Saturday, 3 March 2012

Cafe des Arts...

For as far back as I can remember we always bought smart shoes from Jones in Robertson Street, Hastings. Even though it was always something of an ordeal (I only ever wanted to run about in trainers) I was always slightly fascinated by the old fashioned shop with it's iron spiral staircase that went steeply down to the stock room. Your feet would be measured and they would return with whatever they had in that size and width fitting. I was fussy about shoes; invariably I hated whatever came out of that stock room.

Today the shoe shop is no more. In it's place is the most fantastic cafe. The sort of place that makes you wish you could travel the UK as a 'cafe critic'. The nicest surprise is that they have kept the interior as true to the original fittings as possible - though I didn't see any evidence of it being a shoe shop, the mahogany shelving, stain glassed windows and spiral staircase were still intact.

The best part was finding that it is run as an enterprise with autistic people. They currently have nine autistic people who work for the cafe over the 6 days a week it is open, as well as other staff. Photography by 'the wider autistic community' (as they put it) is for sale or to order. It all seems to work tremendously well. Service is a little haphazard but no-one seems to get rattled. *E* says she wishes Lincoln had one like it.

It's really worth having a look at the Cafe des Arts website under 'gallery' for far better interior shots than I managed on a busy Saturday...

...and if you are ever in Sussex I can recommend their Apple and Walnut cake. Yum.


  1. Well I must add that to my list of must sees when I journey over your way one looking forward to my long service trip!! This interests me especially as that is what I do all with Autistic kids at school and transitioning them into the workplace. :)

    1. This cafe is a shining example of what can be achieved. It's such a happy, positive environment. I feel there should be more like it.
      What rewarding work you do! J :-)