Merry Christmas and a very happy new year to everyone!

IMG_1320We’ve had a wonderful year here at the cafe and a busy month of christmas parties and private dinners in our downstairs dining room. It’s been festive, full of smiles and great fun. Before we collapse with a mince pie in one hand and a paper crown perched on our heads (!) we thought we would review some of what was best for us in 2012…

Claire: “For me the greatest thing this year was without doubt the Olympics. Everyone was so excited and how could you not be inspired by the determination of all those athletes.”

Connie: “It has to be Borough Market. You can get lost in the market for hours, surrounded by every kind of food and ingredient. The Spanish Wine Bar there is great too!”

Dani: ” A great exhibition of Wilhelmina Barnes Graham‘s abstract work at The Jointure Studios in Ditchling in the autumn. I loved the impact of the colour and her inspiring technique. She had an incredible life too.”

Flora: “Elderflower Fields Festival was one of the best weekends of the year for me. It was so good to see so many Lewes friends and all the kids dancing around in the fields at Bentley and eating cake at The Buttercup’s magical woodland cafe.”

Mary (one of the Buttercup babies): “Chocolate buttons!”

Peter: “The re-introduction of the word ‘blouse’ to the English language….oh, and the arrival of Connie in The Buttercup kitchen!”

We are closed from 3pm from December 24th and will re-open with new year vigour on Wednesday 2nd January at 9.30am. We hope everyone has a very merry christmas and a happy new year!

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A taste of Japan in Lewes

We hosted another wonderful Supper Club here at The Buttercup in Lewes last night. We persuaded highly acclaimed chef Sam Mahoney to come and create a Japanese menu, using the recipes he collected whilst working in Japan. For a few hours our supper club diners were transported across the world with delicate plates of intriguing and delicious Japanese food. We loved it and thought you would like a glimpse of our after hours supper club…

We served:
Asari to Naga-Negi : Steamed little neck clams with sake, miso broth and spring onions.
Okonomi Yaki: Pancake of Japanese yams, pork, ginger and cabbage glazed with Okonomi sauce.
Unagi Kabayaki: Soy and Mirin glazed grilled smoked eel with vinegared rice.
Chawan-Mushi: Steamed savoury custard with chicken, prawn and ginkgo nut.
Kara-Age: Fried wild sea bass, pickled cucumber salad, white radish and dipping sauce.

Do visit Field & Fork at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester to try more of Sam’s delicious food. Our next Buttercup Supper Club will be in January 2013. Watch this space!

The Buttercup Supper Club Goes Japanese

born1945 / Foter / CC BY-SA

This month’s supper club is going Japanese with the arrival of a very special guest chef, Sam Mahoney. Sam owns and runs the wonderful Field & Fork inside Pallant House Gallery in Chichester. He trained at Le Gavroche at the age of just 16 and worked for years alongside the Roux brothers. He went on to become Head Chef at The Point in New York and at Kensington Place in London.

Sam worked for a year on the southern island Kyushu in a Sashimi bar in a district called Yamaga. He arrived there, not knowing anyone in Japan or speaking the language but he was determined to learn more about Japanese food and culture. He fell in love with everything Japanese.

For one night only, he’s coming to The Buttercup to cook some regional and “street food” style Japanese dishes. Chawan Mushi (a steamed savoury egg custard); Okonomiyaki (rosti style pancake made with Japanese yams and okonomi sauce); Unagi Kabayaki (teriyaki glazed smoked eel, served on rice) – the last one, Sam tells us, is a dish from Tokyo believed to restore vigour!

Japanese Supper Club is on Monday 19th November* at 7.30pm. £30 per person – and remember to bring your own Sake! Call us on 01273 477664 or pop in to the cafe to book your table.

*Please note the change of date to that advertised in this month’s Viva Lewes. Sorry!

About last night…

We had a wonderful evening here at The Buttercup last night with delicious food, great company and an inspiring guest speaker. Diana Henry (one of our culinary heroines) came to visit and regaled us with tales of food and cookery writing. She introduced her new book Salt Sugar Smoke (which is all about preserving, conserving and smoking) by giving us a taste of her chutneys, jams and a nip of Damson gin.

