Archive for the ‘Brighton’ Category

Lunch and cappuccino in Coffee at 33

November 25, 2018

On a cold misty mid-week in Brighton last week a little detour to Blend and Brew Brighton, then retrace my steps and down to the seafront.

It was then back to North Laine.

Infinity Foods Kitchen, I did not fancy, Iydea was not good either, and has not been good all year.

I looked in Magazine Brighton, then to Coffee at 33.

The filled rolls looked excellent, and as I was still hungry from my half eaten lunch at Iydea, it was a filled roll and a cappuccino.

Both were excellent.

My friend Georgia chose hot chocolate.

Coffee at 33 was where I would have eaten had I not walked down to and along the seafront.


Blend and Brew Brighton

November 21, 2018

An excursion from Brighton Station to Blend and Brew Brighton.

I have not found open on previous visits to Brighton. Barely little more than a kiosk.

Coffee not great, it was not worth the excursion.

They are going to move into opposite corner vacated by Trafalgar Books and open a coffee shop which will be open on weekends.

I assumed only open in the morning to catch commuters, but open until four o’clock.

Blend and Brew Brighton roast their own coffee in Italy which explains a lot as Italy infamous for bad coffee.

The row of syrups on the back wall says it all.

Featured in The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide.

Cold misty mid-week in Brighton

November 21, 2018

A cold day. Warm in the sun walking to station to catch a train to Gatwick, but at Gatwick, no sun, very cold.

Train at least running to Gatwick, in contrast with Monday evening. But train I wished to catch Gatwick to Brighton cancelled.

1212 Gatwick Express to Brighton running, but wifi not working.

An excursion to Blend and Brew Brighton. I have not found open on previous visits to Brighton. Barely little more than a kiosk. Coffee not great, it was not worth the excursion.

They are going to move into opposite corner vacated by Trafalgar Books and open a coffee shop which will be open on weekends.

I had assumed only open in the morning to catch commuters, but open until four o’clock.

Had I not walked down to and along the seafront, I would have had a coffee and lunch at Coffee at 33 or maybe lunch at The Longhouse (though not coffee as only fake milk).

Looked in The Plant Room. I thought did lunch, but no.

The unattractive exterior and its location, belies the open airy interior. Coffee supplied by Allpress.

The coffee to be tried on a future visit to Brighton.

It was then back to North Laine.

Looked in Infinity Foods Kitchen, did not fancy.

Iydea, very poor choice, very poor compared with weekends. Maybe because now mid-day. Chose best of a poor choice. It looked as though been sitting there since lunchtime. A big mistake It was not good. It would have better to have walked back to Infinity Foods Kitchen.

Lunch has has always been excellent at Iydea, something to look forward to. But not this year. It has gone rapidly downhill.

Looked in Magazine Brighton.

Then to Coffee at 33. Filled bread roll and cappuccino. A mistake, I should have had V60 and a filled bread roll. Filled bread roll excellent, brie, pesto and tomato toasted.

Walked to Hisbe and picked up a few things.

V60 at Pelicano.

Time to catch a train, but instead walk back to the seafront via North Laine and The Laines.

The Pier closed, in darkness.

Hungry, maybe eat at Bom Banes in Kemptown. Full.

Back through North Laine and catch Gatwick Express to Gatwick.

Walking home, hard frost on the cars. Weather forecast for tonight, could go as low as minus six.

— to be continued —-

Cappuccino Coffee at 33

November 5, 2018

A cappuccino in Coffee at 33.

Very busy lunchtime. Usually I visit towards the end of the day.

Excellent cappuccino.

Cappuccino at Pelicano

November 5, 2018

I look in Pelicano before late lunch at Iydea.

They have changed the frontage. And not for the better.

Too busy to stay.

I will save as last port of call before catching my train.

Now dark, no one about.

Excellent cappuccino and coffee cake. Too large a portion for one, sufficient for two people to share. They pop in a box for me to takeaway.


