Last weekend was the first time in ages that me and Dave manged to get out on the bike together for some proper riding. After doing the shopping with the bike for the first time – a tense trip, as we hoped our small shopping list would fit into the top box, and it only just did – we planned to drive down to Eastbourne as Shaws Harley Davidson dealer was having a bit of a birthday celebration. We also very rarely go east when we’re out on a ride, normally we head towards the New Forest, or up around Surrey, so it was good to see a change of scenery, especially as there is the rest of the South Downs that way, and the beautiful English coastline.
We took the main road towards Newhaven, but came down to the coast there and rode along through Seaford and towards Seven Sisters and Friston Forest. I used to come here all the time when I was younger, and me and Dave came here last year on the way to stay in Rye for a few days, and as we rode over the rise of the hill leading down into the valley, we were reminded once more that we need to get down here more often. Friston Forest sits at the head of the valley, whilst the river through the valley wound its way beautifully down to the sea. The rolling hills of the Downs against the start of the Seven Sisters cliffs make for a stunning contrast of landscapes, so that the area is constantly changing and no two visits are ever the same.
Incidentally, Dave was telling me that there are talk of plans to re-flood the area – in WW2, the valley was set up as a dummy for Newhaven, so had to be transformed from a flood plane into a valley with a winding river, enough to resemble the harbour a few miles away and trick the German bombers. Now, the plan is to let nature retake the area, presumably to lower maintenance costs to keep the river as it is at present. Whilst that makes sense, it does seem a shame to remove so much walking space, as well as the many pill boxes from the war that are little praised as it is. Last time we went there me and Dave sat atop one of these pill boxes and ate homemade pasties in the bitter October wind, but it was a wonderful walk. On the flip side, it would bring back a lot of wetlands area, so it’s a matter of 6 of one, half a dozen of the other I guess.
Anyway, we didn’t stop here today, but instead continued towards Eastbourne. Taking the road that leads directly to the seafront instead of the town centre, we were met by a very brisk wind screeching across to Beachy Head, making me long for our destination and a good cup of tea! We found the dealer’s venue in a theatre just off the sea front, and after having a bit of a wander, decided the event wasn’t for us. It was around lunch time, and on the way out we were debating about heading home for lunch, or trying to find somewhere in Eastbourne, when we stepped out of the theatre and our question was answered for us. Opposite the theatre was a gorgeous art deco fronted cafe diner, quite big for this type of thing, and we were instantly drawn to it. The misted windows spoke of yummy hot food as well as a busy environment always helpful when choosing somewhere new to eat. I loved the monochrome and gold highlighting in the letters, the fronting was just absolutely gorgeous and succeeded in its mission to invite us in to Favoloso.
The inside was a retro/vintage wonderland – I say this, because it was a real mix of art deco mirrors, monochrome, fans and luxury, mixed with the retro golden years of an all American diner, with giant milkshakes included! We ordered our lunch (unfortunately I had to go with the good old cup of tea – I’ll have to come back in the summer and enjoy one of those amazing milkshakes!) and our hopes that the food was as lovely as our surroundings were met spectacularly! I had a salmon and cucumber baguette, where there was actually more meat than the veg which is an unusual surprise! Dave’s tuna melt was delicious I am informed, as was his beautiful strawberry milkshake. We saw kids all around us eating wonderful looking ice creams – the place had such a happy, family atmosphere to it, but there were people from all ages and backgrounds in the cafe. It was a place that just makes you happy to be there.
So now we have the perfect excuse to head east on our ride outs now!
The Vintage Housewife x