Gail’s Bakery sell a fantastic array or breads and baked goods. They’re situated on the corner of Church Road, at the bottom of George Street and close to my old flat. There’s better and cheaper bakeries around Hove but I’ll stop by if there’s no queue out front. Going to Gail’s reminds me of living in London. When working in Soho cocktail bars, I would stop at their branch on Wardour Street for coffee before shift.
Down to Earth Coffee is situated beside Palmeira Square in Hove. The front of the shop has large glass windows displaying handsome looking baked goods. Due to Covid, I’ve only ever been served through the doorway but it looks comfortable inside and much like a Melbourne coffee shop. Down to Earth Coffee have a second branch in Brighton but I’ve yet to visit.
The Flying Coffee Bean is a kiosk in the main concourse of Brighton Station. There are usually a few people queuing there for coffee, before heading through the ticket barriers to a waiting train. Service is efficient and the coffee is good, the smell of which fills the air. I stopped there before taking the train to London and then Liverpool for a stag do. With stomach lining in mind and a long journey ahead, I bought a sausage roll and wished I hadn’t.
Brod + Wolf is a fancy coffee shop on Church Road in Hove. Inside, the shop looks like a furniture magazine with walls painted the same colour as my living room, oversized light fixtures, plants and comfortable chairs to calm the patrons. The coffee is excellent but the sausage rolls left much to be desired.
Colemans Deli is a bakery and sandwich shop in the Derbyshire town of Hathersage. It’s a great place to stop off after a long walk along the Moors or after wandering around the bright lights of town. Two varieties of sausage roll were on offer and I went for the pork, caramelised onion and blue cheese variety.
Critchlows Farm Shop is a butcher and baker in the Derbyshire town of Bakewell. They supply sausage rolls to the Grindleford Community Shop, where this particular sausage roll was purchased. The quality of produce and competitive prices at Critchlows made me marvel at the north of England. If in Hove, this sausage roll would easily have been double the price.
Croque Shop is a sausage roll hotspot, situated on a busy street in the centre of Brighton. There are plenty of other places for pastry close by but Croque Shop stands out for their competitive pricing and wonderful window displays. It’s a great place to grab a roll on the move, before continuing through the winding streets towards the coast.
Arundel Castle is enormous and staggeringly impressive. I visited on a drizzly day in August and was awed by the scale and beauty of the place. The grounds are immaculately kept and the castle is home to a vast array of exhibits, from implements of war to paintings by Van Dyke, Gainsborough and Reynolds. Power and privilege emanate from the cavernous spaces inside the castle and speak to a level of wealth and status that few will ever know. After the drive down from Hove and some milling around the grounds, I stopped off at the coffee shop for a sausage roll. No day out is complete without baked goods.
Granier Bakery Cafe is situated near the centre of Brighton, on a busy part of Western Road. Immediately outside of the shop is a bus stop and to capture the passing trade, the bakery display their baked goods in the window. As well as sausage rolls, the shop sells cakes, drinks and a wide array of snacks. It’s the kind of place that is easy to walk past.
Ricci’s Deli on Dyke Road is a beautiful shop. Despite the plethora of fancy bakeries in the immediate vicinity, Ricci’s stand out for their signage and window displays. Inside, they sell a huge array of produce, from drinks and breads, to meats and cheeses. On the day that I visited, I was at the tail end of a long walk and arrived sweaty and tired. I’d passed the deli in the morning at the start of the walk and my expectations had built throughout the day.
Everyone’s been to Greggs. They’re a safe and predictable feature of most high streets and deliver big flavour for small cash. I’m fond of them because they’re familiar. Greggs have saved me from awful hangovers and from fast approaching fits of hanger. The sausage rolls are perfectly passable and I’m equally fond of both their steak bakes and their yum yums. My nearest Greggs is on Western Road, a busy part of town, just past where Hove turns into Brighton. That stretch of street is home to all the shops that you’d expect to see in a town centre and the air is thick with the fumes from buses and from the delivery drivers that park their scooters out front of McDonald’s.
