Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Lewes: The Needlemakers Cafe

Tucked away along Market Street in the town of Lewes in East Sussex, this historic building with its ancient brickwork and massive wooden beams houses a cute spot called The Needlemakers Cafe. Named from when this building was used to make surgical needles during World War One, it is now home to many specialised original shops.

With an open plan layout in the heart of the building, it offers shoppers and tourists a great place for a refreshment break. The table setup is similar to that in Juliet's in Tunbridge Wells, long wooden communal tables with mismatched chairs as well as tables for two dotted around the outskirts with additional tables in the entrance of the building and outside at the back.

Although always busy, we managed to get a spot to sit at on a communal table whilst we decided what to have. The area the cafe inhabits is also a through way to get to more teeny shops at the back of the building and this makes it very bustling and lively.

Having a peek at the scrumptious cakes on the counter, I decided to have a blondie to accompany my Sparkling Elderflower drink whilst he went for an Earl Grey. The atmosphere was bright and cheerful with the staff giving a hippy vibe to the place. The service wasn't as friendly as say The Cake Shed, where they were also very busy when we ordered but managed to have a polite and friendly conversation with us. Here it was almost like they were all too cool for school with no friendly customer banter which is a bit of a let down.

Anyhows, order placed we sat and admired our surroundings whilst doing a spot of people watching. Some of the walls are adorned with wares from various shops within this old building, chilled music wafts across from the counter area as the staff scuttle to and from the kitchen with plates of lovely looking food.

Order arrived after a while with our receipt to pay attached to a peg. Served in chunky china crockery both drinks were good although you can't go wrong with a bottle of Elderflower for a refreshing hit. The Blondie (white chocolate brownie) was no way as good as the one I had in The Black Dog in Tunbridge Wells. The Needlemakers brownie was too sickly after eating a half, with quite a lot of large chunks of dark chocolate. Paying at the counter, again the customer service was poor which is what drops this place from getting a Thumbs Up status.

The Verdict?
This is not a place known for its great customer service but if you come prepared for that then it's a great spot to have a brew or light lunch. The rustic surroundings and old tables and chairs add a cool vibe, there are loos just along from the cafe area and the whole place makes for an interesting visit. The selection of drinks and food is good and all at reasonable prices. Maybe avoid a busy Saturday lunchtime if your after somewhere quiet and relaxing as that's when it gets hectic.

West Street

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