It’s a bloody lovely cup of coffee. Even if the beach down the road is a little bit rubbish.
NB – rocks are not sand. And they kind of hurt my toes.
We made our way down to Brighton to get a dose of seaside magic. We’d planned to eat some fish and chips and breathe some cleansing ocean air.
I hadn’t banked on finding good coffee- that was until the the night before someone let slip about @33.
It’s within sprinting distance of Brighton Station. In case you’re a bit dim like me and start checking google maps to triple check its location- @33 on Trafalgar Street is sensibly located …. at number 33.
Our visit came the morning after a night bookended with gin and tonics.
I ignored the primary rule in life and drinking- never drink in a palindrome. Hence, coffee was a priority.
When we found @33 I was a little surprised. It’s a spot that would not be out of place hugging up to the sex shops in the concrete jungle Soho in London. It’s got all of the things we’ve come to expect of our favourite coffee haunts tucked away in those dim streets- places like Foxcroft and Ginger and Fernandez and Wells. From promising pastries and charming staff to hand written menu, flat whites (and the option of extra shots for The Hungry One).
Beyond the platters of pastries there are segments of cake and slices and some seriously eggy Portugese custard tarts.
And for the kind of hangovers that only a morning near fresh sea air and some savouries can battle, there are croissants and pudgy rolls.
You can even get your ham and cheese croissants and a seeded roll stuffed with egg, tomato, cress and mustard mayonnaise lightly toasted if you’re in need of a little extra warmth and comfort.
The interior of @33 isn’t that much to write home about. There are no wide tables to loll at and spread the paper out, rather some small ones nudging against a smattering stuffed burlap coffee sacks to sit on.
This isn’t so much a place to colonise with a group for a lengthy catch up. It’s a place to quietly sit and regain your strength.
It’s really all about the coffee.
It’s made with Monmouth beans, with care, by Antipodean barristas.
If a dash of latte art is one way of judging the level of care that’s been put into a coffee’s creation, here there’s pure love in a cup.
After two of those it’s time to wind through the lanes and find our way down to the beach.
Except for people who grew up a stone’s throw from Bondi’s upturned smile of sand, it’s not that much of beach. But Brighton does boast one hell of a pier.
So we happily take what we get, where we can find it. Some days these toes of mine just need to be beside the seaside.
And a bloody good coffee always helps put a spring in their step.
33 Trafalgar Street,
Brighton, BN1 4ED
(Open Sundays too)