Posts Tagged ‘Brighton’

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.

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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.

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.

Pharmacie

July 29, 2018

I first came across Pharmacie, a small coffee roastery in Hove, when I came across their coffee as guest coffee in Flat Whites Coffee Shop in Winchester.

I decided to pay them a visit. Hence the reason for finding myself in Brighton on a Saturday when I would usually visit on a Sunday.

What I did not expect was the long trek to Hove.

I was looking forward to a pleasant walk along the seafront, but instead found myself battling a gale force wind.

First though, after an excellent lunch at Iydea in North Laine, a cappuccino from Brass Monkey, an ice cream parlour. I had learnt from my last visit to Brighton early June they would be serving coffee from Pharmacie.

The cappuccino was not good, neither was the ice cream, honey and lavender.  Not a good sign.  On the other hand the person who served the coffee, not a clue on coffee, served too hot. It makes the point, if care about the reputation of your coffee, take care to where you supply.

It had been windy. I assumed would be sheltered walking along the seafront.  Quite the opposite. A gale blowing from the south-west.

The seafront at Hove is ugly. A wide monotonous expanse of tarmac that goes on for ever. The monotony only broken by a Victorian Bandstand, a sculpture entitled Constellation and painted sheds, otherwise known as beach huts. People pay a small fortune for one of these sheds, to sit in and stare at the sea.

Past the sheds, I head inland.

It is far far further than I thought to walk to Pharmacie. I arrive at a quarter to four, fifteen minutes before they close.

Pharmacie is located in an old cobbled mews. One side used to be stables, the other side housed the carriages.

Pharmacie is housed in one of the old stables, a coffee shop and roastery.

I am the only customer.  Apparently they are busy in the morning.

I order a cappuccino. It is excellent.

I only wish time fora V60, a cold brew.

A guy brings in a Swiss roll he has made. He offers me a slice. I am reluctant to accept as no fan of Swiss roll. I find it is excellent. Very tasty, my only regret I declined a larger slice.

He later offers me chocolate coated coffee beans, which he has also made.

I buy beans, roasted that morning, single origin from Colombia and Ethiopia. I am given a tote bag to carry away my four bags of beans.

I query the packaging. Can be recycled, the average coffee bag cannot as a composite structure.

The bags have details of the beans, how processed, the farm they came from.

When meet coffee roasters who can tell you nothing of their beans, offer light, medium or dark roast for the same beans, have beans so over-roasted they are black and oily, have roasted beans in open hessian sacks on a stall at 30C or at the same temperature in bags in the midday day sun, or can tell you nothing of the provenance of the beans, where they were roasted, who lack any respect for the beans they are selling, then look elsewhere.

Sadly I have met several charlatans this month alone who are a disgrace to the coffee industry.

Sitting in the corner a large coffee roaster,  Geisen. Maybe the same model I saw at Edgcumbes Coffee the previous week.

I pick up latest Caffeine and what I have not seen before, The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide, an independent guide to coffee shops in Brighton and Hove. It is stressed it is genuinely independent, the coffee shops have not paid to be listed. Contrast with The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide which is a blatant scam, coffee shops pay £500 for a listing and write their own entry.

I would have liked to have tried a V60, maybe a cold brew, but arrived too late and they were wishing to close.

I head back down to the seafront for the long trek back to Brighton.

Interesting villas line the street, as did the road I walked up. A few appear to be single residence, many have been converted to flats, a few are hotels.

I pass Small Batch, look in, but no time to stop for a coffee.

As I approach the road that runs along the seafront I am nearly blown off my feet. It is now worse than before.

Pharmacie is four people with long experience in coffee, including a Master Coffee Roaster. Contrast with the many coffee roasteries established by people with no experience of coffee let alone coffee roasting.

Pharmacie is only open on a Saturday. On the first Saturday of the month they add a food truck.

Their tweets often make little sense, and posting pictures to twitter via Instagram is pointless as the pictures not visible on twitter.

Yes, it is possible to walk from Brighton along the seafront, and in the absence of a gale, would be a pleasant walk, otherwise Hove Station is close by.

Trip to Brighton

July 28, 2018

Much cooler weather but still pleasant.

Before setting off grass seed sown. I only wish I had sown Friday morning before the thunderstorm.

Train to Gatwick, not only has 1A power points, but also integral usb charging, 2x 1A ouput. Advantage taken, solar power bank charged.

Chaos at Gatwick. 1158 Southern Fail Gatwick to Brighton running 13 minutes late (Southern Fail from Victoria).  Passengers packed in like sardines, not every one able to board the train. At intermediary stations, not every one able to board.