Diana told us about her childhood growing up in Northern Ireland when the only olive oil she knew about was made by Crosse & Blackwell and kept in the medicine cupboard for cleaning children’s ears. She told us about how her fascination and obsession with food was brought on by reading books such as One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights).

She described how cooking for her was the ultimate escape; you can stand still in your kitchen and journey to any corner of the globe with the food and tastes your create. She spoke of the excitement and inspiration she found from looking into her larder and seeing a jar of pomegranate molasses or a box of Couscous covered in Arabic script next to a jar of good old HP sauce.

Diana’s enthusiasm is infectious. She encouraged us all to have a go; she is a champion of the home cook. Her cooking style is exactly what we have always wanted The Buttercup Cafe to be about. She mentioned Claudia Roden and Sophie Grigson as cookery writers she greatly admires.

While Diana chatted with guests, swapped fish smoking techniques and signed books, Claire (aka Madam Buttercup) and Connie produced a feast from The Buttercup kitchen using Diana’s recipes. The autumn pudding was a triumph; the Turkish lamb kofta with cherries were delicious and perfect for a cold Autumn night.

Our guests all chatted and discussed their favourite recipe books. It was an inspiring evening for us all. We heard that Diana is already working on another three books. We can’t wait to hear about what she is creating next and hope we can persuade her to come back and visit us again!

The next Buttercup Supper Club is on 17th November. Book your table now. We’ll post more details here soon.

Applicious

Octoberfeast: It’s all about the apple!

Lewes Octoberfeast is a wonderful celebration of local seasonal food and Sussex foodies. We’re delighted to be part of this important festival and are hosting two events.

The annual Buttercup Hog Roast is out in the cafe yard on Saturday 29th September. We’ll be serving from noon delicious cuts of Lewes Butcher Peter Richards‘ roast hog with our own apple sauce and ciabatta. It’s always a raucous affair with a party atmosphere out in our yard – first come, first served!

We have a few ticketed places left for our Apple Dinner with Cider on Saturday 6th October. Claire (Madam Buttercup) is cooking an apple feast after hours. The yard and downstairs dining room will be candlelit and a different cider will be served to match each of the three courses. Including tart tatin, apple gorgonzola walnut rustic tart, slow baked apple & toffee pastry, stuffed pork loin with rosemary roasted apple and parsnip and more. Booking is essential, £25 per person. Do call the cafe on 01273 477 664 or pop in to the cafe. As everyone who has been to a Buttercup supper club event will know, these evenings are magical!

We just wanted to put in a quick mention for some of the other lovely foodie (and drink!) events which caught our eye from this year’s Octoberfeast programme. The Secret Camping Feast in Barcombe sounds fantastic – run by some of the team behind Elderflower Fields festival. And we love the sound of Jamaican Guinness Punch at the Lewes Arms. And who can resist a free ice cream tasting session at Limetree Kitchen! Twelve delicious flavours to try.

Apple madness in Lewes

Oh what a night…

Our first Buttercup Supper Club was a sell out! Our downstairs room was transformed into a French bistro with candlelight and French music. The soirée began with a wine tasting with Rob from Symposium Wine. Delicious Symposium wines for our guests to taste, including a Picpoul de Pinet, Chateauneuf du Pape and a delicious Corbieres (Lo Petit Fantet d’Hippolyte).

A taste of France brought to Lewes for one night only : The Buttercup Supper Club

After dark at The Buttercup Supper Club

Delicious wines from Symposium Wine of Lewes

Madam Buttercup (aka Claire) created a feast of delights. Lovely olives to nibble on, followed by a delicious Bouillabaisse made with local fish from Terry at Riverside . Le pièce de résistance was the confit du canard served with a cassoulet, red cabbage and fine green beans. Then came the Creme Catalan; warm caramel creme and cold ice cream heaven.

