Friday, 25 April 2014

Hanushka Coffee House, George Street, Hastings, East Sussex

The Hanushka Coffee House, George Street, Hastings – amazing!
The first thing that attracted me to the Hanushka Coffee House was that model yacht you can see in the window on the right, although I must say I was already enjoying the mildly bohemian delights of George Street, Hastings.

My tea and you can see the biscuit wrapper too. Lovely!
This place is a cut above your average seaside tearoom or coffee house. It has a bit of class and a load of books adorning the walls inside. This is an arty sort of place with a serving counter at the far end and the pleasant sound of jazzy music. I loved it because it was full of Hastings' literary types. For all I know, the author Christopher Priest, who wrote The Prestige and Inverted World to name just two of his novels, pops in for a cuppa when writer's block kicks in, it's that sort of place and there's a more well-to-do clientele than you might expect, considering that Hastings is, well, it's a bit run down here and there, although, in reality, it's a proper seaside town.

Inspired by what I was experiencing, I made a few notes about the place on my iphone. "And then in Hastings we found a wonderful coffee shop full of books and round wooden tables. Jazz played softly in the background and I found a copy of Steven Berkoff's A Prisoner in Rio.

"The menu on the blackboard at the rear offered coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol. We ordered tea and apple juice and I spied cakes of all sorts for sale, not forgetting savoury items such as panini breads with various fillings.

"My tea was accompanied by a small biscuit to stave off my hunger ahead of the drive home. This really was the place to chill out and there's no way that its ambience could ever be replicated by, say, a Costa, Starbucks or Caffé Nero.

"We sat on one of two red sofas and I didn't want to leave."

Mrs Burton's Tearooms, Battle, East Sussex – is this the best ever Victoria sponge cake?

Well, here's a challenge to tearooms and cafés around the world: who can make the best Victoria sponge cake?
This is the best Victoria sponge cake in the world – or is it? You decide!
On a recent visit to the East Sussex coast, I dropped in on Mrs Burton's Tearooms in Battle for a pot of tea and some cake. While I didn't order any cake myself, I had a fair chunk of my daughter's Victoria sponge cake and can honestly say that it was the best one I've ever tasted.
Now that's what I call tea for one...
First, it was a fair size – hence my getting involved in the eating process – but once I'd sampled a bit I wanted more and more. I almost ordered one for myself, but managed to resist.

Why was it so amazing? Size for a start. It was a huge slab of sponge cake. But I think the winning ingredient was the icing in the centre. Whatever it was, this, in my opinion, was the best Victoria sponge cake I'd ever tasted so if you're in the Battle area, pop in to this excellent, traditional tearoom which, in addition to offering the best Victoria sponge cake in the country (if not the world) also offers the usual quaint stuff you might expect from a top notch tearoom.
Mrs Burton's Tearooms in Battle, East Sussex
Pleasant, fast and efficient service and right next door to the abbey where, apparently, King Harold fell when William the Conqueror invaded the country.