A little distance from the centre of Brighton, if you take that to be the Brighton Pavilion, is a slow brunch bar to seek out.
Cafe Plenty at Preston Circus has the perfect vibe for an easy going, wake up slowly Sunday Brunch. They take their tea and coffee seriously, offering 20 loose teas from the local Chi tea company and coffee from another local favourite Coffee @ 33, a crucial component of a perfect Brunch.
It's a place already on a lot of people's radars and so I wasn't surprised to find it pretty full the morning I went with friends on a recent Sunday at 11 am. Luckily we had booked ahead and had reserved a great corner table where we could get nicely settled in.
Inside hung thick rope light fittings from an industrial ceiling, long wooden-topped tables lined each side of the dining area and floor to ceiling glass windows filled the room with natural light.
A large group of friends sat near the entrance, a young mum came in with a buggy and two dads sat with their kids at the table beside us. The space seemed to make room for all of us with ease and Sunday papers were available to finish off that Sunday morning feeling.
It's a cafe that has so many meal options, it somehow feels more like a restaurant. While I'm writing this I'm wondering whether that makes sense. Perhaps it's the size of the establishment that makes it feel more like a restaurant. Maybe I think of cafes as rather smaller venues, whatever the reason Cafe Plenty has indeed plenty of space.
Once comfortably seated we started our brunch outing with a winter fruit tea, brought over by the effusive and fabulous Dawn, one of the Cafe Plenty team. The tea brewed, we chatted and the pace was determinedly unhurried. I originally had been more keen to start with a coffee but when I found the fruit tea tasted rich and full of body, I realised a fruit tea was actually a great way to start our meal.
It was time to get up and place our order at the counter and there seemed to be options everywhere I looked. In the window were tiers of cakes, overhead on a gilt-framed chalkboard the menu included eggs royale, as well as avo on sourdough and to our right were plates of savoury dishes such as a freshly made moussaka and macaroni, alongside scones, welsh cakes and doughnuts. The list goes on.
After struggling to decide, I went for avocado on toast £4.50 with a flat white £2.40 to follow and friends went for eggs royale £7 and frittata.
I was delighted with the portion size, it was a generous serving of four rounds of toast covered in swathes of bright green smashed avocado. My friend B's poached eggs were covered in a creamy hollandaise and L tried a veg frittata, which she loved.
The flat white arrived and it was delicious, short, rich and creamy, and for me there is no other way to drink coffee at Brunch.
Before leaving the cakes that had been made by Mitch, one of the owners, the night before deserved a little tasting too. We decided on a gluten free chocolate and banana cake slice £3 to share. Not too sweet, it was light and sticky and enjoyed thoroughly.
While we were there I noticed artwork by two different artists; ceramic models hung from the ceiling by one artist and art on the wall was by artist Henry Rowsell. Exploring the theme of uniting time and place his signature style of oil and mixed media on boards brought splashes of colour to the exposed brick walls.
CAFE PLENTY BRIGHTON, 3-4 Circus Parade, New England Road, Brighton, United Kingdom
Next month I'll be looking for another place in Brighton and Hove for Brunch. Let me know in the comments if you know somewhere worth trying.
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