"Would you mind if I shared your table?" the woman asked two women.
"I'm sorry, but we're having a private conversation about work," said the younger of the two women dismissively.
|Ham and cheese sandwich with salad....|
I felt like getting involved, but decided to keep out of it. The rejected woman stood around for a few awkward minutes and then left the tearooms and stood outside cooling off. Now, I know one thing. Had I been asked the same question by the same woman I would have welcomed her with open arms, but my table only just seated two.
My lunch companion ordered a savoury scone with cheese and onion marmalade. I ordered a cheese and ham sandwich on brown bread, served with a richly colourful salad. We ordered a pot of tea for two and when it all arrived it was wonderful. The cheese and ham sandwich was perfect and the scone, I was told, was also pretty damn good. And let's not forget the tea. It was perfect too.
The Steyning Tearooms offer a wide variety of different foodstuffs, but it's not cheap. A ploughman's lunch would set you back £8.10 and if you wanted one with cheese and ham, it would cost you £9.10. A warm local bacon and goat's cheese salad was £8.10, a smoked salmon and crayfish salad was the same price and a wide range of sandwiches, like mine, would cost anything between £5.10 and £6.95 (for crayfish mayonnaise, mature Cheddar and bacon). My cheese and ham sandwich was £5.65.
|Scone with cheese and onion marmalade...|
The Steyning Tearooms, however, is famed for its 'famous scones'. Despite their fame, they're not pricey in the slightest, the most expensive being the one ordered by my wife – cheese and apple served warm with butter, cream cheese and onion marmalade (£3.80). The second most expensive scone was a plain or fruit version served warm with jam and Roddas Cornish clotted cream (£3.60).
Afternoon tea with a scone or cake is £10.95 or £11.95 if you want both a scone AND a cake.
Daily blackboard lunch specials are also available – and looked very tasty, I can tell you.
Our bill was just over £13 and it's worth remembering that credit and debit cards are NOT accepted here. Not that it presents too many problems as there's a cashpoint machine a short walk from the teashop.
This is a great place and we will return – but only if we get a seat.