November 5, 2018

Serendipity I chanced upon Hisbe.

Only fake milk in The Longhouse, owner suggests I try nearby supermarket for a coffee with real milk.

Perplexed by her suggestion, I went in search of a supermarket serving coffee.

I find HISBE serving coffee from Coffee at 33.

A  downmarket version of Infinity Foods, or as they would term it, a radical alternative to Infinity Foods.

I had only just had a cappuccino at Coffee at 33, and therefore did not try the coffee.  A little area set aside for coffee, including cakes.

How radical? An open coop, accept faircoin?

Where Infinity source organic, HISBE source local, though may also be organic.

I have never been impressed by the quality of fresh produce in Infinity Foods. Quality at HISBE comparable to what I find on a good market.

HISBE, How It Should Be, minimise waste.

Grains, nuts, cereals, empty from a chute into a bag or your own container. Different liquids, for example shampoo, bring and fill your own own bottle.

I would have liked to have seen more nuts, more dried fruits, and bars of chocolate, chocolate coated nuts, as I see in Athens and on local markets in Athens.

It is more than reducing waste, supporting local seasonal producers, paying a fair price, selling at a fair price.

It is how your local supermarket should function, a  partnership with local producers and the local community.

Not as the big corporate supermarkets function, screw the suppliers into the ground, intimidate suppliers that they dare not speak out at the widespread industry malpractice, screw the customers, fake offers, buy one get one free, everything excessively shrink wrapped in plastic, piss poor service.

Contrast with Waitrose or failing M&S, who talk the talk but the talk is greenwash and bullshit, fresh produce wrapped in plastic.

I tried fermented green tea from Old Tree Brewery. Smells of rotting apples, tastes of apple juice.

There are many quality independent businesses in Brighton, be they food stores like Grocer and Grain, Infinity Foods, HISBE, restaurants like Iydea, Infinity Foods Cafe, or coffee shops like Coffee at 33, Gazed, Pelicano.  What they should now be doing is looking at how they can create their own cooperative  network, and one way is through creation of a North Laine local currency and through a digital currency such as faircoin.

The supermarket I visited was on London Road. There are plans to open more across Brighton. The London Road store was seed funded via crowdfunding.

The Longhouse

November 4, 2018

On my last visit to Brighton I found The Longhouse, but closed for renovation.

I decide to revisit.

Plant based should have set warning bells, a vegan place.

A cappuccino, not possible, only fake milk. And no it is not possible to make a cappuccino with fake milk. It will look disgusting and taste disgusting.

The best one can do is to use Oatley, the best of the fake milk, then blend in the pouring jug.

Vegan cakes are also disgusting.

If refusing to use real milk, then why use fake milk, offer V60 pour over. But not on offer.

Pleasant ambience, and nice cups made locally. These were also for sale.

It goes without saying I did not stay.

Owner suggested I take a coffee at the nearby supermarket. An odd suggestion, odd that is until I happened upon HISBE.

Early November in Brighton

November 4, 2018

Not too cold walking to catch a train.  At Gatwick very cold. Cold in Brighton too, but seemed to get warmer during the day.

A timetable on the platform at Gatwick bore no relationship to the train times. Warning plastered all over that subject to major changes. Why not simply print new timetables?

The 12-coach Thameslink train from Gatwick full.

I always look in the FCB Passenger Lounge though never a coffee. Often useful literature to pick up, for example Viva Brighton.

Tempting a coffee off Small Batch kiosk in the station forecourt but I had other plans.

Today a different plan, under the station and head into North Laine.

Under the station, a homeless person well tucked in. This is the tragedy of Brighton, a victim of austerity and shock doctrine, to which everyone turns a blind eye. And to their shame, Labour failed to vote against tax cuts for the rich.

Just beyond the bridge, literally in the shadow of the bridge, a shed Organic Dirty Burgers, sadly not open on a Sunday. Street food at its best. Avoid Gourmet Burgers on station forecourt, disgusting.

