The Meeting Place has a scruffy sort of charm about it. Only a short bike ride for me along the seafront cycle path, I’ve been coming here for years attracted by  its promenade location. Being completely outdoors, in the summer the cafe has hordes of tables and chairs spread around its terrace. When it’s cooler, like now near the the winter solstice, then it’s the hardy few who venture here well wrapped up to grab a beach side table. Its bold, canary yellow wind breakers give shelter from the breeze. Pigeons and seagulls abound here so you can’t be too squeamish about them coming close daring to scavenge a few morsels of your food.

Some years ago the cafe was demolished and reborn a few yards  further east along the seafront, significant in that those few yards now mean that you can buy your tea or coffee in Brighton and drink it sitting in Hove. The Angel Peace statue also straddles  the boundary between the two towns and  heralds this popular cafe.

All the staff are Polish, friendly and eager to practice their English. The cafe is open 365 days a year from dawn serving breakfasts and hot drinks to the dog walkers, joggers and early risers in general to dusk where it catches those reluctant to tear themselves away from the beach. It’s even open on Christmas day and I’ve seen the queues stretching back in their masses with customers seemingly impervious to the long wait. There are so many food and drink deals they are too many to mention but if it’s no nonsense fillers and home baked cakes you’re looking for then this is your place.

Christmas is nearly upon us again and it seems to come around quicker and quicker each year.The early setting sun was transforming the watery blue of the sky into a peachy glow while the skeletal West Pier  slumbered peacefully on the calm December sea. At least down here by the The Meeting Place Cafe  you can take some time out, swapping the demands of last minute present buying at the shops for breathing in the fresh air and wonderful seascape for the price of a cuppa.

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