I should have written this post a year ago, when we first went to The Front Room in Seaford having been tipped off by a friend. That day last January, we were BLOWN away on the beach, and then BLOWN away by the café’s mega croque monsieur, the like of which I’ve never eaten before or since, not even in France.
So when I took my sons to Seaford this past weekend and we were again almost blown off the beach, it was with slight déjà vu that we retreated to The Front Room for a hot chocolate and a biscuit.
My family and I love Seaford beach. It’s setting (as in, the buildings lining it) is definitely not the most interesting or eye-catching, but the beach is long, deep, clean (compared to the turd fest at Tide Mills) and book-ended by white cliffs. We always park by the beach huts at the far end, have a scoot and play among the pebbles and then treat ourselves to a tea and a lolly at the little beach hut café there. There’s a playground further down, which we’ve only been to a couple of times as I kind of like the boys to make their own sport on the shingle.
But not this day. Definitely too windy (and on the way I listened to the news, which reported that two people had been swept into the sea in Rottingdean on Friday – and that their bodies had been found – so I was a bit freaked).
The Front Room is a cosy but serene little place nestled in Seaford’s Old Town that, since our first visit, has deservedly won Sussex Café of the Year and opened another branch in the Seaford Library. You can take the train here easily from Lewes, but if you’re driving, there’s a public parking lot just nearby along Saxon Lane (free on Sundays, yay!). If you want a (less windy) post prandial leg stretch afterwards, there’s a ‘peace garden’ at the end of the street that we discovered last year (post will follow), which is attached to The Crouch – a park on a site that dates back to 1712. There’s a brand new playground here, and plenty of grass for a run about.
The menu is on the short side, which is good, and it’s part café, part tapas restaurant (in the evenings), with a focus on seasonal and local produce. They sadly no longer do the croque monsieurs, but there are delicious-looking boards, toasted sandwiches, roasts on Sundays and lots of cakes.
Owner Victoria has three children, so The Front Room is well thought out for kids. There’s a little cabinet at the back with small tubs of LEGO bricks, a few books, and a wooden maze-game. There are high chairs and a dedicated change mat area in the roomy loo. My two took a tub of bricks each and got stuck in to making spaceships at our table while they waited for their ‘baby chocs’ to arrive – espresso-sized hot chocolates with tiny marshmallows on their saucers for assembling atop the froth. I had a pot of delicious Rare Tea Company green tea, which came wrapped in its own bright bobble hat.
I’d love to return in the summer as the garden looks a friendly place. My table of choice inside is always taken, but it would be the one in the window.
If there are any downsides to The Front Room it’s that you have to walk past Toy Town a few doors along to get there from the beach. Try to resist going in on the way back – it’s a good toy shop and the zen created by LEGO assembly and a moment’s peace over a cup is fast broken by negotiations over glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs. Speaking from experience.
* Small update: a week or so after writing this post and in response to a reader reporting that the café isn’t dog-friendly, The Front Room got in touch to say that dogs are welcome in the garden year-round and that it’s happy to accommodate small, well-behaved dogs indoors under tables during the winter. The café also does takeaway hot drinks, so is worth a stop it you want to warm up your walk. *
Drive: 19 minutes
Train: Twice hourly, 18 mins
Address: 42 High Street, Seaford, BN25 1PL
Tel no.: 01323 895 383
Open: Mon-Thu + Sun, 9am-5pm; Fri + Sat 9am-5pm + 7pm-late for tapas
Disclosure: No compensation, financial or otherwise, was offered or accepted for the writing of this post. I told the girls at The Front Room I was going to write a post as we were paying our bill, so our experiences were unaffected by their knowledge of the blog. We genuinely like The Front Room and will be back.
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8 thoughts on “Lunch with Your Bunch: The Front Room, Seaford Old Town, Sussex (and a Secret Place to Play)”
You never fail to impress me Little Lewes with your posts. This one in particular is perfect for me and my family as we regularly frequent Seaford beach and swim there in warmer months:) This weekend we will be checking The Front Room out for sure. Thanks for the brilliant top tips, keep up the excellent work. Always a pleasure having a LL post pop up in my inbox:) x
You never fail to leave the nicest comments Jody! Thank you for the kind compliments as ever you lovely thing, you. xxx
Worth mentioning that the Front Room is not doggy friendly. Also worth mentioning that it does take away. Wintery walks always much improved with a milky hot chocolate in hand!
Thank you Mica, that’s really useful to know and I’ll add it to the post! I’ve just sent you an email through Asphalt Flowers – hope you don’t think me too cheeky! x
Hi Mica at the Front Room we allow dogs all year round in the garden and if its raining small well behaved dogs can sit under the tables. Many thanks
Hi Front Room! I’ll pass this on to Mica and make sure it’s reflected in the post. I gather you had some more visitors who had read the post this weekend! kate x
Brilliant blog,I am so pleased I found it- you. We went to lewes this weekend with our 3 boys, we were doing a reci for possibly moving down…..we went to the front room which was perfect. The food was delicious, the owner was really lovely and the boys felt at home with a box of Lego to play with.
We also went to bills and the hearth, which were both very relaxed and food was great.
We braved the beach for half an hour! And did the castle in the rain on Sunday, fabulous weekend 🙂
Thank you for this super lovely comment Anna, I’m really pleased the blog came in useful to you and your family this past weekend and that you liked The Front Room, the beach and Lewes. Lewes Castle is one of my top rainy day activities (yet to write it up), and it’s really manageable but sort of magic enough to keep the kids happy. You must move here, it’s great for kids (well I would say that) and also for parents. If you don’t do it before the summer, come and spend a week or two down here – our house should be on Air BnB for the first three weeks of the summer holidays, FULL of boys toys and a no more central location…;) Thank you again for saying such nice things about Little Lewes x