Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Monotype New Zealand

Monotype New Zealand

Graze Drink Gaze

Stephanie and Anke getting ready for opening day!

Realistically, does St Leonards and Hastings need another coffee shop? No is probably the answer. But then what happens if someone breaks the mould and ups the ante? Well then the answer is ‘yes’. HOT’s Lauris Morgan-Griffiths went along to investigate a new place taking shape on the front at St Leonards.

The building was at one time a bank, then foodie-type shops. Now its latest incarnation is Graze on Grand. Opening on Friday 1 May it is intended to be not only a café, wine bar, restaurant but also purveyor of some culinary speciality foods and wines. AND it’s a gallery.

To confirm their ethos of local the café’s first exhibition, Edgelands, is by Hastings artist Sally Cole. This chimes appropriately with owner Stephanie Goj, a New Zealander as most of Sally’s latest paintings were painted during a recent stay in that country.

Piha, NewZealand

Piha, NewZealand

Sally Cole, a photography consultant and picture researcher for major educational publishers has always sketched, painted and drawn. But it is only in the past fifteen months that she has left her day job to concentrate on her painting. She had a show in Hastings just over a year ago and since then the focus on her art is making its impact. This show, mainly of New Zealand work, a few of Pembrokeshire, is dramatic and powerful.

Some of her previous work has been monotone, as is much of this exhibition. But this is different it has a distinctive quality and confidence. Sally clearly expresses a tangible and visceral connection with the land. The colours may be dark but they aren’t bleak, closed or morbid, they allow thoughts to still and expand as the images take you through the bush, beyond the cliffs, the sea and then allow one to scatter thoughts out into the unknown. The black feels as if it is supporting the artist, as she is looking out and looking in, holding emotion, holding the artist. Suspension on the Edgelands.

Sally Cole working in Pembrokeshire

Sally Cole working in Pembrokeshire

‘Edgelands’ describes Sally Cole’s sense of travelling to the edge of the land  looking out to sea. “But also importantly for me it describes my internal response – the sense of working up to the edge of my understanding of the landscape.”

Dovetailing café and gallery the project could result in something of a camel – an animal frequently described as designed by committee. However, if it is an oddity, it is an individual, a work animal which is the café’s ambition. This is no dilettante enterprise.

Stephanie Goj is a shiatsu practitioner and ran a successful complementary medicine practice in London. Her partner, Berlinner, Anke Hartwig was involved in finance. Having heard about Hastings it took Stephanie a while to physically get herself down here to investigate. And almost immediately she fell under its spell; the light, the sea, the weather, the housing stock.

The edginess of it all.

After a significant birthday and a legacy from an inspirational grandmother, she decided to do something different, something that she loved. Bringing the essence of good wine and food and art. It is intended to be an adult space, small plates, good wine and coffee. And local, local, local – including the chef, Olly Snook, foods and suppliers. A place to indulge the senses.

Graze on Grand 16 Grand Parade, St Leonards-on-Sea TN37 6DN
Tel: 01424 439736

Edgelands will be at Graze on Grand until 27 June

You can also visit Sally Cole’s website


Posted 15:45 Wednesday, Apr 29, 2015 In: Visual Arts

Also in: Visual Arts

More HOT Stuff

    HOT is run by volunteers but has overheads for hosting and web development. Support HOT!


    Advertise your business or your event on HOT for as little as £20 per month
    Find out more…


    If you like HOT and want to keep it sustainable, please Donate via PayPal, it’s easy!


    Do you want to write, proofread, edit listings or help sell advertising? then contact us

  • Subscribe to HOT