Saturday, 7 June 2014

life in and around a cafe on the beach .....................

can be hectic, fun, busy, mad, tiring, interesting and sometimes even exciting !

While I'm stuck inside, slaving away in a hot kitchen, people are out and about on the beach, enjoying all that our little slice of Worthing has to offer.

Next to the café there are numerous beach chalets some of which have been turned into artists studios. Soon there will be seven more and a gallery space. After more chalets, which are rented to locals, there is a twin building to ours (you can just see it on the right hand side of the picture).
A few months ago it was opened by Nik and Ant Baker, former professional windsurfers, as a school for teaching various watersports like kitesurfing and paddle boarding.

This is another view of their building (before it opened), with the new local swimming pool behind (which wasn't built in the first picture) and the old swimming pool to the right.

Our two buildings were originally part of a walled garden belonging to Beach House. This is the view from the beach looking north, in a gap between the chalets, with the new swimming pool on the right.

Many people have lived here, King Edward V11 stayed here and some Spanish children were looked after here, as refugees from the Spanish Civil War.

Now it's full of private apartments, all with views of the sea, through the gap between the chalets.
This gap is currently being turned into a water feature.
Behind our café is a great playground with sand pits and a pirate ship.
Beyond that are the sand courts, which we have to run from the café (which is extremely hard when we are busy).
And beyond those arches (part of the original walled garden for Beach House), are the gardens with mini golf, which I'm happy to say is run by someone else.
When the sun shines, the whole place is buzzing, and although I don't get to join in all the fun, sometimes working in a cafe on the beach has it's rewards.

Last weekend this great guy came in the café. I was busy cooking and didn't catch every word, but his accent was very thick. I was thinking that he sounded French Canadian, when I heard him say that he was from Quebec.

I still didn't catch every word when I got a chance to listen more carefully, but it was soon apparent that he was telling us that he is walking around the world.
Yep, he's walking around the world.

He was so charming and never stopped smiling and chatting. I took his picture with Christina, outside the cafe, but we were so busy we didn't get to spend very long with him.
What we did find out, is that he has walked from Vancouver to Newfoundland, and Alaska to Argentina. On his latest leg he started in Ireland, then crossed to Scotland and walked through England and Wales and  he's on his way across the rest of Europe. Every 8 months he has to go home to pick up his pension (he got a special dispensation to pick his pension every 8 months instead of every 6 months), then he goes off again.

His name is Pierre Paul Cayer and he is 67 years old, maybe you've met him.
He reckons he'll finish in about five years and then write a book about his adventures.

That was the Friday, but on the Saturday life got even more exciting (because I'm a sad old woman who doesn't have much of a life !).
The rowing regatta was on, so the beach was busier than usual, but there weren't so many people in the café.
I only had one order on the tab, and took it myself because I had to go to check out the volleyball courts. As I walked back into the café I noticed a cute guy at the till but didn't think anything of it. I started having a little rant about the courts again and was moaning to Christina when the cute guy asked if there was a swing park nearby. Sad old woman that I am, I took the meaning of swing quite differently and gave him a clueless look. Luckily Christina had seen him earlier with his wife and child and directed him to the playground.
His Scottish accent had given him away completely (Christina was clueless this time because she doesn't watch tv and rarely goes to the movies) so after conferring with my favourite barrista Harvey, I concluded that James McAvoy had just been in our café.
Yep, the x-man himself, the brilliant actor that is James McAvoy had just visited our little stretch of the beach.

Just to confirm this fact, I quickly looked him up on Wiki, to find out that his wife is blond and that they have a four year old son. I went outside to scan the surroundings and saw him on the beach with his wife and child.
He was talking and looking straight back at the café where he would have seen a sad stalker like old woman with hand on hips staring straight at him !

I went back inside, where another customer just confirmed that he had indeed seen James McAvoy.

I'm sad I know, I've met famous people before, my bff is married to the son of a well known sporting hero. I worked in a shop in London frequented by Lords, Ladies, royalty and tv stars but seeing an actor I admire in my little town really made my day week month !

I hope he and his family enjoyed their day on our little stretch of beach.

And sorry Mr. McAvoy that when you came back in the cafe later on, there was such a big queue that you decided not to wait.
And to Pierre, good luck with your walk through Europe.


  1. How fun to see James McAvoy in person. And, I love the idea of the guy walking around the world.

  2. Thanks for the tour of your lively waterfront businesses! I think the best part of working is the people you meet and the stories they have to tell. I haven't met any celebrities in my line of work, but one never knows what the future may bring. It sounds like a lively week for you, Fiona! Enjoy the weekend!

  3. Fiona,

    I was so excited reading this!! It would seem that every day is such an adventure in wonderful and wavy Worthing, what with so many different folks stopping by your adorable cafe on the beach! Have you ever thought of snapping photos of all these inspiring passersby with you and your staff, framing them and featuring them on the walls of the cafe? I've seen it done in many other eateries, bars and coffee houses, and the faces always capture my attention, as well as being good conversation starters, as well as appetizing to the eyes, (and I guess, the stomach would follow!).

    Thanks for sharing all the action. I really got a kick out of my fellow Canuck. What courage and determination, eh?;))

    Happy Sunday!


  4. such a great place to work with the beach and interesting people stopping in for a bite to eat! thanks for the peek into your work day:) have a great week, fiona!

  5. Oh that is a lovely place that you work! I think I would love any job on a beach. I bet you get to meet all kinds of wonderful people and who isn't in a great mood when you're near the ocean?? What's a sand court?

  6. I'm afraid I never heard of a Canadian guy that was walking around the world. Even he hadn't popped into your cafe, I may never have known! LOL Those guests are probably telling their friends that they just met the amazing artist/chef Fiona and a beach cafe, right now!

  7. Ah ha ha ha ha.... Swing park!

  8. Awesome post Fiona! Well, you answered my first question - "what is a sand court". Looks like your little town is really developing into a pretty fun place!

  9. Ok, my comment just screwed up... Looks like your town is developing into a really fun place! I'm not sure if I would have been able to process "swing park" very quickly either. If you would have immediately recognized him you probably would have been left speechless so it's probably better that you didn't!

  10. Loved seeing those pictures! What an amazing place where you cross paths with very interesting people.

  11. I really enjoyed discovering your little corner of the world more, especially as I've never visited that part of England. Now that I know that it's a place loved by celebrities, I think I must come at some point !

  12. What a great post! Lots of nice pics to see, good laughs and interesting tidbits! Have a great summer Fiona!


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