A hidden gem


Tucked serenely behind Simon the Pieman is an oasis of calm – Layfield’s, a tapas garden terrace. The best oases are chosen for their location and this is no exception. It is a place where you can turn down the volume dial of life and relax with friends. There are nine water features because Glenn loves them, and people draw a great deal of inspiration from water. When life throws you obstacles be like water, either by persistently cutting through, as water does through rocks, or start a new path. It is a place to muse.

In 1988 John Layfield bought Simon the Pieman in Rye for his wife, Ruth. She had always wanted to run such an establishment and took to it readily with the help of Mike Webb, who came in each day and taught her how to bake the cakes and fudge that the shop is renowned for. Ruth only lived in Rye for a year but she threw herself into the activities of the town including running in the pancake race in 1988. Sadly, she passed away a year later and John had a dilemma. He was an accountant in London and he had two young children who needed the stability of a parent in their lives. So, London was given up and John, who had never baked before, set to, to learn the craft, also having a helping hand from Mike Webb.

Anita, his daughter, loved baking too and seven years ago John handed the shop over to her after teaching her throughout his illness. She bakes all the home-made produce and people everywhere rave about her food. Her father has since died and so the tapas sun terrace is a nod to her father’s and mother’s memory, which is why it is called Layfield’s. Everyone loves to sit outside, especially after two years of Covid and being restricted in the ways we could socialise, so it is a special place.

Layfield’s offers tapas style snacks and light bites and is open 12 noon until 5pm, weather- dependent of course. All the accessories have been sourced locally, including the green men dotted around the courtyard and the lovely olive trees came from the local market.

They serve beers, wine, Prosecco, sparkling raspberry lemonade, jugs of Pimms, Romney Marsh bitter, Aperol spritz and much more. It is dog-friendly and proving to be very popular with both locals and tourists.

Martyn Channon, owner of Channon’s Country Store, said after his visit last week, “I really love what they have created, and I wish them all the very best with this new venture.”

Image Credits: Kt bruce .


  1. I visited last Saturday and enjoyed a glass of wine and a couple of exceptionally tasty light bites in the sunshine. Simply lovely. Good luck Layfield’s.

  2. Such a great little place. We’ve been a few times and it’s perfect for these sunny days. Glenn is a natural at hosting. We wish him and Anita all the best for the new venture

  3. Thank you so much for your comments.
    May I suggest the potted prawns. Made by myself with the use of all the ingredients from the rye spice company.

  4. Such a lovely place to relax with friends and enjoy a cool drink and tapas. I’m very proud to call Glenn and Anita my good friends they’re doing a fabulous job. Anita your dad would be so proud of you xx

  5. Hi Glenn and Anita,
    This sounds our sort of place! Do you offer veggie options? (I’m not vegan)
    We are often popping into Rye from Rye Foreign so next time we will make sure we ‘pop in’ lunchtime.

  6. Layfields truly is a little oasis! Surrounded by greenery and the cool sound of running water, and with a backdrop in the heart of old Rye, what could be better?
    It’s the place to be.
    Well done Glenn and Anita.


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