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

The Lilliput Bazaar Pop-Up Shop returns to The Buttercup Cafe

The sun is shining in Lewes (at last!) and the Lilliput Bazaar is back at The Buttercup. Lilliput has a pop-up shop today and tomorrow from 10am to 4.30pm here at the cafe. They’ve transformed our downstairs room into an emporium of children’s clothes.

We spotted a lovely little girl’s Liberty print dress on the rails and other fantastic second-hand and vintage clothes for kids aged 1 to 12. Get here quick for the best of the best!

We’ll be serving Thai style chicken fritters, Asparagus and cheddar filo tarts, Pepper pot soup and our summer salads for lunch out in the courtyard. There’s also plenty of delicious cakes and teas to choose from – available all day.

And of course there are always Buttercup chocolate buttons for our youngest (and oldest!) visitors.

You can find out more about Lilliput Bazaar on twitter @LilliputBazaar

The Buttercup Cafe in all its glory…

We were so excited when local artist Lyndsey Smith sent us a link to her brilliant blog which featured her latest watercolour painting – and it’s of us!

Buttercup Brunch - A painting by Lyndsey Smith

Lyndsey has created a beautiful painting of our sunny Buttercup yard in all its glory. We love the detail; the fruit & veg boxes in the doorway, the higgeldy piggeldy plants and flower pots. You can see how Lyndsey created the final artwork by looking back at her blog posts over the last month. You can see the painting come to life. We’re delighted, flattered and very impressed.

Buttercup Brunch - First drawing by Lyndsey Smith


Buttercup Brunch - A work in progress by Lyndsey Smith

Do have a look at Lyndsey’s other paintings of shops, people and places around Lewes on her lovely website

Coming out of hibernation

The Buttercup Yard

This week of warm sunshine has left us all feeling glorious. We’re so lucky to work in a beautiful Sussex town and most importantly in a cafe where we get to be outside (well, when we’re not busy creating fresh delights in our kitchen). We have lots of tables for customers outside in our yard. Like 99% of the population this weather has made us start thinking about our flowers, plants and gardening plans for the summer. So this post is a collection of ideas we rather like.

beautiful strawberry pots as featured on

1) Strawberry pots – as featured on the lovely Country Living blog this week.

2) Alys Fowler‘s collection of articles in The Guardian are brilliant and very useful – covering everything from growing peas to marigolds.

Wiggly Wiggler's British grown flower posy

2) Wiggly Wigglers – we love their beautiful British grown flower posies in jam jars.

3) Leadbetter & Good – we couldn’t resist buying some of their latest bunting. Brilliant bold colours and fabrics for summer. Their shop is new to Cliffe High Street in Lewes.

4) Fennel & Fern – The most stylish gardening blog.

5) Garden Organic – The national charity for organic growing have great information on edible flowers. And as any of our regular customers will know, we love using edible flowers in The Buttercup kitchen.

Springtime at The Buttercup

Spring has sprung at The Buttercup

Spring has officially sprung and we’re delighted to be outside again. The Buttercup yard is looking splendid bathed in Sussex sunshine. What a spectacular week to start the season. We have lots of outdoor tables here. So make the most of this beautiful weather and have an al fresco Buttercup breakfast, lunch or tea.

Whatever you do… don’t forget Mother’s Day!

Don't forget Mother's Day!

Do you remember the brilliant children’s classic Don’t Forget the Bacon! by Pat Hutchins? Just keep repeating, “Six farm eggs, a cake for tea, a pound of pears and don’t forget… Mother’s Day tea at The Buttercup this Sunday!”

Mother’s Day is this Sunday 18th March. We repeat. Mother’s Day is THIS Sunday. It is a unforgiveable offence to forget it, so make sure you book a table for a special afternoon tea here at The Buttercup.

Between 2pm and 4pm we’ll be celebrating with all you lovely Lewes mums and serving: egg, cucumber, smoked salmon & cream cheese sandwiches, scones with clotted cream & jam, victoria sponge with strawberries & cream. And pots and pots of our delicious speciality teas. Of course, our Mother’s Day afternoon tea extravaganza will be served in our special Buttercup way – vintage crockery, beautiful cake stands, elegant tea cups, fresh flowers and delicious treats.

Mother’s Day afternoon tea is £11 per person and £6 for children (Buttercup babies’ jelly special included!)

Call us on 01273 477664 or pop into the cafe to book your table.

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!

The story of a local artist: Brenda Poppy Cox

Brenda Poppy Cox

Sometimes amazing things happen in Lewes. A couple of months ago a woman stepped through the cafe door, “Do you want some art?” – a great opener to any conversation. It turned out that this surprise visitor had come to clear her mother’s home on South Street, Lewes. She had discovered a mass of her mother’s drawings, paintings and sketches that she simply didn’t have space to keep. She told us that she was on the cusp of throwing the papers away.

Zoe-Anne Wadey told us all about her mother and how she had painted and created all her life while living in Lewes. We were intrigued & moved by her life story; we encouraged Zoe to come back with whatever she couldn’t keep.

Zoe disappeared and returned an hour later wheeling an amazing, heavy old painted stove, tin watering cans and a box of sketches. A magical and utterly charming collection; everything decorated with fairies, elves and gnomes. These were the artworks of her mother, Brenda Poppy Cox.

