When friends are visiting Arundel with kids, The Loft always tops my list of places to eat. We go there a lot ourselves, in fact it was the first place we ventured to after having the twins! So yes definitely a firm favourite!
Sparks Yard has been a bit of an institution in Arundel, West Sussex since the doors opened in 2003. Holly and Andy, owners of the American style shopspecialise in unique and fun gifts and homewares.
It was a few years ago though that they added to the space and opened a restaurant on the top floor of their Victorian warehouse.
The place is so easy to find, with on street parking right out the front. There’s a lift up to the restaurant which fits a double buggy and a Californian inspired menu featuring locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and an after school snacks. Occasionally open in the evenings but seems to be happening less often recently.
The menu is one of the best kids menus we’ve ever seen. Hands down. From when my kids were first weaning, sharing one of the kids tasting menus -(five options from baby favourites like cucumber, breadsticks) to now enjoying a kids main meal each. Everything is made fresh and has a focus on being healthy. To go alongside the kids meals, the parents don’t do too badly either! California salad or a fish finger sandwich are my personal faves – and a great cocktail list. For kids, as well as the food, there’s colouring in placemats and freedom to walk around.
The design of the place is lovely, light and airy – it feels very much like the Aussie places we’re used to in Sydney. The new(ish) court yard is such a lovely spot now the weather is warmer too with a really good playlist to accompany your meal from speakers hidden in the palm trees. An extra kiddie plus point is the new sail sun shades erected recently.
Could Do Better
As a healthy, relaxed cafe that feels a bit of a treat at the same time, there isn’t really much I can say that needs improvement. All that being said, I wouldn’t recommend this spot to anyone in a rush. On a few occasions we’ve been sat with hungry kids and the service can be just that side of too long.
Toilets/baby changing could do with a bit of a revamp.
To get to the outside courtyard, you have to get the lift up and walk through the shop. This can’t really be helped (the outside gates are locked) but something to be aware of when trying to herd little ones through the glassware and breakables on display/
Final Verdict: 4.5/5
Anywhere that makes me feel totally at ease with both boys on my own is always going to be a winner!
The Loft at Sparks Yard
18 Tarrant Street
+44 1903 885588