Posts Tagged ‘Brighton’


November 22, 2020

On a visit to Infinity Foods Saturday of last week I noticed on the shelves a coffee I had not encountered before, Wolfox. Not that I would buy coffee from Infinity Foods, not when spoilt for choice in Brighton and the coffee will be freshly roasted.

Sunday the following day I passed by their coffee shop.

Wolfox Coffee. New. I have never noticed before. I saw their coffee in nearby Infinity Foods on Saturday. Claimed to be specialty coffee. Girl did not know q grade. But she brewed an excellent coffee.

I picked up a bag of coffee. A criticism, coffee when the coffee roastery, should be freshly roasted. Most of the coffee on sale was roasted in October. No excuse for this, the coffee should be rotated.

I picked up a bag roasted November.

The walnut coffee cake looked good. It was not. I should have known better. It was vegan and vegan cakes are nearly always disgusting.

A couple of days later I revisited Wolfox and had take away vegetable soup. Not hot, warm. but tasty. Not the weather for sitting in the street with a takeaway.

Bread & Milk

November 21, 2020

Last Saturday finding Coffee at 33 closed, it closes at three, I decided to try Bread & Milk a little further down the street.

I once decided not to have a coffee at Bread & Milk, I cannot recall why. Coffee from Pharmacie. A good sign. Loud music not. Covid-19 death trap. I tell girl too loud. She cannot hear me.

Girl clueless on coffee. Chocolate dumped on top. I take it back. She argues with me. My fault for not telling her. My fault that she is clueless on coffee and I failed to second guess. Coffee hot, too much froth and foam. Quality of beans manages to prevail but not doing Pharmacie any favours.

Ambience pleasant, apart from girl serving, let down by lack of a skilled barista to do justice to the beans.

Note: As I learnt the following day, I confused with a different place of similar name, Milk Not Sugar. Not specialty coffee as sign suggests, once was, now Vietnamese food and coffee Vietnamese style with condensed milk (yuk).

Coronavirus biosecurity poor. Door open keeping well ventilated, restrictions on numbers, but loud music blasting out, refusal to acknowledged a problem, let alone turn it down, turning Bread & Milk into a coronavirus death trap.

Brighton Station walk in health centre

November 21, 2020

Friday 13th easyJet flight Athens to Larnaca, no social distancing, packed in like sardines, take off delayed by an hour and forty minutes due to problems with ice on the wings. Plane arrives late, I have bad back pain, no option other than to spend the night at Gatwick.

When I awake in the morning, Saturday of last week, back pain worse, no option other than to stay for a couple more nights, I ask to see a doctor. No doctor at Gatwick, nearest Redhill or Crawley. Not knowing either and with a regular train service best option take a train to Brighton and visit the walk in centre a couple of minutes down from the station, on the left of the main road heading to the seafront.

Bad back pain. Walk in medical centre close to Brighton Station. Cannot walk in, have to make an appointment. Ok, make an appointment. No, can not see anyone. Why? Covid protocol. That explains why two receptionists, one nurse, no social distancing, no wearing of masks. My only option, visit A&E.

I later visit A&E at Brighton hospital.

Cold, starting to rain, turning dark. I give the seafront a miss and catch No 7 bus to hospital.

Not too long in A&E. May be three hours max. Nothing serious. Maybe strained muscles. Cocktail of drugs, codeine and paracetamol.

Bucketing it down with rain. Catch taxi to station.

Rowdy & Fancy’s Artisan Chocolate

November 20, 2020

I had never heard of let alone encountered chocolate from Rowdy and Fancy’s until I cane across in Barney’s Delicatessen.

If in Brighton, I always pop in Barney’s Deli to see what is new, have a chat. Though no Barney, I learnt he has opened a new shop.

Barney’s Deli used to be local cheese, a compliment to Brighton Sausage which also stocks cheese, but has expanded beyond cheese to stock Sussex produce. An example would be chocolate from Rowdy & Fancy’s which I noticed on a recent visit, a chocolate I had not encountered before.

