can choose to join it at an intermediate point. If you base your visit at Rye, you can take a bus to various locations on the walk including Pevensey, so you can complete the walk in sections returning to Rye at the end of each day. Allow four good days walking if you intend to cover the full route. Alternatively, if you prefer to take your car, there are several circular routes on the 1066 route including a 4½ walk from Rye.
Rest your weary feet with a stay at the Rye Lodge Hotel
Whether you intend to complete the full walk or just sample part of it, at the end of the day you will need somewhere to rest your weary feet. As Rye lies on the east end of the walk, the Rye Lodge Hotel is the perfect place to do so. You will discover our hotel is the perfect place to relax with comfortable rooms, an excellent champagne bar, and a Venetian Spa pool where you can revitalise your aching limbs. Rye has some great restaurants too, and we will be happy to recommend some of the best.
Visiting Rye Harbour Nature Reserve
Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is a fascinating place to visit at any time of the year. As a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest there is an abundance of habitats and wildlife to explore including many rare and endangered species. Here are some of the things to do there.
Just walking around Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is a delight; there are so many things to see and places to explore. You can choose to join one of the many guided walks or find your own way round. Served by many easy footpaths along with several long distance walks for the more serious hiker; the Rye Bay Countryside is perfect walking territory.
As the terrain is mostly flat, cycling around the reserve is easy. If you are a serious cyclist you can reach the reserve using one of the National Cycle Network trails that serve the area; alternatively, you can hire a cycle in Rye.
Rye Harbour is an excellent place for observing bird life. Following a successful conservation programme there are now thriving colonies of ground-nesting birds, and you can easily spot terns, lapwing, ringed plover, redshank and other species. In fact, at least 90 species of birds have nested in the reserve and around 200 additional species have been recorded there.
The reserve boasts several excellent viewing hides. The best places for viewing ducks, waders and breeding seabirds are the John Gooders, Guy Crittall, Steve Denny and Ray Parkes hides, all of which are less than a mile from the information centre. The Ken Halpin Hide by Camber Castle provides great views of bitterns, cormorants, marsh harriers along with many species of ducks and geese.
If you are visiting in late summer or early autumn, the reserve is an excellent place to view migrating birds, and in the winter you will find many different species of waders and wildfowl taking advantage of the sanctuary the reserve provides.
Plants and flowers
During May and June flowering yellow horned-poppy, sea campion, viper’s bugloss, sea pea, sea kale along with numerous other species create a breathtakingly colourful display across the shingle. You will also find an abundance intertidal saltmarsh plant life along the river’s edge along with aquatic pond life in the dykes and gravel pits. Many of the plants are rare and endangered species, including the stinking hawksbeard and least lettuce. Altogether more than 450 species of flora have been recorded there.
The animal life in the reserve is considered to be of national importance. Around 2,300 species of invertebrates have been recorded, over 200 of which are classified as notable species, and 56 are “red data book” species.
And of course you can’t miss the marsh frog; dominating the Romney Marshes you will hear its noisy croak throughout the summer months. You will also find badgers and foxes along with various species of bat. From September to March, Herdwick Sheep graze the land as part of the conservation scheme.
Camber castle was once an artillery fort built by Henry VIII to guard the port of Rye and provide a safe haven for the fleet. If you are visiting on the first Saturday of July, August or September, then you can join a guided walk that takes in the castle along with a local farm. You can visit the outside of the castle any time, but the guided walk is the only opportunity to visit the inside.
Several of the walks are accessible by wheelchair, including the short circular walk and the beach reserve which is served by a long tarmac road. All the hides mentioned above are also accessible, though the Ken Halpin Hide is accessible only in dry weather.
Where to stay during your visit
While there are many places you might choose to stay for your visit, we sincerely hope that you choose to stay at the Rye Lodge Hotel. It really is the perfect base for visiting Rye and the surrounding countryside, and especially the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. With a spa pool, champagne bar and comfortable rooms, we are a dog-friendly hotel too, so if you are thinking of taking your dog to the reserve, then it’s a doubly perfect solution.
Rye Arts Festival
Later this year Rye is once again going to host its’ renowned Rye Arts Festival. The most famous art festival in the area will be drawing crowds from all parts of UK over the two week period in September 2016. It is the best time to visit Rye and enjoy this stunning medieval town. We recommend making your room reservation as soon as possible as Rye Lodge Hotel is in such a prime position with a large,secure car park and indoor swimming pool with spa, rooms are booked well in advance of the Arts Festival.
Rye Arts Festival has been attracting top quality artists for the past 44 years. This year it’s going to be the 45th Anniversary. What can you expect? Only the most acclaimed book authors, theatre actors and musicians coming together for this famous event. The fact that all of the activities take place just a few steps from Rye Lodge Hotel is an amazing bonus! Have an evening stroll along the cobbled streets on a warm September evening, watch performances and enjoy a glass of wine or a pint of beer in one of the town’s ancient inns.
Family friendly events
Last year’s festival was particularly successful hosting, amongst others: Dame Ellen MacArthur, Peter Snow, Sir Max Hastings, Benjamin Grosvenor and many more. With over 58 events during the two week period in September 2015, Rye Arts Festival entertained many thousands of visitors. Many events and exhibitions are FREE to attend, which is a fantastic opportunity to be part of the fun, especially if coming with a larger group.
