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

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 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!

So what is under The Buttercup trap door?

A whole new world hidden under The Buttercup trap doors

All has been revealed! As many of our lovely customers know, we’ve been busy working on opening up a new space with more tables here at The Buttercup Cafe. Well, at last, we have opened the trap door and our new downstairs room is open.

In the unlikely event of a rainy day during the summer (!) or when the outdoor courtyard tables are full, we now have two cosy sofas and plenty more tables downstairs. We’ll be adding more delights to the new space in coming weeks, making it into a Buttercup kind of a place with colour, fairy lights, favourite books, a crochet blanket or two, vintage finds and great artwork.

The new room is available to rent for private dinner parties in the evenings and for special events and meetings. We’ve already hosted a banquet for 28 people, a birthday dinner party, a clothes sale and a children’s baking party. Do pop in to the cafe and ask Claire if you’d like to know more.

The old brick stairs – take any book home & leave a small charity donation

Look who we found living in The Buttercup basement – all looking for new homes!

Watch this space!

Downstairs at The Buttercup Cafe

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 www.lyndseysmith.co.uk

The Buttercup Cafe is coming to Elderflower Fields

Forget Woodstock. Forget The Summer of Love. Get your tickets to Elderflower Fields where The Buttercup Cafe will be creating an oasis of calm and charm for all the happy campers and festival-goers. Elderflower Fields is a lovely new festival for all the family happening just outside Lewes on 25th to 27th May 2012.

The Buttercup Cafe will be appearing at Elderflower Fields 2012

We’re creating an outdoor cafe serving delicious teas, our homemade cakes, fresh lemonade and our best coffee. When we haven’t got our pinnies on we’re planning to try out the woodland healing huts, do our best dancing to our favourite Ska Toons, watching our Jasper play with the brilliant Ouse Valley Three and embarrass ourselves at the outdoor family zumba class. Now all we need is a bit of sunshine! Hope to see you all there.