Rowdy & Fancy’s claims to be artisan chocolate, as meaningless a designation as gourmet. It is not quality chocolate when contaminated with additives. Quality chocolate is bean-to-bar craft chocolate. It is difficult to see what is artisan buying in chocolate, moulding then packaging. The only bars not contaminated with additives were dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate. The white chocolate on tasting, reasonable, a hint of fruits, on a par with white chocolate from Hotel Chocolat.

Packaging resembles a cigarette package with the chocolate inside wrapped in what I thought was plastic. On checking, not plastic, compostable, made from wood pulp. A new one on me and I would like to know more.

I recommended stock Bare Bones, Bullion and Luisa’s if wish to stock quality chocolate (though not local). Yes, commendable to stock local, but not at expense of quality.

Cafe Coho The Lanes

November 19, 2020

Brighton in lockdown, Cafe Coho in The Lanes one of the few coffee shops if not the only coffee shop open after four in the afternoon.

Coronavirus lockdown, coffee shops closing at four if not earlier, takeaway only, I try my luck at Cafe Soho in The Lanes.

I found open a couple of days ago. Yesterday I was too late, it was closed. Today I am in luck.

Coffee supplied by Union. No guarantee of excellent coffee as Union supply anyone.

My coffee reasonable though not in the same league as the best in Brighton and not doing any favours to espresso blend Revelation from Union.

Cakes sourced from the same bakery as found in Grocer & Grain.

Loud music blasting out.

Coronavirus biosecurity poor. Door open, hand sanitiser as enter by the door, restrictions on numbers, but loud music blasting out, have to shout to be heard by the barista.

Twin Pines

August 21, 2019

On walking in from the street, difficult to see as dark and gloomy inside. Once eyes adjust, a pleasant ambience.

Pleasant to sit on the little bench seat outside. Not so pleasant when smokes blow smoke in your face.

An excellent cappuccino though I thought somewhat perverse when serving speciality coffee to ask if want sugar. I would not wish for sugar any more than I would wish for syrups or chocolate dumped on top.

The espresso blend is from a local roaster. I think Cast Iron Coffee Roasters but stand corrected if wrong.

Served in interesting cups.

I have tried coffee from Cast Iron before at Black Mocha. I was not impressed. Maybe time to revisit.

On the counter guest coffee from Calendar Coffee. Twin Pines regular rotate their guest coffee.

The label depicts the tasting notes, though not obvious.

I would have wished to buy a bag, but already closed the till.

Also on the counter a selection of chocolate. Whether quality chocolate I do not know as too dark and gloomy to read a list of ingredients or whether or not bean-to-bar chocolate. From the puzzled expression when I aksed I assume not.

Quality chocolate:

  • cocoa mass – sugar – vanilla
  • cocoa mass -cocoa butter – sugar – vanilla

Purists will not add vanilla. EU permits emulsifiers.

Several of the chocolates had a Great Taste Award sticker and at a guess the determining factor when stocking. A meaningless award absolutely no guarantee of quality.

I suggested they try Bullion.

Located in Kemptown. Easy to find, head inland from Brighton Pier.

Information in The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide incorrect. Close at six on a Sunday not seven as listed.

Brighton Coffee Festival

August 11, 2019

Brighton Coffee Festival was hosted in Brighton Open Market, along London Road, only a few minutes walk from Brighton Station, down a steep flight of steps, and along Fenchurch Walk. A part of Brighton I was not aware of let alone visited before.

I lacked a ticket. Nightmare trying to book on-line using a phone, little better on a laptop.

Book on-line charged £7 a further £1 booking fee. On the gate £10.

A mix of coffee roasters, many of which were local coffee shops or Sussex coffee roasters plus London coffee roasters, a couple of food stalls, interspersed with talks and a latte art competition.

It was basically wander around try the coffee. Most were serving V60, a few espresso or V60.

A few talks. The sound systems so bad impossible to hear the lady from Pharmacie. A Colombian guy Eduardo Florez from a The Colombian Coffee Company in Borough Market was comprehensible, maybe I was stood in the right spot.

Awful moronic music blasting out. It was overloading the system and clipping. It made it nigh impossible to hold conversation.

Colombian guy Eduardo Florez interesting. Why do we buy coffee? We do not buy wine.

