Sunday, 19 July 2009

The Lobster Pot – open from 8am to 6pm as a café and now open at night too!

Photographs from the top: the view looking out of the Lobster Pot from where we were seated; table 24 and our Heinz Tomato Ketchup and HP Sauce; the Lobster Pot's ice cream cart (but it wasn't in action); the sign pronouncing 8am to 8pm opening; and an exterior shot of the famous Lobster Pot itself.

Would you drive a round trip of 120 miles to visit a caff? No, nor would I, but, having said that, my favourite all time caff –The Lobster Pot on the beach at Felpham in West Sussex – (a stone's throw from Bognor Regis) is worth the journey if you throw in a walk on the beach.

For me, Felpham holds many tremendously good childhood memories of the times when mum and dad rented a house right on the beach, yes, right on the beach, and we spent a fortnight having fun in our inflatable boats and generally enjoying a fantastic British seaside holiday. We would walk along the promenade to what was then called Perdido's for a lemonade and a biscuit or some fish & chips (crinkle cut), and the whole experience has stuck with me ever since. 

Now I have kids of my own, whenever the sun shines – and some times when it doesn't – we jump in the car and drive to Felpham, have a cup of tea and something to eat in the Lobster Pot and then go for a bracing walk on the beach. We return some time later and nip back in for a cup of tea before the journey home.

The Lobster Pot is a caff to be reckoned with; it's always jam-packed with people and it is right on the beach. I suspect that it has new management as the larger-than-life lady who is normally there seems to have gone. This is sad news as the teenage girls employed as waitresses probably need somebody like her to keep them in check. Not that any of them have ever shown signs of slacking during our numerous visits. 

The Lobster Pot is always busy. There are tables outside as well as in, and a constant stream of people queue to order their food. It's a caff, which means you can get stuff like apple pie and custard, treacle sponge, sausage, egg and chips, sandwiches, jackets, you name it.

We ordered scrambled egg on toast with beans and tomatoes, a sausage sandwich, toasted teacake, chicken nuggets and chips (McCain's, I hope) plus tea and milkshakes. The sausage sandwich was delightful as the quality of the sausage had definitely gone up a notch – I think it might have been a Cumberland! My wife said she wasn't happy with her scrambled eggs, much to my annoyance, but I tasted it and it was fine. Serena, our daughter, never complains when she's in a caff – she takes after her dad – so all was well with her chicken nuggets and chips.

Needless to say there was plenty of Heinz Tomato Ketchup and HP Sauce at hand to add that little something to the food. I had loads of HP on my sausage sandwich and yes, I could easily have eaten another!

The Lobster Pot is now open daily at 8am until 6pm as a café, according to owner Tom Barnes and from 6pm to 11pm from Tuesday to Saturday. Last orders are at 9pm.

I can't think of anything better than a full English breakfast followed by a walk on the beach. They also have their own ice cream cart (see photograph above) to complement the selection of hard scoop ice cream available in the caff. We ordered one chocolate and two Oriental Ginger cones and then headed off for the beach. 

The Lobster Pot is up there with the best Britain can offer in terms of caffs. There is another excellent place in Littlehampton, a few miles east of Felpham. It's called The Riverside Restaurant (think Gingham tablecloths and those tomato shaped sauce dispensers) and it will be reviewed here shortly I hope. In the meantime, if you're anywhere near Felpham, West Sussex, get yourself down to The Lobster Pot, you won't regret it.

They used to have a really good painting of all the world's leaders standing outside The Lobster Pot. If the larger than life lady has left, it's possible that the painting has gone too as it wasn't there yesterday when we paid our visit. Needless to say the world's leaders haven't been to the Lobster Pot, although I did see Caron Keating in their once, God rest her soul, and when we went to nearby Middleton-on-Sea as kids, the late Leslie Crowther used to go there too.


