tLion St, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7LB Telephone: 01797 222207 Open Facebook Page Rye is a small town in the non-metropolitan county of East Sussex, within the historic County of Sussex, which stands approximately two miles from the open sea and is at the confluence of three rivers: the Rother, the Tillingham and the Brede. In medieval times, however, as an important member of the Cinque Ports confederation, it was at the head of an embayment of the English Channel and almost entirely surrounded by the sea.
Rye is officially a civil parish but with its historic roots has the status of a town; at the 2011 census it had a population of 4773. During its history its association with the sea has included providing ships for the service of the King in time of war, and being involved with smuggling gangs of the 18th and 19th centuries such as the notorious Hawkhurst Gang who used its inns such as The Mermaid Inn and The Olde Bell Inn, connected by secret passageway.
Those historic roots and its charm make it a tourist destination, and much of its economy is based on that: there are a number of hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, tea rooms and restaurants, as well as other attractions, catering for the visitor. There is a small fishing fleet, and Rye Harbour has facilities for yachts and other vessels.
In all the years I have visited Rye, I have never gone inside the Simon The Pieman Tea Room. This is because every time I visited the Tea Room, it has always been packed with people, probably because it is next to the church which opens the church tower to paying visitors. However, one Wednesday afternoon having had an unpleasant experience in a nearby Tea Room, I took a look to see if, as usual, it was busy. To my amazement, it was empty, so I decided to enter and enjoy an afternoon tea cake with a pot of tea.
It has been suggested that Simon The Pieman is the oldest Tea Room in Rye. This can clearly be seen inside as the old surround proves a long existence with old tables and good old fashioned service. Quick and polite waitress service and a very enjoyable visit within an old and warm atmosphere.
There were three staff and all were a little confused who would actually serve me, which I made a joke..."arguing who wants to serve this attractive man'! I was quickly served by a laughing waitress.
I recently re-visited this English Tea Room. I had tea and a toasted tea and a pot of tea. Somthing about this place I love....probably the traditional feel
Contact Joe Ellis:
Joe Ellis' English Tea Room Guide PO Box 262, Herne Bay, Kent, England, CT6 9AW Telephone: 01227 376180