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Muddy Eats: The Green Welly, Ditchling

Handily situated for post walk or cycle refuelling this new family-friendly cafe sits at the crossroads in dinky Ditchling, just down from the Beacon (and if you’re about to tackle that in the upward direction you’re really going to need to fill your boots here first!)

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It’s been up and running a few months and I first went in just after it opened but the wait time was so long on that occasion I thought it best to wait to tell you good people about it once it had hit its stride.

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The Green Welly replaces the old Mister Magnolia which had a character on the roof and a lovely stash of vintage toys inside for kids to play with. I remember a halcyon day in there with my nephews bringing me blocks to spell out words for them – bum, wee, poo…

Anyway, since then the cafe has been given a bit of a Farrow & Ball makeover with some pale green shades and the addition of some welly related props and cool lighting.

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I’m a sucker for some feature lights

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The front’s a bit of a suntrap and you can keep and eye on any parked bikes.

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The wooden boat has gone from the yard but it’s a smart attractive space now for warmer months. There’s also a cosy area indoors with a settee in front of what looks like a wood burner. There are magazines and a few things for children to play with and plenty of room for parking buggies and the like.

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We had some friends down from London the other week and came in after we’d been for a walk on the Downs – not at the Beacon on that occasion but a bit further over by the Jack and Jill windmills at Clayton. There’s a free car park in Ditchling near the crossroads though it can overflow at popular times.

I had a doorstep of a mushroom and stilton sandwich with a bit of side salad (£4.95) which was on the specials board. I couldn’t really taste any stilton but the mushrooms were lovely and sweet and the bread was good.

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My friend had a goats cheese and sun-dried tomato panini (£5.25) and one of the children had the crumpets with butter and jam which were under three pound.  The menu is quite long with variations on a few themes and as well as the sandwiches there are frittatas and tarts which come served with one or two salads. There’s also a soup of the day.

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the other half’s being scoffed out of shot!

Simple breakfasts (mostly under four pounds) include sausage and bacon sandwiches and ‘junior’ or ‘senior’ versions of dippy egg and soldiers.

There are plenty of good looking cakes on the counter and the cafe is licencesed so you can celebrate the end of an epic walk with wine, including Prosecco, or beer or cider.

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The Muddy verdict:

Good for: walkers, cyclists, tourists having a browse in pretty Ditchling, families, those who like a bit of healthy greenery with their lunch and just about anyone. Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft is just round the corner and does some good workshops for adults and children. Christmas Artists Open Houses is coming up in the village from 26 Nov for three weekends.

Not so good for: It isn’t cheap, though the portion size is generous, so best for a treat or a lunch you’re going to linger over rather than a quick pitstop, especially if there are a few of you, though breakfasts are quite reasonable. You can’t currently get a big fry up breakfast here but the baps sound good.

££ Breakfast from £2.45 for croissant and preserves, £2.50 for junior dippy egg to £4.75 for a sausage, bacon and egg Ciabatta. Lunch mostly £4.25 – £7.50.

The Green Welly, 1 High Street, Ditchling, East Sussex, BN6 8SY, thegreenwellycafe.co.uk

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Treasure hunting on the Downs

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