A little further down on a corner, barely the size of a kiosk, Blend and Brew Brighton. Not open. I have never found open. No opening times displayed. A pity they make the place look tacky with windows covered in paper.

A cappuccino in Coffee at 33. Very busy lunchtime. Usually I visit towards the end of the day.

Excellent cappuccino.

If passing by, I always look in Magazine Brighton. Sometimes I buy something.

Tempted by Ambrosia (sister publication of Drift) and a publication I have not seen before Om Nom.

As I learnt on my last visit to Brighton, now two places in North Laine where can obtain Standart and Drift, Magazine Brighton and Pelicano.

I pick up Viva Lewis, sister publication of Viva Brighton.

To the end and left into a busy main road.

On my last visit to Brighton, The Longhouse closed for renovation. I decided to revisit and have a coffee. I do not have a coffee as only fake milk. And contrary to what may be claimed, it is not possible to make a decent cappuccino with fake milk, it looks and tastes disgusting, Why ruin good coffee? If do not wish to use milk, offer V60 pour over.

Owner suggests I try nearby supermarket where they serve good coffee. Baffled, I check it out. I find HISBE, a radically different supermarket. They serve coffee roasted by Coffee at 33. I decided not, as only just had.

HISBE, minimise waste, a downmarket or as they would prefer radical alternative to Infinity Foods.

I try fermemted green tea. Smells of rotting apples, tastes of apple juice.

Then to Gazed. Something of a wild goose chase as closed.

I look in Pelicano, very busy, I will call back later.

Then finally, lunch at Iydea. Not up to their usual high standard.

Saddened to see Brighton Books, located next door, is closing down, building sold. No attempt to find new owner for the business.

A few things from Infinity Food, including Om Nom the food magazine I was tempted by in Magazine Brighton. I recommend Ambrosia, only I could not think of the name, other than sister magazine of Drift.

To Brighton Sausages, sausages and cheese,

A new cheesemonger has opened, near to Resident, it used to be a shop selling junk.

Now nearing five o’clock I was going to head home once starting to get dark. Tempted to head to Pelicano and then station. but cannot visit Brighton and not visit the seafront.

Then Pelicano for excellent cappuccino and cake, real cake, not a vegan cake.

Sunday in Brighton

August 19, 2018

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.

Destruction of local businesses

August 15, 2018

What makes a town centre, local businesses, local architecture, they provide a sense of place, the local businesses recycle money within the local economy.

Four local businesses destroyed, for what, a rapacious greedy developer to make fast buck.

A grassy area with flowering cherry trees destroyed, for what, an ugly eyesore of a Premier Inn, and of course a rapacious developer to make a fast buck.

Around the corner The Tumbledown Dick destroyed, for what, a Drive-Thu McDonald’s, and of course to enable  a rapacious developer to make a fast buck, the same rapacious developer.

Within the town centre, half the town centre destroyed, people kicked out of their homes, social housing levelled to the ground for a car park, many local business destroyed, for what, a superstore and a handful of corporate chains.

Welcome to Farnborough, one of the ugliest town centres in the country. And yes, there are worst, Aldershot down the road.

And complicit in all of this, town centre planners, who have not a clue what constitutes good town centre planning, who lack any understanding of how local economies function, but who can be relied upon to act against the interests of the local community, hand greedy developers on a plate whatever they ask for.

Complicit too, thick-as-shit local councillors who rubber-stamp whatever is put before them, who are led by the nose by the planners acting for developers, who stick two fingers up to the local community.

There is one green area left in the town centre. That too is now earmarked for development, no lessons have been learnt, no apologies for the damage wrought on the town centre.

Contrast Farnborough or Aldershot with North Laine in Brighton. Three streets with side streets, quirky indie businesses, coffee shops, music shops, bookshops, restaurants, boutiques, food shops, bakeries, pubs, and not a single corporate chain in sight, nor empty boarded-up shops.  On a Sunday busy, on a Saturday difficult to move for people.

The same is true for the old part of York or Hull Old Town.