Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Rye: The Apothecary

With charming cobbled streets, a medieval church and beautifully preserved historic houses from medieval, Tudor and Georgian times, Rye feels like it is suspended in time and has a uniquely laid back atmosphere.We visited on a busy Saturday in search of somewhere good to have a bite of lunch. The streets were bustling with locals and tourists alike as we came across The Apothecary on the corner of East Street. Standing grand with its old windows and tasteful paint work we were drawn into trying it out.

One of the most authentic coffee houses in Rye, on our visit there were many locals having their usual whilst sat reading the paper or catching up with friends. A very relaxed and cosy atmosphere, the original features make this stand out from the ordinary. 

I really liked the ornate door and would have loved to have sat in the window for our lunch but other people had got there before us. Luckily there is further seating through the back in several more old fashioned rooms. It has an air of being in another century, all furniture and chairs are worn with age and the slightly unkempt look adds to its charm.

The choice of fare is most defiantly not old fashioned. The array of cakes and pastries on offer were very tempting and all reasonably priced with gluten free options as well as soya milk available.

A very friendly young lass asked us to take a seat saying she would come and take our order when we were ready. Walking through the first room up some steep steps into a cosy snug room, we took a seat by a window on some very comfy old leather armchairs. The atmosphere here is truly unique, it felt like we had stepped back in time and that any minute a horse drawn carriage would clatter down the street past our window. Studying the menu was a delight, the range of food and drinks on offer was brilliant. Ollie went for Spiced Moroccan Lentil Soup, Tester 1 went for Pesto Chicken Pasta and I chose a Chunky Sausage Sandwich.  

We waited no time at all before our food arrived, even though it was quite busy. Tester 1's huge bowl of pasta looked very good and tasted delicious, I would definitely have this next time.

My sausage sandwich with chunky granary bread was huge and equally as delicious, the sausages being proper and the bread fluffy. With a squirt of Tommy K, I polished it off in no time. It was most definitely on par with the River Cottage Canteen's sausage sandwich effort.  

Ollie's soup came with a doorstep sized piece of granary bread which he devoured along with the soup. Hot, spicy and very tasty with a good texture, it was a good choice.

Drinks wise, myself and Tester 1 went for Vanilla Milkshakes with Ollie having Assam tea. The icy coolness of my milkshake was lovely, although the vanilla flavour was a little too subtle and the tea was standard bagged Assam. We will come back here to try out the coffee which rumor has it is very good.

The Verdict?
A very welcoming place to come, the food options cater to a wide range of tastes and are good value for money. We loved the simple no fuss interior with its wooden paneling, old leather armchairs, subdued lighting and old bookshelves making it all very quirky. The staff were friendly and very efficient, the service was quick and there is lots of seating so even during busy times you should be able to find a seat. This will definitely be a place we would stop off in again when in Rye. 

No 1 East Street
East Sussex
TN31 7JY

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