Posts Tagged ‘Sunday in Brighton’

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

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.

Sunday in Brighton

November 5, 2017

Cold sunny autumnal day.

Uneventful trip down, which in itself is noteworthy, no rail works.

I noticed FCB at the Station Lounge had Coffee at 33 as a guest coffee. I was surprised as very small coffee shop.

A cappuccino off the Small Batch kiosk outside Brighton Station.

I missed them on my last trip.

I have been spoilt. I have lost track of the number of champion baristas who have served me last couple of weeks.  But that was Athens.

I looked in Grocer and Grain.  Always a good selection of coffee on sale.  It only serves to highlight how misguided the campaign re Sainsbury’s and FairTrade.

FairTrade is a marketing con, why buy from a supermarket when can buy from indie coffee shops, small retailers or direct from roasters, Grocer and Grain, Infinity Foods, Small Batch, Horsham Coffee Roasters?

I would question the packaging of Back Yard Coffee as what is written is meaningless. They need to look at Small Batch or Horsham Coffee Roasters.

Opposite Grocer and Grain, a bike sharing scheme, more bikes down on the seafront.

I proposed such a scheme more than two decades ago. I am pleased to see finally being adopted.

Popular, I saw many of the bikes in use.

Walking down to the seafront the sea was shimmering all the way to the horizon as though a sheet of silver. Not an effect I have seen before.

Along the seafront as far as the Pier then up through Pavilion Gardens to North Laine.

Although a cold day, many people around, possibly because pleasantly sunny, and sat in the sun pleasantly warm.

I looked in Infinity Foods. Usually I would eat first, but I wanted bread, and if I did the other way around, likely none left.

Infinity Foods busy.

A coffee I had not seen before. Source. They make the claim carbon credit registered, Meaningless as carbon credit a scam. They do more good by supporting farmers to plant trees, grow coffee in the shade of trees, and protect forests, as Union does with Yayu Forest in Ethiopia.

I was not going to sit outside at Iydea as too cold, but too busy inside, not helped by people reserving tables. Though that was happening outside too with idiots putting their bags on seats to stop people sitting down.

I managed to find a seat at the end of a table, then when the people moved,  I moved around. It was surprisingly warm in the sun.

In the summer, maybe August,  I looked in Brighton Magazine and suggested stock Standart. I learnt they already did, and was thanked for reminding them as a delivery was long overdue. I looked again September, latest issue out, but not in stock, thanked for reminding them, yet again, and they chased non-delivery.  I inquired again today, still not delivered.

I noticed they stocked Drift. Until I saw in The Underdog I had never seen before. It is like Standart only focused on one city. Expensive $22. In Brighton Magazine £16-50.

The current issue of Drift covers Melbourne, a new edition Mexico City due.

I decided to leave early as now getting very cold, and would only get colder once the sun set.

Passing by Bond Street, I asked about Work House.  It is a blend that has replaced Pioneer, or at was that was what I had thought as that was what they were using in Krema on Saturday. No, not replaced, they have two blends.

Just time to walk down to the seafront and to the Pier and see the sun setting.

To the station to catch a train, barely time for a detour to Small Batch to pick up leaflets on their coffee.

When I looked earlier, and on my way to the station, very busy, not possible to relax.

Train packed, 1635 to Victoria,

Earliest I have ever left Brighton.

Sunday in Brighton

September 11, 2016

That time of year, dreaded rail works. Been ongoing for at least ten years.

Nightmare train journey down to Brighton.

No amended timetable at local station. Female guard on train, fails to walk the train to collect fares. I search her out. She refuses to sell a ticket. Barely sufficient time to leave Guildford Station and catch replacement bus service. No time to buy a ticket, and certainly no time with long queue. Luckily able to get on bus without ticket.

I had no luggage. Worse for those that did. Especially as no clear direction where to go when train terminated at Guildford.

