Seagull sipping tea by the sea

Part two of my recent sea-scapade on bank holiday weekend was Littlehampton and the understatingly trendy East Beach Cafe, giving Littlehampton something ‘big’ to be proud of. The fact of the matter is that I would not have been able to locate Littlehampton on the map if it wasn’t for Thomas Heatherwick’s creation, East Beach café. The concept is wonderfully genius, attracting the unlikely tourist- me to a small beach town such as Littlehampton- and now all of you get to find out about Littlehampton too!

Littlehampton is a small seaside village on the south-east coast of England, in Brighton’s near proximity. There are three characteristic features defining Littlehampton: seagulls, smell of fresh fish and fresh fish and chips and East Beach café. Everything else is too ‘little’ for our memory to capture except for ‘big’ heap of wind that continues to produce a sound in my ears as I am writing. Hence, Heatherwick’s functional design approach to East Beach café, cleverly resistant and cheap, steel was the perfect choice for Littlehampton kind of weather- after the tenth attempt at sunbathing you approach the strategic checkpoint, East Beach Café, and warm up with locally sourced fish soup.

It is incredible how creative projects such as this can revive an entire local economy of a little fishing village such as Littlehampton. Since the Café opened in 2007 the percentage of visitors jumped up to 87%, not to mention the new jobs offered not only to those employed in the café, but local veg suppliers and fishermen. Furthermore, East Beach Café encouraged a design spillover; the longest bench in the world was built in 2010 along the coast of Littlehampton and another restaurant, the West Beach Café was opened by the same owners.

Should Littlehampton be marked as one of your must-go destinations? I say yes to all of you road-trippers, spend the morning in Brighton and buckle up for lunch in Little Hampton, arrive in London by dinner time and enjoy the London night scene (more on that in a future article :)), now you better get going to the English sea coast before autumn weather hits us hard in the face.


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