Thought I would expand my list of good places to have coffee/tea and cake...
The Mock Turtle - near Old Steine is one of the long standing success stories for afternoon tea. It is a classic old fashioned tea shop, I imagine as they used to be. It is sort of like sitting in your grannys front room, ultra cosy. The window is always enticing from traditional sponge cakes to huge flavoured meringues.
As far as I can see the kitchen, general setting and decor has remained unchanged for years, and that, I think, is part of it's appeal. A million miles away from the sanitised chains that now dominate our high street.
It is a great place to take a visitor from abroad as it gives them a real taste of England.
The Tea Cosy - off St James St can only be described as mad ! It is an ode to patriotism in it's purest form. Every possible wall space, ceiling, toilet is covered in memorabilia in honour of
our royal family, past and present. There is a self playing piano which randomly plays the national anthem. Standing is expected on Sundays !
The menu has to be seen to be believed as does the page on 'Etiquette'. Forget about trying to answer your mobile, let alone actually use it. You will get short shrift from the camp, unpredictable front of house, complete in nail varnish, frilly shirt and snarl of derision.
The portions are huge, plentiful. Tea is served by the pot, again large, complete with tea cosy.
If you happen to require something gluten free it's not for you, as we are talking wheat overload here, and asking for such recieves a fairly dismissive reply depending on mine hosts mood.
It is all part of the theatre, very Brighton and a great place to take ' open minded' visitors.
Coffee 33 - in Trafalgar Street is a bit too trendy to make me want to linger, but very stylish all the same. Their open display of cakes and savouries are good quality and they offer gluten free...well done. They are also the only place in Brighton that I know of that actually understands what a 'flat white' is and how to make it. I normally have to wait for my visit to Sydney to get that!
Spinelli - tucked away in Kemp Town is another lovely coffee shop. A little more corporate looking, it is owned by the lovely Carlo and partner. (They also own Enzos, the hairdressers, just around the corner in the village). They take coffee seriously. Offer great cakes, at least two gluten free and brownies handmade by Carlo himself, as are some of the savouries.
These men like food...with Italian and Polish heritage they have to !
It deserves the success it has had as they are so friendly, always willing and understand totally the concept of 'service', so lacking in England. You are looked after, remembered and chatted to.
Free internet downstairs.
I wish them every success with their new venture in St James Street, complete with a kitchen so more food I hope.