Tennis & Cream Tea in Eastbourne

Who knew there was a ‘Strawberry Picking Day’? Well, as I found out, there is, and this year it is Saturday 20 May.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I had a guided tour of a local farm that specialises in strawberries and much more. Sharnfold Farm, just outside Eastbourne, is the place to come with your baskets and boxes as soon as the fruit starts to ripen. A slight hitch this year is that due to the unusual spring weather here in the south, we will have to wait a little longer for ripe berries. Sharnfold Farm is a delight to visit whatever the time of year with a whole range of fresh fruit and veg and some of it ‘pick your own’. When I visited rhubarb was in great supply, along with local asparagus. There is a cafe selling a range of homemade cakes and goodies and a butcher’s shop featuring some of their home raised ‘happy pork’ and local lamb, as well as a selection of sausages that looked pretty tasty.

For opening times see

Strawberries grown with love at Sharnfold Farm

The farm is gearing up for the prestigious Eastbourne Tennis tournament starting 23 June and sponsored by Aegon International, when strawberries are second only to the tennis.

Devonshire Park Tennis. Image credit Graham Huntley

Each year Eastbourne Tennis attracts more and more stars of the game and the town braces itself for an influx of visitors and media. This year locals are bursting with pride to welcome their very own Johanna Konta back to her hometown. The Lawn Tennis Association’s Aegon International Eastbourne tennis tournament returns on Friday 23rdJune, where strawberries are second only to the tennis.


Eastbourne’s own Johanna Konta, image credit Graham Huntley





The beautiful courts at Devonshire Park host the event and tickets can be found at




A real treat on a visit to Eastbourne is a stay at The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne’s famous 5-star property overlooking the promenade and known as “The White Palace by the Sea’. Step back in time as you walk through the revolving doors into a spacious reception oozing with grandeur and style. Afternoon tea is a must and served in the delightful Great Hall where the afternoon sun pours in through tall windows and a sense of luxury prevails.  During Eastbourne Tennis Week and throughout Wimbledon fortnight the Grand will be serving a unique ‘Grand Slam’ Afternoon Tea. I sampled this innovative menu and can report it is a delicious selection of dainty sandwiches, warm scones with jam and cream, a scrumptious Cumberland sausage roll and a selection of fancy cakes. All washed down with a choice of tea; but why not try one of their decadent cocktails? The ‘Grand Slam’ cocktail is made with Midori lemon liqueur, ginger ale and fresh lime, and the ‘English Picnic’ includes Chase English rhubarb vodka, strawberry syrup and fresh cream, topped off with frozen summer fruits.  For details of events and to make a booking visit

Strawberries, tennis and the seaside – what could be more British. Let’s hope the sun shines for us all.  See for details of events throughout the year.






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