If you’re a Sussex parent with a passion for cooking, local produce, eating seasonally, trying out new cafes and restaurants, supporting small businesses, getting the kids involved in cooking then you’re in the right place!
Sit down, grab a G&T (local, of course) or a cuppa (if booze isn’t your bag) and join us on a journey across Sussex starting from my very own kitchen table in Hurstpierpoint.
Nice little pot of Rosie Lee at The Perch, Lancing
We’ll show you where we buy and eat, fun places to visit with kids, grown-ups only places for date nights, and we’ll share our favourite Sussex inspired recipes too.
The Sweet Spot
Feeding kids can can be stressful. We’ve all spent ages making something delicious and nutritious only for it to end up being scraped in the bin. And the idea of going out for a nice family dinner and being THAT parent with the screaming child(ren) ruining everyone else’s dinner when eating out…Shudder. Sometimes, eating a home cooked meal or taking the kids to a nice restaurant can seem, well, effort. But equally, I like cooking for my family and sharing new experiences with my children. So we’ve kept on plugging away – sometimes successfully, sometimes with everyone in tears. It’s easy to be put off a restaurant or recipe that looks too “grown-up” when you have little ones. In my experience, there’s a sweet spot between grown-ups only, bland kids’ food and balloon touting chain restaurants.
Sharing homemade gazpacho back in summer with my 3 year old.
We’re on a quest to re-visit old favourites and find new restaurants and cafes in Sussex, and recipes too, that satisfy foodies and children alike. And for the restaurants that really aren’t for children, well, we’ll be sharing our date nights too 😘.
I promise, the sweet spot, it’s a thing. And good babysitters are a godsend. Keep them sweet too. Everyone needs a date night treat once in a while.
Pudding Is Everything
We’re lucky that our children are pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new foods. They’ll happily eat hearty plates of fish pie, medium steak, salty olives, wedges of raw lemons, handfuls of parma ham or gently pan-friend scallops. But their pudding preference is strong. Given the choice, they’d happily feast on nothing but chocolate, marshmallows and ice cream 24/7.
The dream. Gelato Gusto, Brighton.
We try hard to make sure that they eat well and get a good balance, including lots of fruit and veg. Jazzing up classic kid food is one way or finding recipes that have hidden fruit or veg to sneak more goodness into what they’re eating (or drinking) is another. Oh and never underestimate the power of creativity. Make it into a rainbow, a unicorn or a baby bear and it’s sure to be at least tried, if not devoured. And really, just being relaxed and letting them experiment with new textures and flavours, without pressure seems to work best for us.
Getting creative with fruit to tempt fruit shy children.
Peanut butter baby bear toast, anyone? Homemade wholemeal bread, unsweetened peanut butter, banana slices and raisins. Easy peasy breakfast!
Getting Your Hands Dirty
Checking the mixture…
We’ve found that our kids LOVE to help when it comes to cooking and baking. This is a sure fire way to get them to try new foods that would otherwise be dismissed as “poo poo”. It’s also a great way to keep them occupied and teach them valuable life skills. I’ve involved both of mine in basic food prep from around the age of 18 months. They’ve helped me pour, mash, weigh, stir, crack, taste and control the buttons on the mixer or blender. Yes it can get messy, but it’s fun, they’re learning real life skills and hopefully a love of good food too.
And back to my beautiful Sussex.
Sussex has such an incredible legacy when it comes to the food it produces: from land and sea; trendy restaurant scenes to quaint country pubs – we’re truly spoilt for choice and we’ve got it all. I moved to Brighton back in 2005 as a fresh faced 23 year old. Brighton, more specifically, The North Laine, immediately felt like home. I loved being in the middle of a vibrant city. We’re in Hurstpierpoint now with unspoilt views of the South Downs, surrounded by green fields and woodland walks. And lucky for us, we’re smack bang in the centre of lots of stunning villages with their own cafes, restaurants and pubs; independent shops, markets and producers. And just a short drive from my spiritual home in the North Laine and the sea. I ❤️ Sussex.
Rushfields Farm Shop. A real treat if you fancy bagging some local Sussex produce.
As a family, we love to support small and local, but it’s not practical to buy everything from local suppliers because, well, it’s generally more expensive. I’m sure you get that. But that doesn’t mean that we just use our local supermarkets. We supplement our weekly Big Shop with produce from local shops, farmer’s markets and box schemes. And sometimes we supplement our local supplier purchases with bits and bobs from the local Coop and forego a Big Shop completely. Everything in balance and within your own means.
Come along for the ride!
If you fancy coming along with me on my exploration of family-friendly foodie Sussex why not follow the blog or keep up with me on social media? Come and say hi, we’d love to meet you.
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What do you want to see or hear about?
Is there anything you’d like us to write about or would you like to share your own Sussex foodie gems with us – get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!