Took a nostalgic trip back to the 'sixties yesterday - a day in the Brighton Lanes - all retro clothing, lava lamps and Afghan home accessories. After we landed we headed for a coffee shop as usual - you know the sort of thing, organic wholemeal coffee and home-knitted brownies. Went in a very small one on Gloucester Road called 'Inside Out', which is perhaps ironic because it's actually much better Outside than it is In. Here's a quote:
"The Inside Out Cafe is the perfect place to chill out and relax after a manic day shopping in The Lanes. Here you can unwind with a coffee and watch the rest of the world go by."
Yes especially if you're in the toilet. Bizaarly fitted with a two-way mirror on one wall of the café so you can sit on the toilet and get the disconcerting impression that the whole clientele can see you just on the other side of a sheet of glass. Perhaps it would be more amusing if fitted the other way round.
A walk through the market in Upper Gardner Street full of a better class of boot sale fodder and then lunch in a very stylish and chic restaurant called 'Havana' in Duke Street, modern interior, great service and good food (I'm expecting a free lunch after this). The exterior is in the Colonial style of Old Havana, but having been to the real Havana, the only nod to it inside is a stone fountain with a couple of palm fronds in it. I can recommend it though.
Other things we stumbled across: Mural painters at work in The Lanes:
A piece of street furniture graffitied as a huge Ghetto Blaster:
The Brighton branch of 'AllSaints Spitalfields', a fashionable clothing chain named after the London market, the interiors filled with industrial machinery - all the windows are filled with hundreds of old sewing machines; relevant, clever, and inspired - made everyone stop and look:
Get your orders in early.