Pelicano, Brighton – bamboo, cool magazines and a sculpted moustache


Pelicano FWPelicano, 28 Sydney Street, Brighton, East Sussex.

11.15 am, Sunday

Flat white:  £2.40 to drink in.  Served in a glass on a bamboo board, accompanied by a napkin and a spoon.  Both flat whites I drank were of consistent, good, creamy loveliness, with no sense of “is it a cappuccino, a latte or actually a flat white”.  A destination coffee, at least 8.5/10.

Pushchair:  1, though as it’s a fairly small and higgeldy café, this isn’t necessarily a fair reflection, particularly as the pusher was of hipster beard ilk and had gone to quite a bit of trouble to manoeuvre the pushchair to the higher part of the café.  The pavement area would be a more obvious pushchair area.

MacBooks/Laptops:  0 (a bit of a surprise, particularly as there were plug sockets around, though a week day afternoon could see a festival of Maccers and lappers).

Beards:  4, though possibility of more as the café kind of has four sections, starting with pavement seating, ordering area, slightly raised upper area and downstairs back yard area so I couldn’t easily monitor beard comings and goings.

Piercings and tattoos:  Quite a few.  Bonus point for one man having piercings, tattoos AND twirly sculpted moustache.

Furniture:  tables and chairs of similar style, largely wooden, shabby (nice shabby not “eek, will this snap at any moment”) and with Pelicano mark kind of burnt into table.

Pelicano magsDecor: Emphasis on wood flooring, black/dark grey paint and white paint with predictable exposed lightbulbs as well as industrial “chic” shades around other bulbs.  Wooden clipboards with bulldog clips and coffee info attached.  V hip.  Lots of very stylised, “cool” magazines around.

Ambience:  Not as too-hip as it might sound, comfortable, music of the Portishead ilk with a nod to slightly feral jazzy riffs.

Environment:  Very hipster in terms of decor/publications/music but a surprising variety of customers, ranging in age from a few months to 60s, which probably helped make it a welcoming and comfortable place to be.

Loo:  The kind of outdoor loo you dread until you open the door and are greeted by a spacious and pleasantly decorated room.  Though note the complete absence of sound proofing if there are people sitting in the back courtyard area or a queue forms.

WiFi:  Didn’t appear to be.

Food:  Very enticinging, both visually and to smell.  Pretty sandwiches, appetising cakes and the usual pastries.  It was a struggle not to succumb, but I remained victorious.

Summary:  I liked it a lot, though have a slight niggle I wouldn’t like it as much later on in the day or during the week.  There are a lot of good cafés in Brighton but this is definitely one of my new favourites.  8.5/10 with possibility of an upgrade if a subsequent visit at a different time of day proves my niggles unfounded.


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