Well actually we do, we buy red or white or fizzy, sweet or dry, the cheapest we can find, but basically we buy wine.

Similarly we buy coffee, or at least we drink coffee.

The discerning coffee drinker seeks out quality, wishes to know the origin, the provenance of the coffee, the variety, when it was roasted, by who was it roasted.

Coffee farmers who focus on quality, are able to command a higher price for their beans, everyone is happy, the grower gets more money, the coffee drinker better quality coffee.

Contrast with the fair trade scam which pays a tiny premium above commodity price, maintains farmers in poverty as no incentive to improve quality.

The rubbish coffee relies on marketing.

We as coffee drinkers by seeking out the best coffee, frequenting indie coffee shops, avoiding the corporate chains and coffee shops serving bad coffee are not only able to sit and enjoy an excellent cup of coffee served by a skilled barista are also helping the coffee farmers improve their livelihood.

It was a pity he did not have a stall to enable visitors to try and buy his coffee.

Interesting conversation with Jacqueline Turner coffee farmer Kinini Coffee in Rwanda. She told me a little of the estate, that processing takes place on the farm, a school has been built for the children.

Red Roaster roast her coffee beans.

On walking in, greeted by Small Batch, and unfortunately an unpleasant cacophony of noise.

I am not a fan of takeaway coffee, the only way to enjoy coffee is to sit and relax with a coffee served in glass or ceramic but one of those rare exceptions where I will stop time permitting and have a coffee is the Small Batch kiosk outside Brighton Station. The coffee served always consistently good.

Small Batch had receptacles for coffee cups, liquid and lids. The only stall, though others may have had hidden, as took cup if handed over.

Everyone was using compostable cups.

I then wandered around clockwise.

First coffee off Horsham Coffee Roasters.

A Kenyan V60, it was excellent. The first and best coffee of the day.

I later returned and tried a Rwandan. It too was good.

It will be interesting to see how compares in Krema.

By contrast, a coffee off Roasted was disappointing.

A table with The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide. Now in its second edition, a useful guide to have, but a case of feel the width never mind the quality. Too many coffee shops which if the idea is to highlight the best in Brighton I would not include.

How is it financed?

Redemption roast coffee at Aylesbury Prison, where also teach coffee skills to young offenders. They have four coffee shops in London.

Excellent cappuccino off Caravan with their espresso blend. Very interesting flavour profile.

Pelicano had an impressive stand. Their coffee shop in North Laine is one of my favourite coffee shops. Not only for coffee, always an impressive display of cakes. One of the few places places can obtain Drift and Standart, and if further incentive to buy, a free coffee.

Passing by the Pelicao coffee shop later they told me they had had a very good day at the coffee festival.

I have never been to the London Coffee Festival, and from what I hear, each year it gets worse.

The organisers of the Brighton Coffee Festival were helpful, responded very promptly to my queries.

The ticketing on-line a nightmare. I would suggest for future use Event Brite, as never had problems.

Please please ditch the music. It made conversation nigh impossible.

I was pleased chains and corporate coffee suppliers did not get a look in. The ficus was on specialty coffee and local.

I would have liked to have seen Square Mile, Alchemy, Kiss the Hippo, Coffee Gems, Columbia Coffee Roasters, DT Coffee Roasters.

How to fit them all in, if space cannot be extended? Omit the food stalls, food was available from the market traders thus no no need for food stalls, and that includes The Flour Pot, who are a cake shop.

Consider a fringe or alternative coffee festival, events spread over a week or longer, hosted in different coffee shops across Brighton.

Brighton Coffee Festival was hosted in Brighton Open Market, along London Road., only a few minutes walk from Brighton Station, down a steep flight of steeps, and along …. A part of Brighton i was not aware of let alone visited before.

The periphery of the market  lined with shops. Unfortunate less than half were open, and most of those that were  open closed before four. I would have liked to have looked in the zero waste shop.

I found a Turkish lady with a stall making food I have never come across before. She made it look simple, but she told me not as simple as she made it look.