Bus leaves ten minutes late. No explanation or apology.  But at least  rail personal announce on bus, where bus is going and that mandatory to wear seat belt. Major traffic jams en route. Bus arrives Gatwick 15 minutes late. Two trains to Brighton missed.

Chaos at station concourse, queuing back into airport. Luckily, I am allowed through the barrier.  Twenty minutes wait for Brighton train, which is then five minutes late.

Poster on platform stating free wifi. No wifi.

At Brighton cannot exit, no ticket. 10-15 minute wait to buy a ticket. Asked why no ticket? I explain station closed, train guard refused to sell a ticket, replacement bus service.

passion flower

passion flower

Walking down from Brighton Station to Grocer and Grain on my way to the seafront, I came across passion flowers growing on a garden wall.

Looked in on Hakan in Grocer and Grain. As always, excellent display of cakes. With the exception of Pelicano, better than most coffee shops, and good coffee too. Not surprising, very busy, people wanting cakes and coffee. I was tempted to buy Union coffee beans, but not recently roasted.

Looked in The Fair Shop.

Get On Go Somewhere

Get On Go Somewhere

Clever idea on the side of a bus, where would you like to go?

Street Kitchen

Street Kitchen

Off the soup kitchen, bacon and sausages and mushrooms frying, I could not resist, I was starving. I said I felt guilty, as I was not homeless, and offered a donation. Please do not feel guilty, they said. You stopped and had a chat. The guilty ones are those who walk by. The guilty ones are the council that says no homeless on Brighton.

What a  difference the sun makes. Very busy people walking down from the station. Seafront packed. More people than Bank Holiday Weekend two weeks ago.

Two excellent musicians playing on the seafront. I picked up a couple of their CDs

Seth playing in The lanes. I said hi. I already have his CD.

Lunch at Iydea. I did not enjoy as much as I usually do. Roast potatoes were not up to their usual standard, peas cold.

Cappuccino at Coffee at 33. I also picked up two bags of freshly roasted coffee beans of their house blend, which is what they use. They also have single origin coffee. Recent roast date 7 September 2016. Single origin even more recent, 9 September 2016.

A criticism. No weight marked on the bags. No price either.

I suggested they talk to Hakan in Grocer and Grain, as he is interested in selling their coffee beans, and using for his coffee.

I just made Infinity Foods. Apples. Very poor selection of coffee. But then makes sense, when probably better to buy from the many coffee shops. Far better selection in Grocer and Grain.

I looked in Small Batch Coffee. Two bags of their coffee beans as used by them. Also single origin. Again recent roast date, 8 September 2016.  Shocked though when their barista, at least I assume he was the barista, said roast date does not matter, that he had beans at home in the cupboard at least a year old and he could not tell the difference.

Looked in Bond St Coffee. They are the coffee shop for Horsham Coffee. And yet the beans on sale roasted sometime mid-August. Maybe that is why their coffee is a disappointment.

Graffiti artists in action in an alley off Bond Street. I mentioned the murals in Puerto de la Cruz. They said hosts an annual graffiti festival.

Back down to the seafront. Six o’clock, and yet still hot in the sun.

Watched the sun set from Brighton Pier.

I left later than I intended, only just made the train. But leaving earlier than I wished. My reason for doing so, rail works. A bus journey of over an hour. Had I waited, next bus journey was showing around two hours for bus and train, for a journey that would normally take an hour.

Train Brighton to London Bridge packed. At Gatwick, platform heaving, passengers trying to get on a packed train.

A sign in the airport, wait here to be taken to the bus. No one there. Luckily I knew where to go.

I asked, was directed to a bus. No driver. Bus in semi-darkness. When driver appeared and bus set off, he did not announce where the bus was going, nor state it was mandatory to wear seat belts.

Luckily journey only 45 minutes, but twenty minutes wait in the cold at Guildford Station for a train. Had the train ran all the way, but for rail works, no wait in the cold.