If you are looking for a family friendly event, we recommend attending a pop-up show by a local artist, who will be talking about his work and you will have the chance to see a painting come to life! Last year Luke Hannam hosted a number of exhibitions in a pop-up studio in Rye town centre. FREE to attend, these events attracted crowds of all ages with the children particularly enjoying watching the process of creating a painting whilst parents enjoyed chatting to the artist and seeing his completed projects during the show.
Fans of opera will be delighted to know that the Rye Arts Festival is hosting some fine performances during the two weeks in September. Mozart’s masterpiece, Don Giovanni, was staged twice during last year’s celebrations. Alisdair Kitchen, the brilliant conductor, directed the show with his acclaimed Euphonic orchestra. According to the festival’s website:
“The first performance was superb and received a standing ovation for many minutes. As the audience left the theatre, chatting to each other, they were finding it difficult to pick out a single performer for special comment, as the main cast were seemingly of equal, exceptionally high standard. The acting, the singing and the orchestra were all of excellent quality and, if you missed this one, you must make every effort to attend the second and final performance on Saturday 26th September…”.
This year there will be even more examples of outstanding artists from the world of opera and classical music coming to Rye to perform their best pieces for your enjoyment!
Take part in Art!
An exciting twist on all exhibitions is the fact that Rye’s first ever Artist in Residence, Charlie Cobb, records impressions of all places, people and events during the festival. This acclaimed artist is going to attend shows hosted during the two weeks in September and sketch all that surrounds him. His unique pieces will be on display and available to view – and purchase – in his pop-up studio gallery on the last day of the event. Not to be missed!
Rye Arts Festival is a registered charity run by local volunteers. The aim is to promote the appreciation and understanding of classical music, theatre, literature and visual arts. The charity also loves involving the younger generation by giving local students a chance to attend the festival committee meetings during the academic year. One of the students is also chosen to take photos of the festival events for the charity website. This is part of a long standing tradition to include young people in the world of art and music.
How to buy tickets?
All tickets for this year’s festival will be available to purchase from July 2016. You can choose to buy tickets online and then print them at home. Telephone bookings are also possible, as well as buying the tickets via postal order. Please refer to the festival ticket info for more details.
Discover Medieval Rye!
Rye is one of few truly medieval towns remaining in England today. Full of little cobbled streets and Georgian houses, its charm is clear to see. With a wide variety of restaurants and cafes you are only a short stroll away from your next exquisite meal or a delicious hot chocolate! But did you know that our town is also a shopping paradise? With an abundance of privately owned boutiques and specialist shops giving you the chance to browse its unique offerings and pick up a bargain or two. Rye is also famous for its pottery. You will find a number of working potteries throughout the town.
Dive into Luxury
Rye Lodge Hotel, conveniently situated only few steps from the town centre is ideally located to explore the area and enjoy the festival’s events. With the choice of 5 room types you will find the perfect one to suit your dream escape.
Our most romantic and luxurious bedroom – The Champagne Room – is designed to cater for all those special celebrations. Situated on the first floor, it boasts the most spectacular views of the estuary and the Romney Marsh beyond. This elegant and spacious room comes with en-suite bathroom with a separate bath and shower. Complimentary bath robes and slippers are perfect to take to our own Venetian Spa.
Rye Lodge Hotel also hosts its own prestigious heated swimming pool, spa bath and sauna you can unwind, relax and soak up the indulgence. Available for the use of our guests during their stay. Our hotel is the only accommodation in Rye offering a heated swimming pool. Perfect after a day of culture or shopping!
Book your stay now!
To ensure your reservation, simply call us on 01797 223838 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to make a booking today!
Rye Arts Festival 2016 dates: 17th September – 1st October 2016. Festival official website and booking info can be found here: http://www.ryeartsfestival.co.uk/
Hotels In Rye With Parking
The ancient town of Rye was never designed for cars. This becomes apparent when you look at its narrow cobbled streets or try to find a parking space within the citadel!
Part of the charm of our beautiful town (which was once an island) is that everything is in walking distance from the hotel.
Especially in the summer months parking can be a real problem. There are a couple of pay and display car park’s on the edge of town but do you really want to be topping up the meter throughout your stay or leaving your car in a public car park over night?
Luckily, at Rye lodge Hotel we have a large car park at the rear of the hotel. We are the only hotels in Rye with parking large enough for all of its guests. The car park is equipped with CCTV and flood lighting at night so you can be assured your car will be as safe as possible. This is probably why we are the hotel of choice for film crews, music producers and classic car clubs in the area.
Whenever you feel the need for a soothing, relaxing glass of Champagne, The Champagne Bar at Rye Lodge offers a wide selection of bubbles from with most major Champagne houses.
Find “all-time greats” like Taittinger, Bollinger, Krug, Moet and Chandon, Pol Roger, Louis Roederer and Ruinart. House Champagne is also available by the glass at £9.50 and £39.50 per bottle.
Enjoy a selection of fine vintages personally selected by Rye Lodge Hotel’s own late Kerry de Courcy, Chevalier and Maître-Sabreur.
Whether you prefer mid-morning or evening to sip your Champagne or even to have some fruit juice, The Champagne Bar is ready to serve you.