A bit About Us & our history

About us

As soon as we saw Clifford's Cottage, we fell in love with it - and our lifelong dream to open a tea room together began.

Joanne has worked in the catering industry for 30 years, alongside raising three children. Ian has spent 30 years in various management roles at B&Q's head office in Eastleigh, whilst spending his spare time helping Joanne.

We are very traditional in our approach to our tea room - friendly staff with a focus on politeness and good 'old fashioned' customer service. We aim to provide excellent home cooked food, in an individual style and character to reflect the environment we are so proud to be working in.

Clifford's Cottage is a perfect location to catch up with friends and family or refuel after a long walk on the beach. Dogs are most welcome in our little tea room and garden.

Enjoy the sun in the beautiful garden and watch the world go by. When the days get shorter you can sit by the fire, enjoy the warmth of our hospitality with a hot chocolate and slice of Joanne's home-made cake.

The History of afternoon Tea

The ritual of afternoon tea has been part of traditional English culture since 1840. Anna, Duchess of Bedford, lifelong friend of Queen Victoria, suffered from ‘hunger spells’ between luncheon and dinner and decided to take some tea, usually Darjeeling, with cake and sandwiches. 

At the time it was usual for people to take only two main meals a day, breakfast, and dinner at around 8 o'clock in the evening.

Therefore, this was the perfect solution to fulfilling the Duchess' hunger. Nowadays, foreign visitors still portray the British to be a culture whereby "at half past three, everything stops for tea".

The History Of Clifford's Cottage

Clifford's Cottage is an 18th century thatched property, originally used as two shepherd's cottages with the smaller outside thatched building used for their dogs. Over the years it has served as various eateries and in 1986 it was Grade II listed.  The Department of the Environment includes it as a ‘building of special architectural and historic interest – these buildings contribute enormously to the character of our towns and villages’.

After a devastating fire in 2012, it was re-built, closely supervised by the Heritage Preservation Officers. 

Any original beams, that were not destroyed in the fire, were re-used and new modern oak was thoughtfully selected to match the original wood. The landmark thatched roof was sympathetically rebuilt by traditional craftsmen, returning the cottage to its original unique style and character. The instantly recognisable feature of Clifford’s Cottage has been described as ‘the gateway to Bracklesham Bay'.