Less time in Brighton. Arrive later, forced to leave earlier. Pay for a  train, get a bus. Longer journey time. No compensation. Thus the train companies screw their passengers.

Sunday in Brighton

August 28, 2016
Brighton seafront gale blowing

Brighton seafront gale blowing

Cooler than last week. Guildford to Gatwick rain. Cloudy all day, but warm.

I needed a timetable. Queue out of ticket office into the station forecourt. No timetables on display.

FCB run the passenger waiting room. Useful literature for free, including what appears to be a monthly book on Brighton, Viva Brighton. Never seen before. There was also a newspaper or magazine for North Laine which I had not seen before. On the front page, a book about North Laine due out soon.

Popped into Grocer & Grain. Always a delight to visit. Two different suppliers of coffee beans, cakes, fruit and vegetables. Sadly I have not seen the owner for several years.

Straight down the main road to the sea front.

Taylor St Baristas closed last year. Now boarded-up. What a tragedy. Loss of a great coffee shop. Why not have let the staff and customers take it on as an open coop? It was though not in a good location. North Laine would have been a far better location.

Street Kitchen

Street Kitchen

Street Kitchen

Street Kitchen

A pop up soup kitchen half way down the road. A sad sign of the times.

A gale blowing on the seafront.

Brighton iSore

Brighton iSore

Along the seafront as far as the Brighton iSore.  Not ony iSore and eyesore, also the glass base.

This used to be an attractive area. Many stalls. Including an excellent book stall. What happened to them?

Then, having walked so far, on to a food festival at Hove. Not impressed, tacky food stalls would expect at a tacky seaside resort. I expected what I once found near the Brighton Pavilion a few yeas ago, quality foods, though it outgrew its space.

A stall selling farm produce, apples, apple juice, plums, sweetcorn, was the only interesting stall. At first I thought it was the stall which is always on the Guildford farmers market, but no.  I picked up sweetcorn and plums.

A I walked past, a cookery demonstration in a tent. On my way back, sampled the food. Potato cakes, and what I think was spinach and venison. The venison, if that was what it was, was like good beef.

On the sea front, near the pier, guy on guitar, another on drums, they were good.

It was then make my way to Iydea in North Laine for late lunch.

On my way, passed a trio, guy on bass, guy on guitar and  a female vocalists. They were good. Did I wish to buy their CD? OK. I bought two signed copies of Rhythm of the Lanes by So Quartet. I assume I saw playing were SO Trio.  Lovely cover, the location in The Lanes where I found them playing.

SO, Sara Oschlag, a Danish vocalist resident in Brighton.

I had a chat with Sara Oschlag, suggested she be on bandcamp. She directed me to her website. As I always find, an attempt to reinvent an inferior wheel. If on bandcamp, she can embed on her website, and as I said, tell people on bandcamp, then people can tell their friends.

Sara Oschlag would be an excellent addition to Staycation Live in Goldaming.

North Laine as always very busy. Busy because no chains, lots of interesting indie shops.

A Mod rally, lots of scooters. Mods as in Mods and Rockers. Brighton in the 1960s was the venue for pitched battles on the beach between Mods and Rockers. The Mods appeared to be in their 6os if not 70s.

Lunch at Iydea. As always excellent. Pleasant enough to sit outside.

I came across a guy called Windy. He was stood by a beautiful mandolin with inlaid mother of pearl. I asked was it for sale, and how old? He seemed affronted that I could even suggest it be for sale. He said he was selling a CD, A Call to Arms. Did I want one?  I took a risk and said yes. The mandolin he said was from the 1950s, not as old as it looked.  I suggested he be on bandcamp.

A couple of cookies from a little bakery.

Apples and peas from Infinity foods. Both excellent.

Coffee from Bond Street Coffee. Not impressed. Lacking in atmosphere, poor choice of cakes, as though added as an after thought. I asked for wifi password. Was told no wifi. Coffee was at best average. Date slice was good.  Beans are roasted by Horsham Coffee.

