Bonfire night comes but once a year!

Buttercup Babies prepare for Bonfire: Get your best ear wear out for Lewes Bonfire!

Lewes is buzzing. Bonfire night is almost here. The excitement never wanes even if you are a serious Lewes Bonfire boy or girl who has spent their life devoted to the cause. For many Lewesians bonfire is simply better than Christmas!

Of course here at The Buttercup our focus (as always) is on food. And on bonfire day and night in Lewes you need good food to keep you going through the madness and festivities.

From 9.30am we’ll be serving a seriously good cooked breakfast. Turkish Menemen (a delicious eggs, peppers and tomatoes dish) or bangers (meatie and veggie) with red chilli sauce and our fresh ciabatta.

Plus we’ll be making chouros con chocolat all day long. Perfect with a hot chocolate or one of our glorious coffees.

Lunch will be served from midday until 3pm: bowls of hot soup with hunks of bread and plates of proper bangers and mash.

We’ll be closing at 3ish as the town turns eerily still and quiet. A brief moment of calm as the roads close before the wildness begins! Do check the Lewes Bonfire Council website for maps of procession routes, timings and advice on how to keep safe. You can also read our advice from last year’s bonfire blog post.

Here are our Buttercup staff’s top tips for Lewes Bonfire 2012:

1) “Sparkle and shine!” Connie

2) “It’s all about earmuffs! Get tickets and go to one of the societies’ bonfires and firework displays – particularly if the crowded processions in town aren’t for you. The spectacular firework displays have to be seen to be believed.” Claire

3) “Choose one side of the high street and stick to it for the night. Give up on trying to cross from one side of town to the other once the processions have begun. You’ll just get squashed!” Flora

4) “Take an unenthusiastic auntie out with you, so that she can take your kids home early when you want to stay out all night and party!” Amanda

5) “Don’t go near the precinct. That’s where the tourists go! But if you do end up there, there are bollards to stand on to get a good view” Luke

6) “Go to the church opposites Richards the Butchers at the top of the High Street and watch the procession from the grass bank there. Or head to the golf course up on the cliff for a spectacular view of the whole town and all the firework displays.” Freya

We wish all the societies a glorious bonfire night! Best of luck!


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


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:


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 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!

Lucas Hollweg cooks a feast at The Buttercup Cafe

Lucas gets to work in The Buttercup kitchen

Last night we handed over the controls, frying pans and oven gloves to Lucas Hollweg. Lucas is The Sunday Times’ resident food writer whose lovely cookbook Good Things to Eat was published earlier this year. He came to The Buttercup Cafe to cook for twenty lucky eaters; a menu of good food using great local produce.

The cafe was lit up on a cold autumn night and as one guest said, “ooh, it looks like Narnia!”. Lucas (and his ukulele!) cooked away, chatted about his recipes, his ideas about good cooking and the food he loves. It was an amazing chance to see up-close a cook at work and watch his cookbook come alive in our kitchen. A pretty special evening celebrating the end of another inspiring Lewes OctoberFeast.

Lucas' Good Things to Eat

Here is Lucas’ delicious menu for The Buttercup Cafe, using fish from Lewes’ Terry’s Fisheries in The Riverside, Barcombe Nurseries’ organic vegetables and meat from Boathouse Organics:

Squash and five-spice soup
Newhaven Plaice ceviche
Beef carpaccio with dill and mustard
Lamb meatballs with salted yoghurt
Chard and Feta
Quince and almond tart

Fingers crossed Lucas will return next year. We’ll let you know soon as we hear anything.

p.s. You can borrow Lucas’ cookbook from Lewes library.

A cosy night in at The Buttercup Cafe