Last week I took the little one to Lewes to go to the Lewes Friday Food Market. As soon as we got to the market she was too cold. I’d forgotten her mittens and she really feels the cold. I didn’t want to have a miz morning so I suggested a warm drink in a cafe. She decided that hot chocolate inside would make everything better. A friend had recently recommended Wickle, so we headed over to the High Street to try it out.
Wickle is pretty much an identical replica of my google search history and Pinterest boards: gorgeous sustainable kids’ clothes, craft kits, wooden toys, beautiful homewares. The little one loved it too. As soon as we sat down she started piping up about her birthday. And that soft toy lamb up there. And the fancy dress. And the mini trolley. Oooh, fancy dress… Wickle know their market… it’s a beautiful collection of lovely stuff displayed really playfully. The whole shop screams fun. Tasteful, wholesome fun.
There’s a sweet little cafe at the back, which has hallmarks of the beautiful French film Amelie and a touch of Rosie & Jim’s canal boat. They have all sorts of cool artefacts around the cafe, including a set of vintage weighing scales on the counter and lovely window-like mirrors on the walls. The food is displayed in a particularly Instagram-worthy way, with number biscuits and snacks in jars, shelves of cakes on vintage stands, glass jars of overnight oats and kids’ snacks in wire racks. I love the eclectic mix of vintage plates and cups that they serve the food and drink on and in. This is Lewes to a tee. It’s eclectic and wholesome; child-friendly boho chic.
The food and drink
There’s an abundance of local and organic produce from local milk to Real Patisserie bread. There’s a great selection of food: small toddler friendly snacks and babycinos, bread and spread, overnight oats, smoothie bowls, wraps and dips, amazing coffee, loads of teas including a mint tea which has been specially blended for Wickle.
It was just after 10am when we arrived and there were a few other pairings of little preschoolers and mums enjoying drinks and snacks. We found a table and ordered our drinks at the counter: hot chocolate for the little one and a latte for me. As it was mid-morning she was peckish and opted for sweet little number biscuit covered in icing and colourful sprinkles.
The hot chocolate came with real flakes of chocolate on the top a la Cocoa Loco and a side of 2 chocolate buttons. The little one was delighted with her mid-morning snacks of biscuit and buttons. I was thrilled with a decent latte and a bite of the very yummy vanilla biscuit. We love a little Friday treat; it’s the little one’s “Mummy Day” and it’s pretty standard for us to have a little indulgence on a Friday morning.
The staff are warm and friendly; they cooed over the little one who loved the attention (this is unusual. She’s pretty reserved when we’re out normally. She was unbelievably comfortable in Wickle, just like she is at home. It’s very homely for little ones in Wickle).
I had a long chat with the owner about her shop, her kids, my kids, wooden v plastic toys, the importance of learning to be patient and the integrity of the produce she uses in her kitchen.
It was all very charming and lovely.
This is the sort of place that I wish I’d known about when the girls were a toddler and baby. There are plenty of distractions in the cafe for little ones (a beautiful Brio toy table) and pots of pencils and paper. You could very happily feed a hungry baby and your toddler, grab a nourishing breakfast or lunch and entertain your toddler simultaneously.
They also offer a buggy valet service. This is perhaps one of the most sensible things I’ve ever heard! The shop isn’t huge and it’s obviously a great place to go if you have a baby or small children. Buggies or prams in this sort of space become a hazard, so to resolve this they have bike locks at the front of the shop where you can leave your buggy safely stowed out of the way. I honestly don’t know why more places don’t offer this to their customers. It’s genius.
We fell so in love with Wickle that we’re planning to return at the weekend to do the little one’s birthday shopping. This was her request. She’s desperate to go back with her Dad and sister too, to show them the shop, choose some birthday gifts and have another hot chocolate and maybe a spot of lunch. Perhaps this is a new family favourite. Watch this space.