Family Day Out: Henfield
I’m a big fan of family days out where there’s something fun, wholesome and tiring for the kids to do and somewhere cool for us to hang out as a family.
The South Down’s Way
The South Down’s Way is 100 miles of protected footpath passing through glorious countryside. The stretch closest to us is one of our favourite spots to take the girls for a walk, scoot or bike ride. It’s perfect for wobbly kids on wheels as it’s away from the road.
The Big One mastered cycling without stabilisers earlier in the summer and was itching to go on a long ride. We popped over to the South Down’s Way during the summer holidays to let off some steam and enjoy the late summer sunshine. She headed off, happy to have some freedom at last; the Little One following behind on her scooter. We pottered at the back having a chat and keeping an eye on our two adventurers.
Along the way we spotted butterflies and damsel flies; teasels and wild orchids. We checked the progress of this years’ blackberries and soaked in the stunning 360 views.
After nearly an hour of scooting and cycling the girls were ravenous. We usually take a picnic and stop at the same bench under an oak tree. However, this time I’d decided that we should try out a new coffee shop back in Henfield. It was a dangerous move. Both girls stopped at the bench looking expectant and were disappointed by the lack of snacks. By the time we got back to the car it was well beyond noon. I silently hoped that The Old Post House would deliver.
The Old Post House
The Old Post House is an incredibly stylish cafe in the heart of Henfield on the High Street. It’s been open for a few months now and blends pleasing aesthetics with old fashioned community spirit. It’s a magical combination that’s hard not to love. When we rocked up the coffee shop full and buzzy – impressive for a Sunday.
Once inside you’re faced with two impressive counters: one heaving with savoury treats, salads and quiches; the other laden with cakes, pastries and ice creams. There’s a front room, back room, stools and high counters, tables, high chairs and a gorgeous garden with lots of outdoor seating and a pretty apple tree hanging overhead. Dogs and children are welcome, making this a top spot for post-walkies weekend food and drinks.
The So Sussex Menu
The coffee shop showcases an impressive range of Sussex produce. The menu has all the usual fare plus an impressive range of salads and quiches. There isn’t a separate children’s menu but the girls had no difficulty choosing: a perfectly flaky homemade sausage roll for The Big One and a cheese and ham sandwich for the Little One. I had the prawn avocado salad and The Husband had the humous, pepper and carrot toastie. It’s not always easy to find a dairy-free lunch but there were lots of yummy things on the menu. Thumbs up all round.
A Warm Welcome
The owners and staff were super friendly and attentive: these guys know good customer service. There was an unexpected Sunday lunchtime rush, we were given a free round of drinks to make up for the delay. We were in no hurry, however, happy with our pink lemonades and coffees. And apart from a few tummy growls from the Big One we had a very pleasant wait.
Now you see it, now you don’t
Once the food arrived it was demolished. The Little One loved the ham in her sandwich; the sausage roll was inhaled; my salad was perfect with half a creamy avocado, plump prawns in yummy Marie Rose sauce, pasta salad, homemade coleslaw and shredded lettuce with a splash of balsamic. I didn’t really take any notice of the Husband’s toastie but he said it was nice, and served on his favourite kind of bread.
We stayed for pudding. The girls had ice creams; the vanilla ice cream was perfection. I ate most of the Little One’s as she could only manage a few small spoonfuls. Sadly there wasn’t a dairy-free cake for the Husband, so he went without this time.
A Splendid Sussex Sunday
Sussex countryside with a laid back child-friendly Sussex lunch? You’d be hard pushed to find a nicer combo for a family weekend jolly.
In case you fancy giving it a whirl
We join the South Down’s Way pathway next to The Cat and Canary on Upper Station Road, Henfield. There’s a little car park by the entrance to the footpath and it’s usually pretty easy to get a space. If not, there’s on-street parking too.
The Old Post House can be found on Henfield High Street.
Photo Credit – @sussex_born_and_fed