In our house, with the odd exception such as Christmas Day, we tend to eat our dinner in the evening as our last meal of the day. It was much like that for me as a child too, but I distinctly remember having 'tea' some days, probably at the weekend or during school holidays. I refer to 'tea' as the meal one would have at the end of the day if the main meal had been taken at lunchtime.
The 'tea' that remains clearest in my memory was 'Bread & Stuff'. It was a simple but comforting fayre that could be put together in a jiffy. You'd need to sit and serve this at a dining table. In the centre goes your loaf of bread (white unsliced bought from the bakers), then add all your savoury options to the table, Cheddar Cheese, Pickle, Pickled Onions, Marmite, Peanut Butter and Fish Paste (yes fish paste, but remember I'm going back some 30 years). Next your sweet options - all flavours of Jam, Golden Syrup, Treacle, Chocolate Spread and (set) Honey. The rules were simple - you start savoury and end sweet.
Occasionally I will present a table of Bread & Stuff to my children and they embrace it fully. I am very lucky though, as I can take my Bread & Stuff 'Tea' to another level courtesy of my local baker, Sugardough in Hove. Sugardough is the most adorable little shop just moments away from the seafront. The shop is small, but perfectly formed. It is charming with its traditional yet relaxed interior. Racks of artisan breads and pastries; too-pretty-to-eat dainty cakes sitting on vintage cake stands; tarts and pies seduce all my senses making me want to 'move in' for the morning. The bread is baked daily on the premises (except for Monday's when they are closed), which is a rarity these days. It's wrapped in paper and is nearly always 'still warm'. The staff are welcoming and friendly - they always, without fail, get the door for me as I struggle to maneuver my buggy out of the shop. I favour a crusty Sourdough for my Bread & Stuff 'Tea' and theirs is hard to beat.
I also adore their individual custard tarts. They make for the perfect self-indulgent treat with a good cup of coffee. I've also found them a very effective baby-sitting currency for my sister-in-law, who like me, appreciates my exceptionally good local baker.
Sugardough can be found at 12 Victoria Terrace, Kingway, Hove, BN3 2WB. Tel. 01273 727227