Truffles Bakery reminds me of London. When I lived in Clapton, my flat was close to a Percy Ingle bakery and I’d visit on the weekends to buy bread, donuts and sausage rolls. The food market on Chatsworth Road would be running and the street would buzz with people taking pictures of their lunch. Although tempted by the food stalls, I’d often aim for the bakery, drawn by the comfort and predictability of buttery pastry. Like Percy Ingle, Truffles Bakery isn’t trying to do anything fancy, they serve the classics and do them well. It’s a place to go for a decent cake, pastie or a loaf of bread.
The National Trust café at Birling Gap overlooks a stretch of sea, far wilder and wavier than Hove. Close to the café are houses perched on crumbling cliffs and they enjoy postcard views. In the summer months I often drive from Hove, park up and then walk along the clifftops towards Eastbourne. Most recently, I walked to the café from Cuckmere Haven on a windy and overcast day in July. When up on the cliffs, there’s a sense of space and calm with views for miles out to sea. I like to watch the ships that slowly pass on the horizon or listen to the Spitfires flying overhead. People run or walk along the cliffs in small groups and say hello, but the sheep that graze on the grass don’t talk much.
Revelator is a quaint and cosy pub in a lively part of Hove. They have decent beers, abundant spirits, comfortable seating, rustic decoration and a quality soundtrack of laid back tunes. I went for post-work Friday night beer and was delighted to discover that sausage rolls were being served alongside a wide variety of salty snacks. Every pub should stock Twiglets.
Real Pâtisserie on Western Road in Hove is a short walk from my flat but wouldn’t look out of place in Highgate or Islington. Back when I used to rent a room in Tottenham, I would travel to the fancier parts of north London on the weekends and pretend that I’d one day be able to afford to live there. These days, Real Pâtisserie is a regular stop on my weekend rounds, when I’m in need of bread, a tart or a sausage roll. Not only is their produce fresh but their service is excellent and visiting makes me happy, even when I have to queue to get inside.
The Garden Café is a certified sausage roll seller, situated in St Ann’s Well Garden in Hove. This small but pristine park is surrounded by a 1930s red brick estate, distinct from the grander architecture of Brunswick Square and the seafront. St Ann’s isn’t huge but benefits from well maintained toilets, immaculate tennis courts, trees full of birds and locals walking their dogs. From the park it’s a ten minute walk to the sea but this walk can feel longer after scoffing a sausage roll.
Kooks is a popular café and restaurant on busy corner of Brighton’s North Laine. On the day that I visited, the surrounding streets were buzzing with a mix of locals and tourists. Covid restrictions were easing but dining inside still wasn’t an option and instead, the café had placed tables in the street, where couples basked in the sun and talked about the vaccine.
The Cornish Bakery is nestled in the small seaside town of West Bay in Devon. It was a welcomed sight at the halfway point of a long walk from Beer and back. The walk had taken us along cliffs in oppressive heat and a sausage roll was sorely needed to recover salts and spirits.
The Brighton Sausage Co. is a welcome sight for weary eyes after time spent wandering through Brighton’s busy North Laine. Nestled amongst clothing boutiques and homeware shops, the shop resembles a pantry and serves a wide array or meats, cheeses and condiments.
Sugardough is a bakery and café situated close to Hove seafront. A few doors down is an excellent Italian deli and in the opposite direction an old man pub and a chip shop. The window displays at Sugardough often catch the attention of passers by. The baked goods are neatly stacked on trays and the prices are written on small chalkboards. It’s best to go early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the queues as customers waiting for coffee can slow down the service. As well as sausage rolls, Sugardough serve excellent croissants and cakes. I bought my wedding cake came from here.
Canham & Sons is a butcher and deli, situated on Church Road in Hove. I often walk past there on the way to the sea and usually find a queue forming out front. Hungry builders and moustache-wearing hipsters stand queuing outside the shop in all weather and I’m heartened by the loyalty that the locals show. Of all that Canham and Sons sell, I’m particularly fond of the pork and pepper sausages and their excellent scotch eggs. The sausage rolls are fantastic too and they come in two varieties; the classic and the pork and mustard. Canham & Sons has the feel of a place that’s been there for years and I hope they continue to deliver the pastry that I’ve come to love.