There is an art to sipping your favourite blend of freshly-ground coffee and it calls for the perfect space to do so - somewhere that emanates real sophistication with added comfort - Artisan Patisserie & Tea Rooms certainly has this.
Tucked away in Horsham’s Market Square next to the old Town Hall, Artisan is a decadent mixture of French chic, retro-American flare and British contemporary - sounds like a garish circus tent, but on the contrary - it surprisingly works.
Open for business in a quaint Tudor building with thick, black beams and white walls, you’re warmly welcomed by the aroma of fresh pastries and plump sponge cakes displayed on the counter top.
Decor: At first we sat ourselves in two cosy chairs designed in the flamboyant Rococo style. After ordering our food, we realised that the furniture was ideal for a drink, but not if you’re looking for a bite to eat. Therefore, we moved to some more appropriate seating.
It was here we noticed the unusual mergence of cultures. We observed cartoony French imperialist artwork, a robust 60s-style American fridge and the beautiful bay windows that looked out onto Market Square.
Interestingly, adorned on our coffee cups were the words: ‘Let them eat cake’. It was these little touches that made the experience all the more interesting and sparked conversations.
Service: Accommodating from the start, the staff at Artisan advised us to take a seat and took our orders. Smiling and in good humour, the three waiters we interacted with were a delight and made us feel right at home.
Drink: There is not an impressive variety of coffee - but in all fairness Artisan describes itself as a tea room (it’s in the name). We both opted for the Americano, my colleague asked for decaf. With hot milk on the side I could adapt my own strength. Strong and aromatic, the coffee is a nice afternoon brew to take the edge off a morning of office work, but if you’re looking for variety, you’re limited to the usual range of latte, expresso and cappuccino.
Food: Divine is certainly one word that comes to mind. I indulged in the Caramalised Onion and Goats Cheese Tart which comes pipping hot with a generous helping of salad. If I could lick the plate clean without receiving second glances I would have lapped it up. My colleague opted for the soup of the day - Spicy Moroccon Chicken. Considerably filling, with a little kick, the bowl came with a side of brown bread and butter.
Value for Money: A tad pricey compared to your regular coffee shop chain, but if you can afford to spend a little extra to enjoy a unique experience, then I highly recommend Artisan. An Americano comes to a reasonable £2, but if you’re famished you may not mind spending £6.75 for the tart. Overall our bill came to £15.70 and worth every penny.