Train finally arrives Brighton at 1246, it should have arrived 1231.

I head to North Laine for lunch at Iydea.

I pass Brighton Sausages and inquire when they close.  Seven o’clock. I will pop back later.

North Laine is busy on a Sunday. Today, packed, can barely move.

Excellent lunch at Iydea.

I take an ice cream and cappuccino from Brass Monkey ice cream parlour next door. The ice cream not good, neither the cappuccino.

I had an ice cream early June not long after they opened. Then it was excellent. Thus lack of consistency.

Coffee is new. Makes the point, if want a decent coffee go to an indie coffee shop serving speciality coffee.  It is also not doing the reputation of Pharmacie any favours.

I look in Pelicano. No they have not the latest Standart. Not sure if they stock, as does not sell.

I check Magazine Brighton. Neither latest edition of Standart nor Drift.

They tell me they post on Instagram when new magazine comes in. I say bad idea, post on twitter.

I then set off to find Pharmacie, a small coffee roastery in Hove.

This was why I was in Brighton on a Saturday. Only open on a Saturday. It was also why I had a coffee at Brass Monkey as the coffee supplied by Pharmacie.

It had been windy. I assumed would be sheltered walking along the seafront. Quite the opposite. A gale blowing from the south-west.

The seafront at Hove is ugly. A wide monotonous expanse of tarmac that goes on for ever. The monotony only broken by painted sheds, otherwise known as beach huts. People pay a small fortune for one of these sheds, to sit in and stare at the sea.

Past the sheds, I head inland.

It is far far further than I thought to walk to Pharmacie. I arrive at a quarter to four, fifteen minutes before they close.

Pharmacie is located in an old cobbled mews. One side used to be stables, the other side housed the carriages.

Pharmacie is housed in one of the old stables, a coffee shop and roastery.

I am the only customer. Apparently they are busy in the morning.

I order a cappuccino. It is excellent.

A guy brings in a Swiss roll he has made. He offers me a slice. It is excellent.

I buy beans, roasted that morning.

Sitting in the corner a large coffee roaster, Geisen. Maybe the same model I saw at Edgcumbes Coffee the previous week.

I pick up latest Caffeine and what I have not seen before, The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide, an independent guide to coffee shops in Brighton and Hove. It is stressed it is genuinely independent, the coffee shops have not paid to be listed. Contrast with The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide which is a blatant scam, coffee shops pay £500 for a listing and write their own entry.

I head back down to the seafront for the long trek back to Brighton.

Interesting villas line the street, as did the road I walked up. A few appear to be single residence, many have been converted to flats, a few are hotels.

I pass Small Batch, look in, but no time to stop for a coffee.

As I approach the road that runs along the seafront I am nearly blown off my feet. It is now worse than before.

Walking back along the seafront, at least I now have the wind behind me.

Taking pictures, my phone is nearly torn from my hands.

I walk as far as Brighton Pier and set foot on the pier. I do not walk along the pier. Too many people.

I head back to North Laine, just make Brighton Sausages 15 minutes before they close.

Unusual shop, sausages and cheese. I query this. They tell me they are a deli. I had always assumed them to be a butcher.

I buy sausages, cheese I have never heard of and a pork pie. I say a small pork pie. None left, only large. What is the big one then? Huge.

Too late for Pelicano. They sell me a bottle of their cold brew. I learn they also sell Drift, which unlike Standart, sells.

Walking to the station, I pass Blend & Brew, a tiny coffee shop I have never noticed before, mentioned in The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide which I had picked up from Pharamacie.

I think visit next time I am in Brighton, visit on my way to North Laine. Only open Monday to Friday.

Outside Brighton Station, Gourmet Burgers. Do not touch with a bargepole. Gourmet they are not.

Just before I pass under the bridge to the station a little stall doing burgers, claimed to be gourmet. Ranked No 1 for street food. I risk and eat on the train. Excellent. This is how burgers should be, quality.

Note: I learn on a return visit to Brighton a few weeks later called Organic Dirty Burger, but as a Sunday, not able to try as sadly only open Wednesday to Saturday and I was there on a Sunday.

The train is Gatwick Express. It used to run Gatwick to Victoria, non-stop. Now it runs Brighton, Gatwick, Victoria. Whether this is an extra service or merely replacing an existing service I do not know.

At Gatwick they barely give people opportunity to board the train, station staff harassing the passengers to board.

At Gatwick, I have twenty minutes wait for Reading train. I pass into the airport to M&S. The service appalling, manned tills replaced by automated tills.

I arrive home 9-30 very very tired just as it is starting to rain.