Brenda Poppy Cox's work in The Buttercup Cafe. Photo taken from

We think most of the painted objects were made by Brenda in the 1960s & 70s; she has a child-like, naive style to her drawing and painting. Many of the pieces look like narrow boat art at first glance.

Brenda Poppy Cox lived on South Street until her death in 2004. She had always written stories and drawn but her daughter told us that Brenda had to turn down offers of formal training and a place at art school to look after her family.

We are delighted to have Brenda’s artwork on display across the cafe in The Buttercup yard at the moment thanks to the kindness of her daughter. Come and have a look at a truly local artist’s work.

Stories & Poems from The Mulberry Tree - published by Arthur H Stockwell Ltd

Brenda’s daughter also had her mother’s stories and drawings published in 2004. They are magical tales, many set around Lewes. There’s an old tree with a fairy door at its roots, a tree full of “funny little men” and it is based on the majestic Mulberry Tree in The Grange Gardens:

“To my surprise the fairies were playing hide-and-seek,
And one by one I found them upon the bark, behind the twigs, in every cranny and creek”

One story tells of a giant’s cave found by the builders of Cuifail tunnel; a cave full of giant cooking pots, chairs and beds. You’ll never look at that dull tunnel in the same way again!

We have a copy of the book (Stories & Poems from The Mulberry Tree by Brenda Poppy Cox) in the cafe. Do come and read one of the magical tales while you have a coffee.

You can see the painted stove we have on display in The Buttercup yard in the background of this photo

Did you know Brenda Poppy Cox? We’d love to know more about her and her work. Please do share with us your stories and memories.

The Buttercup Christmas Cornucopia

You can probably hear us singing at the other end of town, “Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la, la la la la. Don we now our gay apparel, Fa la la, la la la, la la la.” What genius lyrics. We’re feeling festive down here at The Buttercup and we’ll be revealing our Christmas Cornucopia to all on Thursday evening.

Handmade cloth baubles

It’s the special Lewes late night Christmas shopping event from 5.30pm till 8.30pm. So wrap up warm and as it gets dark come down to the magical Buttercup yard. We’ll be festooned in fairy lights, there’ll be music, outdoor heaters, blankets and hot water bottles.

It’s an evening of cioccolato treats;  we’ll be serving churros con chocolat, a decadent chocolate fondue, delicious hot chocolate and yummy Nutella pancakes. Oh, and I’m sure we’ll squeeze in a couple of choccie buttons too for the Buttercup babies. There’ll also be a fresh pot of seasonal winter soup on the go in the kitchen.

Ilaria's handmade lime felted scarf

There’ll be a stall of delights and handmade treasures, selling festive treats made by artists and makers who work in and around the The Buttercup yard – Laina Watt, Ilaria Gardelli, Claire Waller, Dani Lola, Simon Keizer, Sue Hartland, Anne Schulte and more.

Dani Lola has produced a series of hand printed Christmas cards, there are baubles & birds, candles & crochet, scarves & capes, charms & prints. It’s a crafted Christmas cornucopia. Kirstie Allsop would be proud of us!

Dani Lola's handcrafted, stiched & printed, christmas cards. From £1.10 each

We will also have seasonal, local fruit and veg for sale. We’ll be taking Christmas orders; we can make up produce hampers to order or bake special cakes for you. We can also deliver fresh Buttercup lunches or delicious party food for you and your family for any festive parties you have planned this month.

Christmas fabric birdies £6.00

Soyawax candles in vintage cup and saucer £6.00

Ilaria's printed stars

The Buttercup’s guide to surviving bonfire day & night in Lewes

Guy Fawkes & friends: "Come on boys, time for a piece of Biddy's pumpkin cake!"

The whole town is buzzing and we’re getting just a bit excited here in the kitchen at the Buttercup Cafe too. So here’s The Buttercup Cafe’s guide to surviving Bonfire day and night in Lewes. And yes, it does involve a lot of eating (and drinking!):

1) Start the day with a proper Buttercup bonfire breakfast from 9am. This is vital for those who are taking part in the procession or working on setting up the societies’ displays. You need stamina and our cooked breakfast is hearty and delicious. Some of those bonfire boys and girls like to start the day with a pint (or two). Our advice is just make sure to line your stomachs first!

2) Go on a mid-morning walk around all the societies’ bonfire sites. They look spectacular all set up and ready to go. Then come and have a delicious lunch here and get warm in The Buttercup Cafe. Bangers and mash will be the order of the day. Peter Richards’ award-winning Castle Sausages and Buttercup Café’s own home made vegetarian sausages. All served up with home made cannellini spicy beans and lashings of mash.

3) The excitement starts to reach fever pitch at about 3ish when the cars start to disappear from Lewes’ roads and the bangs start getting louder. Just time for a slice of Biddy’s pumpkin cake, apple tart or Amanda’s pumpkin pie with a delicious cup of coffee to keep you going.

4) Stay safe and if you want to dodge the crowds (and possible rain) then come and hang out in our two heated outdoor gazebos which we’re setting up in The Buttercup yard. We’re keeping it simple with an oven full of jacket potatoes on the go throughout the day.

5) We think a hip flask of something warming is a very good idea while your out late at night watching the spectacular firework displays. Oh, and make sure to use ear plugs! Here’s a map of procession routes and fire sites.

Wishing all Lewes a very happy, noisy, glorious and safe bonfire night. Hope to see you in your costumes in The Buttercup too!