The shock announcement that Highdown Tea Rooms is set to close has been met with disbelief on social media.
After 12 years running the tea rooms, Donna Lewington said she was told last Friday that her tenancy had been cancelled and she would have to close on Sunday.
The news broke this morning, and since the story was shared on the Worthing Herald’s Facebook page at 3pm today it has received more than 150 comments and more than 120 shares, with similarly strong reaction across the Littlehampton, Shoreham and Lancing titles.
A comment from Adam Hurley said: “This is outrageous, I LOVE that place and go there often. Nothing could replace it, those homemade cakes, the welcome and they way they chat with you at your table.”
Anna-Marie Godwyn shared a similar sentiment, commenting: “OMG - such wonderful memories there. We recently lost our husky to cancer and both our dogs love walking at Highdown and enjoy tea with us there - even ice cream. I can’t believe it. The Manager was always so warm and friendly. Totally heartbroken.”
Comments across Facebook have been universally against the closure, with many praising the warm atmosphere and welcome they and their dogs received.
Abigail Corcoran-Green said the tea rooms has been part of her family’s life for years.
“My family and I have enjoyed going to Highdown Tea Rooms for many, many years and we are terribly sad to hear this news,” she commented.
“It’s very hard to see the logic in closing such a hugely successful business in a prime location, which is so popular with locals and tourists. What a ridiculous decision. Donna and her team will be sorely missed there, but undoubtedly will make a roaring success of any new venture when it opens.”
Commenting on the Littlehampton Gazette’s post, Stacy Cook said: “No way!!! I love this place! We had coffee there the morning after we got married in the hotel and liked to visit with the kids when going for walks in the gardens,” and called it a real loss.
Josie Wilton said: “I absolutely love it here, I also come here to buy cakes to take away for my 99 year old grandpa. He favours their cakes rather than anywhere.”
Vix Paine summed up the general feeling among the comments, with: “nooooooooooooooooooooooooo.”
In a statement, Miss Lewington thanked the public for their ‘overwhelming’ support and said her solicitors will be contacting the landlord to seek ‘urgent clarification’.