A ball of dough which she dropped into a machine resembling a miniature version of an old fashioned mangle, she then rolled with a tiny rolling pin. Dropped in whatever you wished for, vegan vegetarian, meat. I chose lamb. Fold in half, then popped on a hot plate for five minutes. Delicious. I can only describe as almost like a thin pizza base, but then folded to resemble a Cornish pasty.

On leaving via the London Road entrance I spoke with a man packing up a bookstall. He said when events were on it was varied but today he did quite well.

Note: Brighton Coffee Festival 2020 will not take place due to covid-19 pandemic.

Free Coffee

August 11, 2019

On my way to Brighton Coffee Festival at The Open Market I encountered outside Costa on London Road a small van giving away free coffee.

No idea why.

I think it was to promote the hemp milk they were using, though it could have been a protest against Costa.

The coffee was undrinkable, though probably still better than Costa.

If drinking undrinkable coffee may at least drink free undrinkable coffee, though I would prefer to have neither and pay for good coffee, or failing that a beer or water or fruit juice or tea.

I did not try until I reached The Open Market, a little further up the road. It was scaling hot. I have never had coffee this hot.

I poured it down the drain and the cup I dropped in a bin.

— to be continued —

Sunday in Brighton

August 11, 2019

A pleasant day in Brighton.

Train to Gatwick, no wifi, train to Brighton, no wifi.

At Brighton Station popped in Passenger Lounge for wifi to load Google maps of where I was going.

I headed a back way out of the station down steep steps, that eventually brought me out some way along London Road.

A guy with a little van parked up outside Costa giving away free coffee. No idea why. It was undrinkable, though probably still better than Costa. If drinking undrinkable coffee may at least drink free undrinkable coffee, though i would prefer to heave neither and pay for good coffee, or failing that a beer or water or fruit juice or tea.

London Road, the further walk along away from the seafront the worse it gets.

Not far along London Road, past Presuming Ed, and there on the right the entrance to The Covered Market.

It was only then I tried the freebie coffee. It was scalding hot. I have never had coffee this hot. I poured it down the drain and dropped the cup in a bin. An afterthought, maybe I should have kept for the Brighton Coffee Festival.

I lacked a ticket. Nightmare trying to book on-line using a phone, little better on a laptop.

Book on-line charged £7 a further £1 booking fee. On the gate £10.

A mix of coffee roasters, many of which local coffee shops or Sussex and London Coffee roasters, some food.

It was basically wander around try the coffee. Most were serving V60, a handful espresso and V60.

A few task. The sound systems so bad impossible to hear the lady from Pharmacie. A Colombian guy from a Columbia coffee company in Borough market was comprehensible, maybe I was sood in the right spot.

Awful moronic music blasting out. It was overloading the system and clipping. It made it nigh impossible to hold conversation.

Onleavingm I thought of trying coffee shops in this part of Brighton, but not sure if open and wished to make Blackbird before tyhey clsoed.

Very annoyed to find they had clsoed early.

On the safront very windy.

Walked onto tghe oier, Very strong wind.

Decied to check coffee shops in Kemptown. Tghey were clsoed.

A wanswe through Kemptown. Very rough arae with rough peopel hanging around.

I decided to call it a day, jehad to Palicano, have a coffeem thne catch a train.

I apssed a fisg =h n chip shop. A man eating outside. It looked good. I asjked, and he said it was good.

I checked, open until seven.

Time to have a coffee at Pelican. New staffm no. Had tgheie been the original straff I would have had a coffee.

BNack ti fish n chip shop. I ordered fresh cooked haddacka dn chios, the haddock with no skin.

Long ytime coming. By time I had findihedm sun had gond and turning cold.

Sag stod at the end of the tabel hoping for someting to eat.

Time to head for the staion. I caugght an earleir train tahn a couple of weeks ahom thogh later tahn woudl have caught if had noit had fish n chiosp. But if I had caught next trainm I would miss connection at Gatwick and have long wait for next train.

I was surised to find train waiting at Gtwick. Wifi workingm no usb opaiwer.

On leaving a lady with astall Turksih food. It was excelelnt. Tgherew ere sonme food shops. They clsoed before four ans several were not opem.

— to be continued —

Sunday in Brighton

July 28, 2019

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 —


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