Qype: Coffee Republic in Brighton

BrightonEating & DrinkingCafes & Coffee ShopsEating & DrinkingCafes & Coffee ShopsCoffee Shops

Incredibly conveniently located directly opposite Brighton’s enormous Primark store, Coffee Republic is somewhere I end up popping into fairly frequently. They’re coffee is OK – I like it more than Costa’s but not as much as Starbucks’ if you want a way to gauge it. They do, on the other hand, have a rather impressive range of flavoured syrups that they’re VERY generous with in their lattes. Yummy.

Unlike Costa and Starbucks however, they don’t seem to be too down with the wheat-free side of things. Whereas I can get a wheat-free chocolate brownie or slice of gluten-free cake in the other two, I usually end up settling for an oaty cereal bar or postage-stamp sized overpriced flapjack in here.

The other thing about this place is that due to it’s location on Western Road, it usually ends up packed – so getting a seat in here around peak coffee-drinking times is nigh-on impossible.

Check out my review of Coffee Republic – I am Alice_Reeves – on Qype


Qype: Spinelli coffee in Brighton

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Spinelli’s is a great little independent coffee place in Kemp Town, just off St. George’s Road. Their tea is proper loose leaf tea served in a tea pot, with a strainer, which automatically scores them points. Tea needs a little bit of ceremony, doesn’t it? I also had one of their salad boxes – tuna niçoise – which was good value at £3.90 and perfectly tasty.

I’ve only been here a couple of times for flying visits, as it’s just a little bit out of the way for me, but overall it’s a nice place to meet for a coffee, with friendly staff (they let me borrow a pen) and outdoor seating for when the sun is shining.

Check out my review of Spinelli coffee – I am Alice_Reeves – on Qype

Qype: Metrodeco in Brighton

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As a lifelong lover of tea (I probably drink at least fifteen cups a day), I cannot believe that I only went to Metrodeco for the first time on Friday. This place is absolutely delightful and is exactly what I’d like to think a 1930s style tea room should look like. Tea is served in proper china tea cups with saucers, the teaspoons are real silver and the sugar on each table is displayed in glass champagne saucers.

Afternoon tea at Metrodeco

For any discerning tea drinker in Brighton, Metrodeco is an absolute must visit. Their tea menu is fabulous, with each tea beautifully described. I opted for the ‘Shades of Grey’ which is their unique, exclusive Earl Grey blend and ended up buying a bag to take home with me because it was so good.

It’s well worth my trek from Fiveways to Kemp Town, especially on a gorgeous sunny day when the huge windows and light, airy decor make it a gorgeous place to be. You can almost believe you’ve gone back in time, albeit to several different places at once – the black wooden floor, mismatched tables and chairs ranging from pretty pastels to gold gilt leopard print to retro seventies-style black glass really shouldn’t work so perfectly together, but they do.

The best thing though? Well, the two best things. Firstly, this place is also an antique shop – pretty much everything is for sale. If I’d had £900 to spend on a life-sized dog statue, I probably would have done. Secondly, they sell absolutely delicious gluten-free cakes. Combining everything I’ve just described, along with the wonderfully friendly and engaging owners Maggie and Helen, I reckon this is my new favourite place to be in Brighton.

Gluten-Free Lemon Cake at Metrodeco: probably the best cake I've EVER had

Check out my review of metrodeco – I am Alice_Reeves – on Qype

Qype: The Bystander Cafe in Brighton

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The Bystander Cafe, Brighton

The Bystander Cafe is a great little greasy spoon in an incredibly convenient location. Situated as close to Brighton station as you can get without being inside it, this is a great place to grab breakfast before you hop onto a train. This is especially the case if you’re hung over, as their not-particularly-healthy, greasy-spoon style fry-up will be exactly what you need.

Check out my review of Brighton Bystander – I am Alice_Reeves – on Qype

Qype: Florida Norte Cafeteria Restaurante in Madrid

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Hotel Florida Norte Cafeteria

Seeing as we didn’t go for the ‘Bed and Breakfast’ option, we didn’t spend much time in the hotel restaurant. In fact, we didn’t have breakfast here at all. What we DID do was use this place as a kind of ‘in house coffee shop’ or extended living room when everything in the outside world closed down for the afternoon siesta. So over a few days, many café con leches and beers were consumed in here.

Despite the fact that it felt a little bit lacking in character (kind of like the hotel canteens on school residential trips) it was tidy, clean and the service was extremely fast. Mainly because we went there at odd times when most people were napping, so we were the only ones needing serving.

Inside the Cafeteria

If you’re staying in the Florida Nortel, you’re so close to the wonderful independent, traditional restaurants of Old Madrid that there isn’t really any need to confine yourself to the hotel at mealtimes. Especially as there are much better value suppers to be found just a short walk away.

Check out my review of Florida Norte Cafeteria Restaurante – I am Alice_Reeves – on Qype

Qype: La Catedral in Madrid

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La Catedral Cafe

On the day that we ventured into Sol to have a look around what our guidebook described as ‘Downtown Madrid’, this was pretty much the first place we saw after almost falling off the train with hunger. After assessing the menu and deciding that it looked OK, then assessing the interior and deciding that it looked really nice, we grabbed ourselves a table.

The unfortunate thing about Spain is that they don’t appear to have grasped that wheat intolerances exist in most places, so absolutely everything comes with bread regardless of whether it says so on the menu. Even my Spanish omelette.

Inside La Catedral Cafe

All in all breakfast for two of us less than €10, which was the cheapest restaurant bill we had all holiday. It wasn’t enough to stuff our faces, but it was adequate and tasty. The waiter was also really funny and friendly. My breakfast came with coffee included, prompting him to joke that English should want ‘té’ with their breakfast instead of ‘café’. Then he seemed very proud that he’d taught me the Spanish for tea!

Incidentally, I did opt for the tea.

Check out my review of La Catedral – I am Alice_Reeves – on Qype

Qype: Cerveceria La Plaza in Madrid

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Cerveceria La Plaza's Mannequins

Dying for a coffee on our way down the Calle de Mayor, this place looked just about quirky enough for us to stop at, with its pair of quite scary-looking mannequins overlooking the customers from a balcony. So we pitched up at a table and ordered our new favourite drink, café con leche. Yes, it does literally mean coffee with milk, but the way the Spanish do coffee is awesome (50:50 super-strong espresso shot and hot milk) and the coffee here was absolutely delicious. So much so that I had two in a row and bounced off the walls all day. Brilliant.

A sugar sachet the same size as the cup... THAT'S how I like my coffee!

We then decided to grab a bite to eat here after being sat in the sunshine with our coffees for about an hour. They have an English version of their menu (hurrah), so deciding to opt for patatas bravas (fried potato chunks in a tomato sauce) and patatas fritas con morcilla y huevo (chips with black pudding and egg) was rather quick. The food, although nothing that special, arrived quickly and piping hot.

Situated in a fabulous, central people-watching spot overlooking the Mercado de San Miguel, this is a great place to grab a strong cup of coffee and start your day in Old Madrid.

Check out my review of Cerveceria La Plaza – I am Alice_Reeves – on Qype