Krema in Farnham makes better coffee, though may not be using the same beans.

I sat outside and ate my apple.  I set off to buy more.

Long chat with Deliverooo delivery guys. Same exploitation as Uber, serfs working for an app.

Too late, Infinity Foods now closed.

Back down the seafront.

Grilled smoked kipper in a bun. I did not much like. I should have had a crab sandwich.

Back to North Laine to Pelicano Coffee and Tea House. Reasonable coffee, always excellent cakes. Pleasant atmosphere, friendly baristas. A marked contrast to Bond Street Coffee.

Pelicano roast their own coffee, the beans are on sale, the cakes are made locally.

Back to the seafront, walk to the end of Brighton Pier.

With no timetable, all I could do was walk back to the station and hope to pick up a train.

I was surprised at the number of people about. Usually Sunday night is quiet.

Shocked by the number of homeless settling down for the night in shop doorways.

Departure Display showing many cancelled trains. Luckily a train in a little over 15 minutes. To the ticket office to buy a ticket and pick up a timetable.

Train packed.

At Gatwick, a mass of people trying to get on the train.

How can Gatwick expand, when it cannot cope now?

Sunday in Brighton

November 1, 2015
enjoying the sun

enjoying the sun

Jack and Linda Mills Fish Smokers

Jack and Linda Mills Fish Smokers

Brighton beach

Brighton beach

First of November, first Sunday of November, All Saints’ Day.

Weekend rail works, Reading-Guildford-Gatwick, replacement bus service, no information at effected stations, no published amended timetable.

Very misty.

Guildford onwards, sun broke through, clear blue sky, and yet still very misty.

Redhill onwards, thick cloud.

South Downs onwards, sunny.

As a sunny day in Brighton, I decided to walk down to the seafront, then back up to North Laine.

tomato soup

tomato soup

lunch at Iydea

lunch at Iydea

It meant, the sun had gone from outside Iydea, but still warm enough to sit outside. Lunch not as good as last week, though excellent tomato soup. I have never noticed soup before. Maybe only winter.

My only gripe with Iydea, not pleasant to sit inside, awful music pounding out.

mouthwatering cakes

mouthwatering cakes

cappuccino

cappuccino

A coffee at Pelicano Coffee and Tea House. It was ok, though by no means one of the best.

Resident has expanded, now double its previous size. It is good to see an indie record shop doing well, but then Resident is one of the best in the country. I never understood why the passing of HMV was mourned, as it was a terrible record shop, and its demise, gave a breathing space for indie record shops like Resident.

On a whim, I buy Divers by Joanna Newsom.

Catch Infinity Foods before they close at five.

Walk down to the sea front, but sun has long gone, as have all the people.

Fog is rolling in off the sea.

No time to walk along the pier.

Missed the 1814 train, catch the 1835 to Gatwick.

Chaos at Guildford. Half a dozen coaches, no one directing to which coach.

Sunday in Brighton

October 26, 2015
Brighton Station

Brighton Station

lunch at Iydea

lunch at Iydea

North Laine

North Laine

seafront

seafront

Nightmare train journey down to Brighton, thanks to dreaded rail works.

Popped in Grocer and Grain. As usual impressive.

North Laine.

I was going to eat at Iydea, but did not like what was on offer.

Tried Infinity Kitchen. Even less appealing.

I tried the soup.

Back to Iydea.

Quiche with roast potatoes, peas and a couple of toppings. Sounds a bizarre choice, but it works.

Excellent quiche, as was the peas and roast potatoes

I thought maybe a cookie and cappuccino at Taylor St Baristas, but never made it.

Down to the sea front.

A pity not earlier, as probably would have been warm and sunny.

Crab sandwich from …

Cockle man said it had been very busy from the moment he opened at ten o’clock.

Fantastic sunset. Then after the sun set, I have never seen such a large area of the sky lit up.

A walk along the pier then time to set off for the station.