The Grounds, Hove – Fika Pop-up pancakes review

Mojo Pork Pancakes - The Grounds, Hove

About the Grounds, Hove

Hove Town Hall, PLATF9RM, Church Rd, Hove BN3 2AF

This morning I went for pancakes at The Grounds, the café attached to the workspace inside Hove Town Hall. When walking around Hove last weekend, my wife and I spied a sign out front, advertising pancakes from Fika, a place that I know and love for their Hot Chick and Breakfast Bird sandwiches.

When Saturday morning arrived, I left the flat and felt relieved. Between winter closing in, work getting busy and my son not sleeping, I’ve been spending too much time indoors and not getting enough sunlight. Today was one of those typical winter mornings on the coast, when the sun is bright, the sky mostly clear and the wind bitingly cold. Wrapped up in my big coat and scarf, I was struck by how many other couples were out pushing prams. I wondered how many of them had moved down from London London either side of the pandemic.

The Grounds, Hove pancake sign

Hove is full of beautiful buildings but the Town Hall, isn’t one of them. I’m a fan of Brutalism but the mass of concrete that the Town Hall is built from contrasts the surrounding streets and the gorgeous rows of houses. I’d love to live in a house in that part of Hove but after the government’s latest budget, that feels like an ever more distant dream.

Inside the Town Hall, The Grounds was a welcome break from the winter weather. A lady greeted us as we entered and pointed us towards the many tables of differing sizes, laid out inside a large and airy room. There was a jar of maple syrup on every table and after a quick look at the menu, I went up to order. My wife opted for pancakes with banana and berries and I went for the Mojo Pork, the meatiest of the pancake stacks. The Mojo Pork compromised two pancakes, a fried egg, pulled pork, ham hock, chopped pickle, cheddar, mustard and mojo sauce. I didn’t find out what mojo sauce was made from.

Sitting back down after ordering, I looked around the room as the other tables started to fill. There was another couple with a child and a few more couples with small dogs. The food and the coffee that I ordered arrived promptly. My stack of pancakes was substantial and looking at it make me unsure I’d finish. The pancakes were light and fluffy but as with the sandwiches at Fika, came stacked on some paper that disintegrated as I ate. I ate a good deal of that paper but I doubt it’ll kill me. I like anything with pickles and the sourness of those helped to cut through the creaminess of the egg and the fattiness of the pork. The pork was nicely roasted and pulled apart easily. I didn’t really taste the cheddar because of sharpness of the mustard.

Being a hipster workspace in the centre of Hove, the coffee at The Grounds was excellent. I needed a double espresso to wake me up after the pancakes and I needed a long walk to help me digest. I’m not a great lover of pancakes but the ones I had today were wonderful. As well as the food and coffee, the staff at The Grounds were delightfully friendly and genuinely enthusiastic. Being there, I once again thought that it would be a nice place to work, if I ever need to escape the flat.