40 Kensington Gardens,
The ViewBrighton Review
Paris may be famed for its cafe culture but so is Brighton. Cafe Delice brings a little bit of France combined with Brighton bonhomie to its corner patch in the North Laine.
Arranged across two levels on the corner of Kensington Gardens, whilst the ground floor at Cafe Delice is nice enough it’s the upstairs floor that is full of charm. Lazy jazz filters through the friendly chatter to buff away any tension as you sink a little further into your seat. The walls themselves are as eclectic and appealing as the rest of the surroundings. Wood panelling, exposed brick, a patch of whitewash, another of pebbledash and some battered shutters nailed to the wall contrast with other freshly plastered, smooth, stark white walls that face out onto the street and are lined with windows.
The low, exposed timber ceiling feels cosy rather than oppressive thanks to the sheer number of windows and there are plenty of other friendly features too such as local artwork that’s displayed for sale, an open fireplace, bistro style tables surrounded by spindlebacked chairs, big wooden rocking chairs piled with cushions, battered board games and careworn Chesterfields arranged in front of second hand trunks topped with crinkled tulips in MARTINI branded glasses.
Havens as good as this one are few and far between. Kick back into one of the giant rocking chairs or sink into a sofa and prepare not to move until they shut up shop, at which point the chances are that you’ll be so relaxed they’ll have to carry you out. It’s just so addictively languid that whatever pressing matters you had to attend to will immediately be cast aside in favour of whiling away the hours over a cup of illy coffee and the newspapers or some food.
Available to eat in or to takeaway, the sandwiches at Cafe Delice are no ordinary sandwiches. There’s always a choice of at least ten fillings and you can pick from white bread and brown bread (£2.95 takeaway/£3.45 eat in), French baguette (£3.75 takeaway/£4.25 eat in) or a panini (£3.95 takeaway/£4.50) with the prices varying depending on the bread that you pick and whether you eat in Cafe Delice or opt to take it away. Fillings well worth trying include a combination of smoked salmon, creme fraiche and capers or houmous, sweet chilli and goat’s cheese but the most popular is the chicken, avocado, baby spinach and mayonnaise filling.
Whilst the prices are reasonable anyway, you can save even more by opting for one of their food offers which range from the full-blown (a sandwich, fruit, crisps, a chocolate bar and a hot or cold drink for £6) to pick me ups such as coffee and cake (try the brownie) for £4.
As you’d expect at a cafe this charming located in the North Laine, even the drinks only use the finest ingredients. illy is used in every possible variation of coffee from lattes, cappuccinos and flat whites (£1.95) to espressos and macchiatos (£1.25). They also offer mugs of mocha and hot chocolate for £2.25 but it’s tea fans who are really in for a treat. A pot of premium loose leaf tea (that pours out about three cups) costs just £2.10 whilst pots of more run of the mill teas such as Earl Grey, English Breakfast and mint tea cost a mere £1.50. Don’t forget to stop by the shelves of premium French wine when you leave to buy a bottle to take home to maintain your mellow mood.
The Last Word
Cafe Delice is that rare find. A cafe that you both want to keep to yourself as your own charming secret address and a discovery that deserves to be shouted about. A worthy and delightful addition to Brighton’s cafe culture.
Cafe Delice has been reviewed by 6 users