I can’t think of many UK towns or cities outside of London, where you can find little pockets of cute independent restaurants and cafes, except for Brighton. It’s isn’t called London-by-the-sea for nothing. And if it wasn’t for the squarking gulls overhead and the breathable seaside air, I’d think I was right back in south west London.
Common, previously known as The Manor, is exactly the kind of place you wish you can stumble upon (without going through the rigmarole of searching hard for somewhere idyllic to make you feel you have done just that). Fortunately, we did stumble upon this, and what a beautiful find. Cute and inviting, this little cafe is seemingly popular among locals, with its kitsch wooden furniture and country-fair bunting. Bold swatches of teal punctuate the decor, and this too is reflected in the bright and familiar staff. Casually serving a mixture of small plates and mains, the menu is surprisingly diverse with some unusually enticing options – especially for non-meat eaters. Vegetarians will be thrilled at the range that caters well to their needs, including a pea and feta frittata, blue cheese and walnut salad and, my absolute favourite, the beetroot and goats cheese terrine. Something that I’ve rarely eaten in veggie form, but may now have been converted to!
A quirky and non-pretentious little spot in the heart of the Brighton lanes.
52 Gardner Street
Brighton BN1 1UN