Diana Henry is coming to The Buttercup!

Yes it’s really true. Our favourite food writer is coming to The Buttercup Cafe. We are delighted to announce we’ll be hosting An evening with Diana Henry at The Buttercup in Lewes on Friday 26th October.

Diana’s new book

Diana Henry was named ‘Cookery Writer of the Year’ by The Guild of Food Writers in 2009 and in 2007 for her column in the Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine. In addition to writing a weekly column for Stella, Diana is the author of several cookbooks including ‘Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons’, ‘Cook Simple’, ‘Roast Figs, Sugar Snow’ and our absolute favourite – ‘Food From Plenty’.

Diana is loved and respected by many great cooks and food writers. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall described her writing, “Diana Henry’s passion is infectious and her recipes tantalising”. Diana’s book Food from Plenty inspired Claire when she first opened The Buttercup Cafe. It was Billie from Lewes’ Leadbetter & Good who first introduced us to Diana’s work. We’ve been great fans ever since.

A brilliant cookbook: Diana Henry’s Food from Plenty

Diana will be at The Buttercup on Friday 26th October from 7pm to 8pm to introduce her new book, Salt Sugar Smoke, giving guests a few tasters, sharing top tips and taking any questions.

She’ll be signing books too. Following this Claire is cooking a three course meal using Diana’s recipes – including Turkish lamb kofta with cherries and yogurt, Moroccan seven-vegetable couscous, Warm barley roast squash and chilli salad, Blood orange and cardamon jellies, Wine soaked autumn pudding and more!

It promises to be a very special evening. Tickets cost £30 per person. Call us on 01273 477664 or pop into the cafe to book your table.

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Our flower lady

The last colour of Summer

We’ve had a fantastic season of edible flowers and locally grown cut flowers. Marigolds, nasturtiums, borage and herbs. All thanks to Erika our local flower lady who never ceases to make us gasp with her baskets of flowers. Too beautiful. We’re also delighted to be selling Erika’s bio-dynamic planting calendars which were a real hit last year as an alternative Christmas present. And yes, that was our first mention of Christmas!

The Buttercup Cafe flower lady

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

Rowan Hannay Exhibition at The Buttercup

Detail from Rowan Hannay artwork on show at The Buttercup Cafe in Lewes

We have a new exhibition in the cafe. Rowan Hannay is a Lewes artist who creates evocative mixed media paintings and sketches depicting familiar Brighton streets and Sussex seaside scenes. They are stunning.

Powis Square (pen and ink) by Rowan Hannay http://www.rowanhannay.com

Rowan describes his work: “Whatever the location I am especially interested in texture, colour and layers. Fascinated visually by decaying structures in the landscape and by using a wide range of drawing, painting, spraying and abrasive techniques I create mixed media abstract paintings. Working either on location or at my studio.”

Rowan Hannay shoreline paintings

We hope you like the pictures as much as we do. Come and have an ice cold glass of our sparkling elderflower cordial and check out Rowan’s work for yourself. His exhibition will be on display in our cool, shady downstairs space and upstairs in the cafe kitchen until the end of August. You can find out more about Rowan at www.rowanhannay.com

Cool corner downstairs at The Buttercup. Walls adorned with Rowan Hannay artwork.

A beautiful Buttercup wedding

We hosted our first wedding in our new Buttercup basement dining room on Saturday.

The tables were laid for 53 guests for a candlelit afternoon wedding party. We were so pleased to celebrate such a special event with John and Lisa from Lewes. They were married in Vegas and celebrated with their friends and family here at The Buttercup.

The Wedding Party

The bride and groom’s guests ate sumac, lemon and pine nut, slow roasted supreme of chicken, beetroot and feta wholemeal quiche, broccoli with Stilton, roasted hazelnuts, tomato and honey and mustard dressing, Syrian fatoush, smoked paprika roasted summer vegetables cous cous and more.

A colourful wedding feast

We served fresh fruit Pavlova with fruit coulis, chocolate mousse and lemon syllabub for dessert.

Claire creating delicious summer fruit desserts

Chocolate mousse and lemon syllabub

We had a wonderful time. We do love a wedding!

Our brilliant Buttercup staff

Buttercup wedding flowers

Colour

So as we’ve all noticed this summer has been a little damp and grey so far. But fear not.  The sun is always shining in The Buttercup! Our food and cafe is inspired by colour. Naturally colourful food that feeds your soul in a bright, creative place which makes you feel joyful (whatever the English weather may throw at us).

At this time of year our kitchen is full of nasturtiums and edible flowers from a garden in Firle, leafy fresh greens and herbs from local Fletching Glasshouses, incredible bunches of fennel, sacks of broad beans and freshly picked local veg from Fin & Farm.

Here is a rainbow of colours from around The Buttercup this week:

 

Stitched Fish

We do love a bit of crochet here at The Buttercup Cafe in Lewes. You’ll have seen the colourful knitted flowers around the cafe recently and our beloved knitted blankets around the yard. Our great friends at Field & Fork in Chichester have a fantastic exhibition at the moment by Sussex crochet artist Kate Jenkins. Based in Brighton, she creates brilliant and very funny artworks. They really are worth a look at up-close to see the intricacy of her amazing crochet work. The exhibition called Stitched Fish is on the walls of Field & Fork until 7th October; the restaurant is inside Pallant House Gallery in Chichester. Delicious food and great artwork. Well worth a visit.

Red Mullet, Chips and Peas 2012 by Kate Jenkins (Crocheted lambswools/sequins) part of Stitched Fish exhibition at Field & Fork, Chichester
Picture taken from http://www.cardigan.ltd.uk

 

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 at Elderflower Fields Festival 2012

What a weekend! What a festival! We’re back from the first Elderflower Fields Festival on Bentley estate, near Lewes. We feel like we’ve been on holiday. We may be exhausted but we had a wonderful time. It was magical.

The Buttercup’s woodland cafe at Elderflower Fields 2012

The sun shone and everyone danced and made merry all weekend. This was a truly family friendly festival and it was lovely to see so many of our friends and customers in our woodland cafe. Our Buttercup festival cafe was hidden in the woods beside the acoustic tent. We had plenty of shade, a spectacular view over Sussex fields and great music. We brought our hula hoops (of course!) and served cake, tea, real coffee, ice-cold freshly squeezed juice and smoothies. Kids played while parents lolled on the straw bales under our shady sails.

The Buttercup Cafe in festival mood

Our mini sweet shop was a big hit with the face painted festival kids. And all hail our friends at the brilliant Rye Bay Coffee Company for helping us to set up a proper coffee machine in the woods.

We loved dancing under the glitter ball in the Vinyl Thursday yurt and giggled at the woodland silent disco dancers. We saw our Peter give a fantastic performance on the main stage with Ska Toons, our Zoe Brownrigg was wonderful in the acoustic tent and so exciting to see our Jasper returned from his travels and appearing on the main stage with The Ouse Valley Three.

Magical

We’d also like to say a big thank you to Nigel and his lovely team who organised Elderflower fields Festival – always calm, helpful and charming throughout the whole festival. It was lovely to work with you.

We brought our crochet with us of course!

The Buttercup team deserve a special mention too for their hard work, smiles and stamina – keeping going all weekend on very little sleep! Well done Claire, Megan, Simon, Camilla, Amanda, Harvey and Geoff.

Festival Claire

Cool Camilla

Super Simon and Marvellous Megan

Amazing Amanda

We’re off for a much needed nap now. Can’t wait for more festival fun next year. And if you didn’t make it this year, make sure you buy tickets for 2013!