The owner of a traditional English tea room is delighted with the level of community support received for the re-launch of her business.
Jessica Patel took over the Wiston Tea Rooms and Post Office in Water Lane, near Steyning, before Christmas, and has since transformed it into a swish eatery that she said is ‘no longer just a tea room’.
The refurbished facilities and new branding of ‘Wiston Granary’ was unveiled last Saturday with Wiston Estate Winery owner Harry Goring there to cut the ribbon.
“We got help from all our family and friends, plus we made sure we used local builders, electricians and plumbers,” Mrs Patel said.
The enormous transformation includes a fresh new look tea room, large patio, new entrance and restored oak beams.
The big day hosted a raffle to raise funds for Comic Relief, a barbecue, face painting and a ‘name the cockerel’ competition for the new resident bird.
“We have about 50 birds on site and an aviary with tropical ones - not forgetting Dancer the pony who has become a bit of a celebrity around here.”
But the real show-stopper of the day was the help and positive feedback from the village.
Mrs Patel said: “We’ve had so much support and it feels like we’ve become a real hub in the community.”
Boasting a new menu, Wiston Granary uses local produce, including Sussex cheese, meats and chutneys.
“We do a classic afternoon tea with a two-tier cake stand, which we never did before. It was popular on Mother’s Day.”
The cottage whichis home to the tea room also has a shop selling produce used to create many of the dishes on the menu. “It took thousands of pounds, but now I’m very positive and confident to move forward,” said Mrs Patel.
Wiston Granary is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm. Call 01903 892 330 for more details, or visit their page on Facebook.