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Bexhill’s Best Kept Secret Tea Room

Walking along Western Road in Bexhill recently, feeling in need of a break, I spotted something a little different, writes Caroline Knight.

Bowties describes itself as providing British artisan food and drink. It also claims to be the only ‘vintage’ tearooms, using vintage china, in Bexhill. So, I stepped under the welcoming bunting and discovered a most delightful café.

The interior of Bowties is cool, welcoming and inviting, whilst on the pavement side there are tables and chairs for those who like to watch the world go by. But I ventured through the café into the hidden garden beyond and discovered a different world. The Secret Vintage Tea Garden enabled me to leave my worries at the door as I entered an oasis of calm that seemed to exist in a time warp. I felt completely hidden from the hustle and bustle of the road.

I was also fascinated to find the Victorian Parlour, an indoor seating area complete with chandeliers and even a marble-style fireplace. A gentle afternoon tea party seemed to be in full swing, with the anniversary couple and their guests enjoying rather beautiful home-made cakes served on a four-tier cake stand – just like granny used to have.

A member of the friendly staff (all wearing bow ties, naturally!), provided a menu and I chose the Welsh Rarebit together with a pot of tea. Not only was the Welsh Rarebit the best I had ever tasted, but the tea itself seemed to rise to the occasion. There’s something about a china teapot that oozes charm.

The surroundings at Bowties have been cleverly staged to represent a period in time when the pace of life was unhurried. The effect on customers such as me, was to slow the mind and allow me to relax. I understand that the cosy Victorian Parlour is available for private parties and also for general use for those who prefer a little privacy.

There is waitress service at all tables and I notice the café is dog-friendly too. [Note to self: must bring the dog for walkies in Egerton Park, just up the road, then to Bowties for refreshments]. Don’t tell the dog, but I did see one of the four-legged visitors eating a sausage that I’m pretty sure he didn’t pay for.

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