For March’s lunch review, Sussex Business Times’ Jess Saunders and Amy Watson took to the coastal town of Seaford to enjoy lunch at The Front Room
Located in the heart of Seaford town, The Front Room posed the perfect setting for lunch on a crisp afternoon lunch. In amongst all that the coast of Seaford has to offer – with the seafront and train station just a short distance away and the rest of the high street’s shops right next door, The Front Room really is the perfect venue for a quick lunchtime bite. Front Room is a family owned and run Coffee House and Tapas Restaurant. The building dates back to 1896 and once upon a time Front Room would have been just that, which is what has formed the basis of their hospitality philosophy, and they strive to make visitors feel as relaxed in their company as they would in their own homes.
Their coffee is provided by Ozone Coffee Roasters and The Front Room pride themselves on bringing their refined artisan style coffee, prevalent in locations around the world such as Australia and New Zealand, to the Sussex coast. With a mission to source the finest quality ingredients, The Front Room also specialise in outside catering, from mobile and TV & film location shoot catering to weddings and event catering across the East Sussex region. Not only this, but this café and restaurant goes that one step further and is available for sole hire for wedding receptions and other occasions.
Considering the location of The Front Room and the time of day we were visiting, finding a parking space almost right outside was surprisingly easy. The Front Room’s exterior is very under-powering, and it’s almost hidden in amongst the long row of premises. For a café located in the midst of the town centre, I wasn’t expecting anything huge, but I have to say, it was a lot smaller than originally expected – intimate and cosy, though. There were a fair amount of tables inside considering the fact that we turned up just after lunch hour. It boasts quite a quirky design, incorporating bright colours into the furniture and accessories, with vibrant images placed carefully on the walls. The whole building was well lit, ceiling lights throughout and a large front window. The counter sported a range of cakes, and nearby shelves held a range of bottled beverages.
On arrival we were greeted at the counter by the friendly staff and shown immediately to the best seat in the house – the window seat where we could watch the world go by whilst devouring a first-class lunch. It wasn’t before long that the same waitress came to our table to present us with two menus – one for food and one for beverages. After a few brief minutes, and maybe slightly too premature, the owner – who made us feel very welcome – returned to our table to take our orders. Drink-wise, I went for the hot chocolate, while Amy opted for a pot of English Breakfast tea. The staff took the liberty of serving my hot chocolate with marshmallows, which was a nice touch.
The Front Room boasts six weekly menus; Breakfast Menu from 9-11am, Lunch Menu from 11:45am–3pm, Afternoon at The Front Room 3-4:30pm, Supper 3:30-6:30pm, Tapas Inspired Menu from 6:30pm every day and Sunday Roasts 12:30-6:30pm. Of course, turning up at 2:30pm on a Monday afternoon meant that we turned straight to the Lunchtime Menu. Taking full advantage of the plentiful menu, and after not much deliberation at all, I opted for The Front Room Chicken Club Sandwich, served with potato wedges and salad, while – after an explanation by the attentive staff on what was included in the dish – Amy decided on the Homemade Tart, consisting of potato, onion and Cheddar.
The food arrived at our table in a very timely fashion and looked incredible, presented to perfection. I’m sure there’s only a number of ways in which you can make a sandwich look so appetising, but The Front Room have this down to a tee. The Front Room Chicken Club Sandwich was what can only be described as huge – three layers of bread and overflowing with succulent fillings. The bread was perfectly toasted, and inside was sliced tomatoes, bacon (which was also cooked to perfection), chicken and a Rocket lettuce. Served on the side was a tower of crisp potato wedges, a Rocket lettuce salad drizzled with Honey and Mustard dressing and mayonnaise – the perfect complement. Amy’s Homemade Tart also looked delicious, and it was clear to see that the staff at The Front Room pride themselves on the presentation of their dishes. Also served with potato wedges and a side salad, this dish was rich with flavour. My only critique would be that both lunches were slightly too big, but unless you’re not being provided with enough food, you can’t really complain, can you?
If you’re looking for a cosy and intimate lunch this summer in the heart of the hustle and bustle of Seaford town, with quick service and varied menus, then The Front Room is definitely your place!
The Front Room,
42 High St,