Sunday in Brighton

Train to Gatwick running late.

Luckily it made up time and I caught train for Brighton.

Brew & Blend surprisingly busy. I stop and have a chat with the staff.

Cappuccino at Coffee at 33. Then decide to eat.

Coffee at 33 a rare example of a coffee shop that serves good food. Cakes are good too.

But I should have tried a different day to use my card for a free coffee.

I looked in Magazine Brighton. I thought wished to launch a magazine. But no, support a student magazine.

As I pass Pelicano they tell me they have Drift. I notice it is on display. And get a free coffee if buy.

I waste time looking for Silo only to find it has closed. It was claimed to be cutting edge zero waste restaurant. But in a street with zero footfall.

I again notice the number of empty shops, those closing down.

But Resident as always busy. Which illustrates odd Vinyl Revolution closed. Poor stock, wrong location?

All businesses who know me, tell me times are tough.

I raise in Infinity Foods return of 5 litre Faith in Nature containers. No one wants to know. Indeed one member of staff stacking shelves is rude.

Something going very very wrong at Infinity Foods. Staff have in the past always been helpful, not any more. Fresh produce never been very fresh. Now a whole lot worse. Also I notice a lot of the fresh produce wrapped in plastic.

One area of improvement muesli loose, fill a brown parer bag not ideal, then decant when arrive home, saves their packaging.

No tables and chairs outside Infinity Foods Kitchen. They tell me they are closing early. Same last week, only last week guy was bloody rude.

I get something to eat and sit by the door.

I learn as I suspected, something going very wrong at Infinity Foods, the staff being mistreated, those at the top issuing orders, giving themselves hefty bonuses which should be shared out equally. But is this not a workers coop, all are equal, or is it like Animal Farm, some are more equal than others, the animals looked from pig to man then man to pig and could not tell the difference, and the workers told it is for their own good to work harder for a pittance. The workers need to call a meeting and kick out those at the top. Infinity Foods giving worker coos a bad name.

Zero waste shops are having problems with Infinity Foods. If I order a 5 litre container from Faith in Nature I can not only return when empty, Faith in Nature will give me 20% off my next order. If zero waste shops order through Infinity Foods as a distributor, Infinity Foods refuse to take back the 5 litre containers and return to Faith in Nature. Internal meetings within Infinity Foods are aware of the problem, but doing nothing to resolve it. Resolve it will, the zero waste shops will go elsewhere.

Infinity Foods is structured as three companies, wholesale, shop and kitchen.

On my way to Blackbird look in Bond Street and Plant Room, no time for coffee in either, maybe one day.

En route I note more closed shops.

Too late for Blackbird, closed early, one half of the team in Istanbul. I walk in anyway. I have brought Ethiopian coffee from DT Roaster roasted last week. OK, we will try. We are disappointed. It is not that there is anything wrong with it. It is a disappointment compared with the excellent Colombian coffee from Coffee Gems we tried last week.

The beautiful coffee cups are from Turkey. Guest coffee from Kiss the Hippo. Nest week will have coffee from Turkey.

Indirect route through The Lanes to the seafront. More closed retail.

I pass Marwood, three people sat outside coffee shop next door. I am asked where for coffee. Too late for today and only in Brighton for the Day, Blackbird, Coffee at 33, Pelicano and Dough Lover.

Asked of fish n chips. I say do not bother. Disgusting fish n chips on the sea front.

A walk along the seafront. Very windy, rough sea, red flag flying.

I decide to try The Flour Pot Kitchen. I looked in last week but did not have a coffee.

I do not like the way it is barricaded off, or that you have to be shown to a table.

Service poor. Do I want a menu? No, I know what I want. No one takes my order. Eventually bored with waiting, I get up and order a cappuccino.

Last week I had noticed they had sea bass, though had gone. I asked do they ever have sea bream? No. On the board sea bream. But it too had gone. Whole fish? No. Fillets. Sea bream should be cooked as the whole fish, freshly caught, either on a charcoal grill or in an oven.

I am served a cappuccino blended with chocolate with chocolate dumped on top. I send it back. I am told I should have said I did not want chocolate. No, you should ask, and a good coffee shop would not ask as they would not dream of serving a cappuccino with chocolate.

Second cappuccino arrives. Not good. It did not look good and was not good. Below the froth and foam, scalding hot coffee.

Guy who serves me ask me how it was. I say they need to learn how to make coffee.

He apologises. He is at least aware this is not how coffee should be served, but that is what they are told.

Contrary to The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide The Flour Pot do not roast their own coffee. It is roasted by Small Batch then bagged as their own. Why the deception?

I then wait a very long time for bill. Again, had to go and ask.

The only good thing I can say is the location, pleasant location to sit late afternoon or early evening to catch the sun. It would be too hot during the day.

The Flour Pot Bakery is not somewhere I would frequent in North Laine, they are far better places for coffee and cakes, but my criticism to one side, The Flour Pot Kitchen is an improvement for the seafront, far better than the bars and disgusting fish and chop shops that line the seafront.

I remain longer than intended at The Flour Pot Kitchen, though pleasant to sit and relax.

I head from the seafront at eight. Time to catch 2027 train to London Victoria. I have to walk length of twelve coach train, passengers packed in like sardines.

A twelve coach train. A twelve coach train coming down. There needs to be a more frequent train service on a Sunday.

Train is running slow. I miss my train at Gatwick.

Disgusting banger and mash at Wetherspoon, the only place open. Not late at night, a busy airport, only Wetherspoon open.

Display tells me 2218 Reading train delayed. No indication of when train will arrive. I ask station staff. I am told train is probably at the platform. I find it is about to depart and catch with seconds to spare.

I arrive home not long before midnight. I left the seafront for Brighton Station at eight.

Train network is in chaos. Go anywhere and no guarantee will arrive home.

Every time I have caught a train last few weeks, train either delayed or cancelled.

— to be continued —

Lu

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