Lost in the Lanes: An elegant addition to Brighton’s café community
Despite living here for almost 30 years, I still, occasionally, get lost in the lanes; so it amused me when a brand new café in Brighton appeared named just this.
Taking on the corporate giants
Positioned on Nile Street, close to Karen Millen and with two of the largest coffee giants at each end of the street, independently owned ‘Lost in Lanes’ doesn’t seem phased by big competition.
The fit out has an elegant but casual feel and the room is split into two parts; the counter at the front for takeaways and seating at the back.
Squishy leather sofas line one wall and Danish, wishbone chairs sit tucked under copper tables. Pendant copper lighting dangles from the white ceiling and the walls are a mix of neutral hues and grey polished plaster.
Look up and you’ll see words of wisdom from the poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling etched in copper foil around corners of the room.
Not a croissant out of place
At the front, you’ll find a full selection of pastries, cakes and sandwiches, all neatly laid out on the marble worktop, behind which, a sleek slayer coffee machine grinds Has Bean coffee.
Everything here is available to eat in or takeaway, with the addition of freshly prepared salad boxes. And it’s meticulously tidy too – not a croissant out of place.
Towards the back, there’s an open kitchen, where an all-female team busily prepare breakfast and brunch service.
The breakfast menu is split into three sections: breakfast – served up until noon, brunch – available until 3 pm and weekend specials. Price-wise it’s all about the average for Brighton, £2.80 for a coffee, £4 for a smoothie and breakfast options between £5-£10.
Coffee – the Italian way
I ordered a latte when I popped in last week and I was surprised to find it delivered with the milk and coffee separately. Apparently, this is the way the Italians do it but I couldn’t help feel it was a bit of unnecessary faff and a lot more washing up.
If coffee isn’t your thing, I recommend the house sodas for £3 – I had the strawberry lemonade option, which was refreshing with a touch of fizz. Alternatively, there are fresh smoothies or juices from local Brighton business 42 Juice.
Not your standard English breakfast
Breakfast-wise, as much as I love avocado toast or a full English fry-up (both on the café’s menu) it’s always refreshing to have something a little different.
From a cured beetroot salmon on toasted rye bread – to a beef or heritage tomato hash (both gluten-free), Lost in the Lanes had plenty to tempt me with.
A taste of Tunisia
I found myself drawn to the shakshuka – a vegetarian breakfast priced at £8. The Tunisian dish is made up of spiced slow roasted heritage tomatoes, an organic free-range egg, baked and served in a miniature casserole pot, alongside toasted sourdough from the Real Patisserie and a baby herb salad.
The shakshuka tasted absolutely divine, with a rich runny yellow yolk tucked neatly within a blanket of juicy sweet and spicy tomatoes.
The sourdough toast, on the other hand, caused me a little frustration. Toasted to the point where it’s difficult to cut without sending chunks flying across the table, and its distinct chewiness lost – I was disappointed I couldn’t enjoy the work of the artisan baker as much as I should have.
With all that yummy sauce just calling to be mopped up, a more pliable hunk of bread would have been a wiser accompaniment. However, this genuinely was the only fault and as a whole, it was a great breakfast.
RATING: Must Go | Worth A Try | Give It A Miss
Isabela did her research with her suppliers and recruited a very talented chef. The result is somewhere that not only looks the part but also delivers breakfasts that excite me. Watch out Café Nero and Costa Coffee – there’s serious competition in town!
Lost in the Lanes
3 Nile Street,
01273 525 444
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*Disclosure: I was invited to review Lost in the Lanes but this does not have any bearing on my review, which will always be an honest account of the whole experience.
*Header photo credit: www.xdbphotography.com