  1. What a nice site this is. Congratulations. (But beware, if you 'preview' your posting and hit the 'back space' button before hitting 'edit' you will lose your entire posting. This is my third attempt).

    The Lobster Pot is indeed under new management. Although I too miss the larger-than-life lady, the new owners have raised standards a notch or two. The great fish and chips remain and are supplemented by more imaginative offerings. Even the cakes and coffee seem better.

    The newspapers have improved and out on the patio, new sunshades have been introduced.

    The new owners are venturing into evening meals and first reports are very promising.

    Good luck to them!

  2. Yes, the Lobster Pot has improved immensely. They are now offering free range eggs and chicken and better quality food overall. The coffee is indeed better since they have fixed/replaced the coffee bean grinder which had been broken for several years. They are also buying the best coffee beans that are available from their supplier.

    My wife and I have been there several times for the evening meal and have never been disappointed. The meals offered are being prepared by a chef that is indeed a fine cook. The prices are reasonable and the service is superb.

    I recommend this cafe highly and due hope that it proves a success as the owners are going all out in making continuing improvements. Good luck to Tom and Sam!

  3. I agree that the new owners have improved the Lobster Pot from the previous owners attempts but beg to differ with Rennie because I know for a fact that the Larger than Life Lady who had the cafe for nearly 18 years had her coffee grinder and coffee machine serviced every year without fail. She always used the best quality beans and in fact the best of everything. I think that the people who bought the cafe from her in 2007 stopped having the equipment serviced and the high standards the cafe always had, slipped. At least when she had it you did not have to wait ages for your food. Recently I had to wait nearly an hour for a sandwich.Get your daytime kitchen timings sorted new owners or people will stop coming! Apart for the timing issues and the fact the staff seem to have trouble clearing the tables the food is very good, keep it up; new ideas are always a good thing but its a happy customer that will come back.

  4. Went to the Lobster Pot for a Coffee on 1st Jan. Very busy as it was such a lovely day. Sat outside - 15 of us in total having walked from Middleton.

  5. Hi to you all and thanks so much for commenting on my blog. I love the Lobster Pot, it's one of those places that holds a lot of childhood memories and I still go there quite a bit. I miss the larger than life lady and agree with Leopold that standards have slipped a bit, mainly on table clearing and the time one has to wait for food after ordering, but other than that, well, what can I say, I've eaten in some of the world's best restaurant but if anybody asked me the name of my favourite restaurant, I think it would have to be The Lobster Pot. I just love Felpham if the truth be known. Thanks again for all who commented.

  6. Went to the Lobster Pot in August 2007 and thoroughly enjoyed it and recommended it to everyone I saw.
    Have just returned from a holiday in Felpham again and tried to eat there one evening but,other than a young waiter being friendly,we werent made to feel welcome or helped with my sons wheelchair or seating so decided to go back the next day.
    On arriving it started raining and we were almost 'pushed' aside by this snooty couple who took the easiest table for us to sit on by the door so we struggled to get the wheelchair into the cafe to another table which was really awkward.Not ONE of the staff helped us or offered help and other customers whispered and tutted and made us feel so uncomfortable that we left.
    I would give the Lobster Pot 1 star just because of our 2007 visit there but if you are disabled or have any special needs avoid like the plague as you are made to feel most unwelcome.

  7. We love the Lobster Pot too - in fact, my mum loves it so much that she bought a flat in the property next door! We had dinner there on Saturday and just had a fabulous time - the food was great and they were kind and accommodating with our kids too. Tom and the gang do a grand job - long may this great institution continue!

    1. Thanks for your comment on the Lobster Pot and yes, like you, I hope it continues. I haven't been down there this year (yet) but will do soon.

  8. Used to work there really enjoyable. Great food one of the best places I've ever worked until right nr the end. Lots of ppl ill never forget great food. Shame about the ending. Best bet in bonor probs

  9. I think the trick here is to not make everything colourful. Although some of these get away with it.