It was a week of celebrations for us last week. Birthdays are always a great excuse to indulge, aren’t they. I don’t know about you but celebrations here go hand in hand with cake. I love baking. Here’s a little sneak peak at the cakes I made for The Husband and The Little One. I used a handful of local ingredients, sprinkles from our wonderful local UK Cookshop and super long candles by Meri Meri from Junior Edition in Brighton (if you have small children, don’t go into this shop unless you have a large credit card limit or extremely good self restraint – they stock so many gorgeous things!).
The celebrations continued through the weekend to Mother’s Day. We went to Alexander House for a really special afternoon tea. Four generations were at the tea from both sides of our family; everyone had a wonderful time.
In-between celebrating, there’s been a little eating out too. Nowhere new this week, just some favourite tried and tested places. All solid family-friendly choices.
I love that these roundups are starting to feature more of your input. Don’t forget to come and tell me all about your family’s favourite restaurant, cafe, shop, pub or food in Sussex. You can message me, comment on this post, email me a photo through the contact form, use the hashtag #LoveSussexFood in your own social media posts, DM me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram…
Here’s the roundup for this week. Read on for some fabulous Sussex recommendations.
Thanks to the Mid Sussex Mamas Group for some awesome Mid-Sussex buggy-friendly suggestions (buggy friendly cafe blog post coming soon!)
Six at 6pm from Queen of Sussex Marmalades, Jaki, founder of Perfectly Preserved
If you missed the latest Six at 6pm, it’s worth having a read, Jaki’s suggestions are gold (just like her award-winning marmalades). And if you fancy sampling some of her fine preserves, you can find jars at Florence Road Market, Barneys, HISBE Food and Real Patisserie.
Recommendations from lovely SB&F followers
I love hearing all about your Sussex eating out experiences and produce recommendations. This week a handful of people have stepped forward unprompted! How exciting 😍. Keep ‘em coming!
Adastra Deli – newly open and ready for action! Adastra Deli in Hassocks hosted a really delicious pop-up event for Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday. Thanks to Gilly Kay for the photos of her scrumptious looking Eggs Benedict and bubbly.
Wildflour Cafe – it’s lambing season! Camilla and Roly are holding their annual open days at Saddlescombe farm. The next open days are coming up at the weekend. My old neighbour visited with her sons last weekend and tagged me in her photos on Instagram. She suggested Wildflour cafe as a great place to check out. I haven’t been, but it’s been on my list for a while. I’m hoping to squeeze in a visit this week. I’m even more excited now it’s been recommended to me first hand. Thanks Karen 😍!
Earth and Stars – I love that this pub has made an appearance in the #LoveSussexFood recommendations. It’s just around the corner from where one of my old Brighton besties used to live. We used to pop in for after work drinks with the girls most weeks. I haven’t been to the Earth and Stars for a very long time. I’ve fond memories of snow day lunches with colleagues and boozy evenings with friends; parties in the function room upstairs and dates with the other half too. It’s so great to hear good things are still going on in the kitchen at the pub. I can’t wait to go back for a roast soon. I’m very tempted to go sooner rather than later after a follower on Instagram commented…
“I dream of their sticky toffee pudding”
Oooh. Sticky toffee pudding, one of my all time favourite puds. I might be having sweet dreams tonight too 🤤
Where we ate this week
Lindfield Coffee Works – I’m so in love with this coffee shop. I took the little one for a spot of lunch together with my mum, dad and sister last week. I had a pastrami bagel; the little one had the kids plate. Everyone was super happy with their food (and my lot are a tough crowd). The whole clan loved the coffee shop too. A big hit here. Get ready to see a lot more of our ugly mugs round your way, Lindfield Coffee Works 😍
Washbrooks Family Farm – absolutely love an after school play at the farm. Especially on a sunny afternoon. It’s a nice way for the girls to blow off their after school steam. It’s such a classic for us. We didn’t stay for dinner; the girls had after school cup cakes and drinks (gotta love a bit of grandparental mid-week spoiling) instead. The tearoom is such a treat and just a dream with little children.
Franco Manca – this is a resounding family favourite. It’s where we go on the last day of school holidays and for most birthdays too. The staff are so friendly and accommodating; we love their pizzas and salads. The kids menu is £5, which includes a pizza, drink and scoop of ice cream. Colouring sheets and pencils are standard. There’s something for everyone, making eating out as a family super dooper easy.
Cloud 9 Brighton – these are a micro-chain of super cute and colourful Brighton bakeries selling a huge range of cupcakes to go, to eat in or giant slabs of cake to devour. Oh and did I mention ice cream? They cater for all dietary requirements, so it’s a great spot to grab a selection of treats for a special occasion. You can order celebration cakes too. Useful if you’re looking for something a little different to Colin for a birthday party 😉
We went to the Cloud 9 on Kensington Garden’s on the little one’s actual birthday to buy post-pizza pudding. The little one chose a vanilla cupcake, the big one an Oreo cupcake; the girls chose a chocolate cupcake for their uncle and a Bakewell tart cupcake for Daddy. I had a Banoffee cupcake. Keeping it Sussex, me.
Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa – it’s been a long time since I last visited Alexander House Hotel. I’ve only been for office Christmas parties where the vibe was wholly different to Sunday’s Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea. We decided to book up tea at Alexander House Hotel a few months back as they could accommodate our large party of 12, it’s an easier location for family gatherings than Brighton, and there’s plenty of parking
Our afternoon tea was served in a function room laid out for Mother’s Day. There was a harp. There was lots of white linen. There were beautiful glass platters covered with large scoops of clotted cream and jam. There were glasses of champagne. There were a few grumbles about the service from my lot to start with. There was some confusion around drinks, with some orders coming out straight away and other people not being offered drinks at all. I didn’t see a drinks or tea menu and when I asked for a pot of Ceylon, they didn’t have it. Apparently they serve a local Brighton brand of tea and I’m sad to see I missed out on choosing something more exotic than English Breakfast. The service initially was a little patchy. Perhaps it was just a very busy day. The food was great and everyone relaxed into the afternoon, leaving full and happy. I love that they provide a separate tea for children: a selection of cheese, ham and jam sandwiches; cookies, chocolate ice cream and brownies. The grown-ups afternoon tea was a selection of delicate sandwiches, pissaladière and poached salmon on a wholemeal bread croutes; scones, with jam and cream; cakes and pastries. The macarons and carrot cake were the winners for me. My brother is allergic to peanuts and was given a nut-free stand; the husband is allergic to dairy and had his own stand too (including a dairy-free pissaladière and selection of impressive milk free cakes). This is the best afternoon tea we’ve had as a family. Everyone was catered for brilliantly.
I haven’t stayed at the hotel or been to the spa. I hope to remedy this soon. Based on Sunday’s experience, this is the sort of place that will be great for bigger family gatherings, special occasion afternoon teas, girls only spa breaks and maybe even a little overnight escape with the husband for a night off, dinner and breakfast in bed tagged on for good measure.
That’s it from our #LoveSussexFood round-up this week. I’m having a little break wrangling the troops over Easter. I’ll be back on 23rd April with #LoveSussexFood Roundup No. 6 when the little mites are back at school. Have a wonderful Easter and don’t forget I need your help, come and tell me all of your tasty tales over Easter 😋
We #LoveSussexFood, do you?