How Limes of Lindfield started...

The rebirth of High Street Dining for Lindfield.

Thankfully our High Street is always changing. Last month the popular eatery Limes Bistro changed hands, after its inception seven years ago. In life it is frequently suggested that things ‘aren’t as good as they used to be’ – but is that always the case? I’ve lived in the village for more than 30 years and today’s High Street feels like as thriving a retail environment as one could hope for in a modern small community. Not many years ago it was a significantly different landscape.  

Chris and Jo White moved into Lindfield back in 2001. They were relocating after exiting a successful pub business which they had jointly owned with family for five years. They needed something to do and were on the look out for a ‘project’. 

The pair had met eight years earlier while they were both at university. Jo studied Fine Art in Hertfordshire, while Chris was at Brighton studying Building Engineering Management. They were used to hard work as they had started working together for Chris’s parents, Nick and Carol White who also live in Lindfield, when they owned The Gardeners Arms in Ardingly. 

In 2003 the couple, by now fully-equipped with 9-month old baby Phoebe, bought the old dentist’s at 67 High Street. While considering exactly what to do with the period property, Jo tells me they embarked on some old school market research. “We literally went up and down the houses on the High Street, introduced ourselves and explained that we wanted to open a café to gauge their reaction. By the time we got to the top of the street we had changed our approach and referred to our new venture as a bistro – because as we talked to residents we realised that’s what they wanted.”

Read the full story by David Tingley, on page 10 of March's magazine, out now...