“ Address: 4 Cooden Sea Road / Little Common / Bexhill-on-Sea TN39 4SJ / East Sussex „
I lived in Little Common in Bexhill for a couple of months earlier this year and one of my favourite places to go to eat and relax was Bibby's tea room. I was immediately attracted to Bibby's because it just seemed so traditional and quaint. When I first moved to Little Common I loved the idea of being in a small village and the tea room just seemed to be the cherry on top (the novelty of living somewhere so small soon wore off but my enjoyment of Bibby's didn't).
When I entered Bibby's it was exactly how I imagined a village tearoom. The décor is just so classic and although in places it was slightly worn it just had a lovely feel to it. Although it does look traditional this doesn't take away from the comfort and I found that all of the chairs that I used were very comfortable. Bibby's tends to have a very relaxed atmosphere. I think this is in part because it tends to cater for the people living in Little Common, many of who are retired so it never feels like people are in a rush there. This was one of the things that I liked about it. It's a world away from the city café's that I'm used to, where someone will push in front of you if you don't pay your bill quickly enough. Bibby's is small and what I particularly like is that there aren't loads of tables crammed in wherever possible, instead I always felt that wherever I sat I would have adequate space and privacy. I was disappointed at the lack of accessibility for people with impaired mobility. Little Common does have a lot of older people with mobility problems and I just expected there to be less steps and perhaps more space for wheelchair users. But I guess you can only do what you can with the space that you've got.
The majority of the time when I visited Bibby's there were two people working, one
seemed to be the owner. Service is where Bibby's is truly exceptional. I always felt like staff had time for me. Nothing ever felt rushed or too much trouble for the staff. I was always greeted with a smile, served my food with a smile and bid farewell with a smile (and almost without fail they would say goodbye to me as I left). I guess the only thing that wasn't great about the service was that it was quite slow. I would find that I had to wait a long time between ordering my food and actually getting it. With the food it seemed like they were making it fresh but I also had to wait a while for drinks. I guess I can't complain about waiting though when I did like the relaxed atmosphere and although in any other place the slow service would have bothered me I found that it didn't in Bibby's.
==Food and Drink==
Sometimes when I visited Bibby's I would go for lunch or afternoon tea, other times just for something to drink. The selection of drinks at Bibby's is pretty good but I always tend to order the same drinks anyway. Their latte's weren't quite to my taste, I tend to like my latte's very milky with only a little bit of espresso and I found that the latte's at Bibby's were slightly stronger than I preferred but with a bit of sugar they tasted nice enough. In terms of cold drinks I always found that there was a good selection of soft drinks or juices and the milkshakes are absolutely delicious. They're made with real ice cream so I tended to only get one when I was feeling stressed or as a treat because I imagine the calories are really high. For a tearoom I was disappointed by the choice of tea. When I visited you could get the usual English breakfast tea and earl grey but the selection of herbal and fruit teas was very limited. In the past when I have gone to places that are specifically about tea I found that there was always a huge selection of teas, even different types of English breakfast tea but Bibby's just doesn't have this. I always got the feeling that they just used the label of tea room when in fact Bibby's is just a café that serves cream teas (and even then not always).
Bibby's does do main meals and these are usually listed on the specials board, although I never really saw much variety. Unfortunately they don't tend to do vegetarian main meals. I don't think that I saw a single vegetarian meal in all the times that I visited, although I could be wrong as generally I did just order food from the menu. I had a moment of weakness once when I ordered a shepherds pie (or it could have been a cottage pie) and it was lovely. The portion sizes aren't huge but they are big enough for a light lunch time meal. It tasted like it was home made and it had so much flavour.
I did of course sample the cream tea on more than one occasion. I was disappointed a couple of times when I ordered a cream tea and was told that they hadn't made any scones that morning. I was surprised that preparing a cream tea wasn't considered priority in a tea room but like I said, I think Bibby's more uses the title of tea room than actually is one. I always ordered the luxury cream tea which was tea for one with a fruit scone, clotted cream, jam, butter, strawberries and sandwiches. I thought the strawberries were a nice addition to what is otherwise a very ordinary cream tea. That's not to say that it wasn't a tasty cream tea. I love cream tea and it tasted exactly like one should. At £5.90 it was very reasonably priced. The scones were always baked fresh that day and they always tasted like they were. There was once when I found the scones to be a little bit on the dry side but this was a one off and generally they are perfect in my opinion. The sandwiches are fairly nondescript sandwiches. They always came with generous amounts of whatever filling I ordered, which is definitely a point in Bibby's favour and the bread always tasted soft and fresh.
I would certainly recommend Bibby's Tea Room to anyone who is visiting Little Common. The staff at Bibby's are friendly and welcoming, the food is good and the atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable.