Saturday, 29 August 2015

Fika tea rooms, Lindfield, Sussex – a lack of happiness?

Fika tea room, Lindfield, Sussex
Spying a decent teashop or caff is one of my chief occupations when out and about, but very often I'm disappointed by the outcome. Readers of this blog will know that my recent jaunt to Littlehampton in West Sussex found me a little annoyed by the Moorings Tearooms for not clearing the tables once they were vacated. Now, in Lindfield near Haywards Heath in Sussex, I find myself in Fika, a strange name for a teashop, but a teashop it is and, at first glance, it's alright. There are coastally themed paintings on the walls and resting on a staircase leading to nowhere; there are two huge windows looking out on the main street running through this quaint little village (or is it a town?) and there's a rug on the floor.

On arrival there was a red-headed woman and a man, who I think was some kind of artist, a painter perhaps, and possibly even the man behind the coastal paintings adorning the walls, who knows? We were later joined by a big-boned lady with a pushchair carrying a young girl of possibly two years old and they were later joined by a man and a woman and were followed by what might have been a mother and daughter – 11 of us in total, but something was missing and it was atmosphere. Oddly, while there was plenty of potential, there was nothing 'quaint' about Fika. It was a little gloomy if I'm honest and the waiting staff were to blame; they were miles too downbeat. I think the place lacked a feminine touch, it needed waitresses, but it only had men in black who seemed a bit miserable. One of them finished off his brief conversation with the woman and baby with 'no worries' but said in miserable way, not in the Australian 'no worries, mate' manner.

A nice cup of tea, but the place lacked happiness

There was some nice-looking fruit cake, but little else on display and, well, what can I say? My companions ordered milkshakes and I ordered a pot of tea, which arrived in mis-matching crockery (this is not to be discouraged, by the way, as I like mis-matching everything: crockery, cutlery, furniture, as it brings with it a certain quirkiness. Tea was a bag in a multi-coloured pot with a quaint cup and saucer. The bill was £8 (or thereabouts). I'll admit that I fancied some of that fruit cake, but having scoffed a chicken and mushroom pie and, for 'dessert' a cherry Bakewell while sitting on a bench in the rain, I felt I'd better leave it alone.

In addition to the paintings there was a small display of Teapigs tea, which I assume meant that it was possible to buy Teapigs tea from Fika.

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