Sunday in Brighton

Train arrives at Gatwick several minutes late. I just make a train to Brighton, a slow stopping train, standing room only.

As approach Brighton, South Downs shrouded in mist.

On arrival, cool, drizzle, only not drizzle, sea mist, haar.

No Small Batch coffee stall today on the station forecourt, but not to worry, as I wish to check out coffee shops listed in The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide.

Instead of heading down to the sea or into North Laine further down the road, I head into North Laine by heading under Brighton Station. This brings me into the far end of North Laine.

What I am doing today is check out some of the coffee shops listed in The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide, which I picked up from Pharmacie on my last visit to Brighton. Those I am familiar with warrant an entry. On flipping through it, I had noticed that several were in the immediate vicinity of North Laine, thus my decision to check them out.

Immediately under the bridge, Organic Dirty Burger, excellent burgers, but sadly only open Wednesday to Saturday. Excellent burgers. Unlike the disgusting burgers from a  van in the station forecourt, Gourmet Burgers, gourmet they are not.

First coffee shop Blend & Brew not open at weekends. Very tiny, more like a kiosk. Made to look very tacky with windows plastered with notices.

Milk No Sugar, not listed, claims to be artisan coffee. Like gourmet, meaningless. I ask of the coffee? Italian blend. Roasted by who? Do not know.

Coffee at 33 excellent coffee, very busy, maybe pop down later.

I look in Magazine Brighton. They have latest Viva Brighton (which is free). Latest Drift and Ambrosia, but not latest Standart.

Further down the street, what appears to be a scam, a rough man asking can use your phone to make a call. He has an equally rough looking mate who he then has a chat with. I suspect hand him an expensive phone and he legs it down the street. If caught has already handed it over to someone else.

I may of course be wrong as he did go into a coffee shop cum bakery and someone lent him a phone to use. On the other hand, had I waited and observed would I have seen him carry on down the street?

I head to the end of the street. I find myself in an unfamiliar part of Brighton, very rough, busy main road. It was as though I had been transported to a rough part of London.

I soon discover the maps in The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide are useless, or rather their logic in their use of maps, the area I am looking at, coffee shops on three different maps.

I find The Longhouse. Closed today for decorating.

I carry on up the street. I find Presuming Ed’s Coffee House. Seedy is not the word, it is dire, I have come across more attractive squats. Moronic music blasting out, the moronic music found in rough bars in Cyprus that attract the dregs of the tourist trade. I turn on my heels and walk out.

I then find Glazed, for some reason I thought it was called Gazed (of the two I prefer Gazed). Similar to Presuming Ed’s Coffee House more like a squat than a coffee shop, only they carry it off better and do not have the moronic music. But two pleasant people. I decide to chance it and have a coffee, a cappuccino with an Ethiopian coffee. It is excellent. I sit outside as they have a sideline in making doughnuts and unpleasant stomach churning stench of doughnuts pervades the coffee shop.

Called Glazed, they offer a delivery service of glazed donuts.

Glazed is the only coffee shop other than Pharmacie where I have found The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide. I pick up a couple of copies, their only two remaining copies.

I pass by The Longhouse, they let me have a quick look inside.

Pelicano very busy. I pop in say hi. I see they have latest Drift and Standart. I say I will pop back later and pick up Standart (includes a free coffee) and maybe Drift.

I could have picked up latest Drift from Magazine Brighton but did not wish to carry around all day.

It is then lunch at Iydea. Today the sides are better than the main dish. Lasagna, but bears no resemblance to lasanga.

A quick shop in Infinity Foods. I thought they closed at four, but must be later.

I raise with them sale of Whole Earth peanut butter. It is inferior peanut butter bulked out with palm oil. There is no such thing as sustainable palm oil, bad for the environment(destroying rain forests) and bad for our health (higher in saturated fat than pig fat). They have Meridian and Suma peanut butter, both of which is ground peanuts, no added sugar, no added palm oil.

To Coffee at 33. I would have had a coffee, but takeaway only. I say no. I buy a couple of bags of coffee.

Then I think, not to worry, continue my search for new coffee shops to try, and once again discover how useless the maps in The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide, or at least their perverse logic how they map the location of the coffee shops.

I stumble across Marwood hidden down an alley. Another coffee shop that resembles a downmarket squat. I walk in, turn on my heels and walk out.

I head off looking for Lost in the Lanes. I am stood looking lost in the lanes, though I am not lost, I know where I am. A man asks am I lost? I tell him what I am looking for. He tells me where to find the Trading Post. I know Brighton coffee scene better than he.

I follow his directions, I retrace my steps, and find I had been looking down the street where located Trading Post Roastery but not seen for looking.

Trading Post Roastery they only roast blends. I am asked what flavour coffee do I want? Er. Dark roast or not. I am fed a load of bullshit. Cappuccino served with chocolate. I send it back.

The best I can say about the cappuccino, not good, but OK.  The flapjack aka granola bar was far better than the coffee. Questionable should they be listed in The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide?

If summed up Trading Post Roastery with one word, it would be pretentious. I was reminded of Coffee Island, the Greek version of Starbucks.

It was then to the seafront. No time to walk along the pier.

Back to Pelicano. I make it just before they close. For anyone else it would be a takeaway but they know me. Yes, I will have Standart, I would have had a cold brew, but no cold brew. V60. No, if ok, I will have V60 Japanese iced coffee, half hot water, half in the ice. They were going to make, then add the ice. I say no, ice in the carafe, as it then instantly chills the coffee. Which coffee? I let them choose.

I say V60. It was actually a Kalita Wave. It was excellent.

I also buy Drift, San Francisco edition, and I am given a  free bag of coffee.  I have last one, sadly slightly coffee stained.  I tell then if anyone asks for, please send them to Magazine Brighton as they have copies of the latest Drift.

No time to finish my coffee. They kindly pour into a takeaway cup.

I just make it for the train, only I have no ticket and they will not let me through the barriers. I am directed to a row of ticket machines. Luckily a helpful member of staff operates the ticket machine.

I get on the train as pulling out. Another packed train, standing room only,  part packed in like sardines.

Train Gatwick to Reading leaves on time. Waits outside Redhill, then shunts up and down at Redhill. No explanation or apology what is going on why now several minutes late. Guildford now running at least twenty minutes late. Only on leaving Guildford, an explanation and apology, fault with the train. North Camp now running over twenty-five minutes late.

A few days ago announced rail fares will raise yet again, not only rise, rise faster than inflation.

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