A collage of The Buttercup Supper Club created by Forget-Me-Not

While tasting the brie and sipping on coffee, our guests were entertained by the magnificent and brilliant Forget-Me-Not. She took us on a whirlwind tour of French cabaret – with some Edith Piaf and Cole Porter thrown in for good measure. We all fell in love with her!

Buttercup Bouillabaisse

Claire’s canard!

Creme Catalan dressed with nectarine and strawberries

The Supper Club was such fun to put on and we hope our guests had as special a night as we did! Watch this space for news about our next special Buttercup event…

Buttercup Supper Club twinkling in the dark

The Buttercup Hamper Delivery Service

The Rolling Downs shepherd huts

The sun is shining and the Sussex countryside is covered with every shade of green. The evenings are lighter, the sunsets are stunning and we want to be eating and cooking outside again.

We’re delighted to announce that we’re now delivering hampers to The Rolling Downs shepherd huts. These are two very special, beautifully built, luxury huts which families can stay in. They’re in a secluded corner on the Bentley estate, not far from Lewes. Families staying in the huts have their own kitchen and a fire pit for cooking outdoor feasts.

We deliver delicious local supplies direct to the huts. Everything from local eggs, Mr Richards’ Lewes made sausages, our lovely coffee, fresh Sussex fruit & veg, loaves of Real Patisserie bread, our Buttercup cakes and more. We can even deliver dinner, freshly made to order from The Buttercup kitchen. It’s a magical place to stay and we’re delighted to be offering our hamper delivery service.

Do pop in or call us if you’d like lunch or dinner delivered to your home – or a Buttercup hamper or special picnic made just for you.

The Buttercup Cafe's fresh fruit & veg: you can order locally sourced fresh food direct from us.

The Lilliput Bazaar comes to The Buttercup

We’re back from our Easter holidays; dodging the April showers and delighted to be back in the kitchen here at The Buttercup Cafe.

We wanted to let you know about a lovely children’s clothing bazaar happening here at The Buttercup on Friday 27th April and Saturday 28th April from 10am to 5 pm. It’s being organised by local mothers and it’s called The Lilliput Bazaar.  They’re selling second-hand children’s clothes (age 3 – 11) It’s not too late if you want to sell some clothes at their sale too. For more details just email thelilliputbazaar@gmail.com. Come along and find some lovely clothes for your kids and stop off in at the cafe for a treat too. See you there!

A Moroccan Buttercup Soiree

Our Buttercup Birthday Guest

We were delighted to host a Moroccan birthday dinner here in The Buttercup Cafe last week.

Tables were lit with coloured lanterns, drapes were festooned from the ceiling and our guests ate a Moroccan feast. Smoked spice salmon & rocket salad. Followed by baked lamb with cumin, coriander & ground almonds, tabouli and Syrian fattoush.

Of course no Buttercup birthday feast is complete without some loud singing, and a few fireworks in a delicious velvet, chocolate & aubergine cake with chocolate ganache. We had a great time!

A candlelit private dinner at The Buttercup

If you’d like to book your own private event or dinner party in the evening at The Buttercup Cafe please call us on 01273 477664.

A fabulous February

We're in the latest edition of Sussex Life

February is nearly here and it’s already proving to be a great month for us at The Buttercup. We’re feeling most happy and delighted with our latest press coverage. Please excuse us while we blow our own trumpet!

Sussex Life (Feb Issue) chose to feature us in their article on the Lewes art scene:

“The Buttercup Cafe. This delightful cafe is small but perfectly formed… Pretty china and wildflower bouquets lend an air of rural charm, and there’s a delicious selection of home-baked cakes…”

 

The ever brilliant Viva Lewes

The February issue of Viva Lewes has a great cover (as always) and we were so pleased to find we are mentioned twice in the latest edition: “The Buttercup Cafe. Now there’s a little place… that’s already worked out how to do things properly”. We were also picked by the wonderful Hilary Lane MBE as her favourite place for lunch in Lewes (read her interview in the magazine on p.19).

Thank you for making us all smile at the cafe. It’s lovely to be appreciated x

You might also like to read about what the Norwegian press made of The Buttercup Cafe in our post “We’re big in Norway!