By Lewes Nibbler from Viva Lewes magazine
Lewes is a great place for foodies. The idea for the Viva Nibbler column came about five years or so ago. It’s so much easier to be nosey about things in a small town if you go about your business unnoticed. Viva Lewes have always a policy of never accepting free review meals, or warning pubs or restaurants that we’re coming. We feel it’s the only way to report back honestly. But even under a cloak of anonymity, it’s tricky to photograph a plate of food without being spotted.
As the Nibbler, I keep an eye on local suppliers, food shops, market stalls, restaurants and cafés, reporting what’s new on Twitter or in my monthly column.
These days, there are more pizza restaurants and coffee shops in Lewes than you can shake a cantuccini biscuit at, but when I first moved here twenty years ago, there were no pizza chains, and only the Riverside Sandwich Bar had an espresso machine. Richard’s butchers, Terry’s fishmonger in the Riverside and Famiglia Lazzati are terrific, long standing businesses with a loyal customer base. Then we’ve got the magnificent Harveys of course, wafting the scene of hops around Clifffe. During the last couple of decades, Lewes has witnessed a foodie revival of a number of pubs, such as the Snowdrop, the Pelham Arms and the Swan, seen the huge success and expansion of Bill’s and the exciting arrival of Flint Owl and Cheese Please. There’s also been the sad departure of Swanborough Nurseries and Vera’s lovely greengrocers on Western Road.
Then there have been the developments of the regular Farmers’ Market on the precinct and the weekly Friday Food Market in Market Tower featuring many terrific local producers and interesting food products, from gluten free cakes to dim sum.
And the fact that the town has so far sustained for five years an annual celebration of all good things to eat and drink, the OctoberFeast is definitely cause for foodies to cheer.
Follow Lewes Nibbler on Twitter @LewesNibbler