This blog post is part of the Writers Cafe Review series
If it wasn’t for the collection of tables and chairs outside, you would be forgiven for not realising that Deliciously Gorgeous is a café. On arriving there this morning I realised I have walked past this place a few times myself. On a quick glance, it looks like a garishly pink, boutique style chocolate shop. I’ve since discovered this is in fact where its origins began.
Walking inside you find yourself inside a pink Willy Wonker style paradise. Display counters to the left and right as you enter are stacked to the brim with beautiful delicate chocolates of every kind. The décor is a subtler pink inside than its shop front, but it is still lit up like a novelty Christmas tree. Despite sounding like I am judging, I really like it. It should be too much, but somehow it isn’t.
I’m greeted by a friendly chap who takes my order. I ask for a flat white with soy milk. Unusually, here they offer three varied sizes, which doesn’t usually happen with flat white. I order a medium size. I’m given a number and asked where I will be sitting. There is plenty of seating to choose from. Outside there is a small area with a few tables. Inside, directly opposite the door, is a runway of pink lights leading to upstairs seating. Downstairs there is a spacious area at the back. I tell the friendly barista that I shall sit downstairs.
My exploring leads me to a little snug section at the back. I love areas like this as it allows for a sense of privacy in a public place. As a writer, I like to find a bit of peace but still feel part of the café experience. I choose a table and take a seat.
Despite my senses initially being assaulted by the bubble-gum pink, I really like the way this café has been styled. It feels like you are sitting in someone’s front room. It has so many personal unique touches and you can really tell the difference between a chain café and this independent one.
Soon after, a smiling waitress arrived and placed my coffee in front of me, along with a sample of chocolate. Don’t mind if I do! I ask a waitress what it is. “Salted caramel,” she tells me. The coffee is hot but not scolding, there’s a nice amount of froth, though this is meant to be a flat white. No fancy leaf on the top, I’m fine with that. Its £2.85 for the flat white, about average considering it’s a bigger size than I usually get. It’s a good coffee and the little chocolate is amazing! I’m supposed to be on a diet but hey….
I’m really enjoying working here so I decide to stay for another drink. I order a green tea. It arrives lightning fast and is served in a pot rather than just hanging over a cup the way chain cafes often present it. I am also given another chocolate. This could get dangerous for my hips.
It’s fairly quiet in here today, the loudest thing is the smoothie machine which occasionally breaks the silence. Its only when the music is turned on that I realise there wasn’t any music before. I welcome the music to be honest as I have been joined by a middle aged woman and her opinionated husband who is talking very loud about politics.
The music is a bit louder than I prefer but I am sat directly under the speaker. I didn’t realise this when I selected my seat. The politics talk gets louder. Thank goodness for earplugs. Another woman joins us in the cubby. It becomes painfully clear she regrets her seat choice as we make understanding eye contact. The loud man and his wife eventually leave, myself and the woman chat briefly to share our relief. Its good entertainment and makes for great writing inspiration! I have visited a number of times now and is quickly turning into my favourite place to write, for the following reasons.
Friendly, welcoming staff
Every time I walk in the door I am greeted with a warm smile and served speedily. This has been the same on weekdays and weekends. The table service is a lovely additional touch.
Ideal writing conditions- great seating, WIFI and electrical outlets
There is no shortage of seating here. There is a small outside area, the downstairs area at the back, an upstairs with a seating area overlooking the café and lots more seating behind that. The upstairs is now my favourite place to write as I found a little cubbyhole at the back with its own table right by a window, so I get some sun and see the outside!
The tables are a decent size and perfect height for writing on a laptop. The tables dotted around are mostly 2 to 4-person seating which I really like. The shared seating you find in some cafés makes me uncomfortable. The seats are comfy too, another must for the hard-working glutes of a writer!
There is free WIFI available. It is easy to sign up to and has a strong reliable signal. I’ve used it a few times now and never had a problem. There are plenty of plug sockets available near to the seating areas
This cafe has a lovely feel to the place. It feels as though you are sitting in someone’s living room. The decor is quirky but sophisticated, and it’s bright without being too imposing. Its crisp, clean and has that wonderful independent café personal touch that you just don’t get in chain cafes. I can happily spend hours here writing comfortably.
Just the right amount of background noise
Even at very busy times, the noise in the café is never overwhelming. I think this is because it is so spacious, and you don’t feel like you are cramped in with everyone. When the music is on its never too loud. The loudest thing is the smoothie blender but that doesn’t happen often and where I sit at the back upstairs, it doesn’t bother me. I like that there is a buzz of activity but that it doesn’t stop me from working
Good quality coffee and tea and lots of fresh food menu choices
The coffee is lovely here. Always piping hot and always the right amount of foam. On my second visit, the barista picked up on the fact that I asked for soya milk and asked me if I would like a dairy free chocolate too. I was offered a couple of choices and chose ginger. How wonderful that they picked up on this and that they had alternative options available! The tea is also wonderful, they use the Tea Pigs range and they sell it too which is an added bonus as it can be hard to find in supermarkets. They do a wide variety of dietary options, vegetarian, vegan, gluten and dairy free. Although food isn’t a priority for me, as I am only using the cafes to write in and drink coffee/tea, it is still nice to see all dietary needs catered for. This speaks volumes about the ethics of a café.
Things to improve on
It’s hard to point out any flaws with this café really. I find it to be a writer’s paradise. The only thing for me that stops it from getting a perfect score is the toilet access. Although accessing gender specific toilets is no longer an issue for me, its something I am always conscious as a trans person. I just wish all places would make the move towards gender neutral toilets.
Here, the toilets are individual cubical, labelled male and female. The fact that they are individual cubicles is a little better, as it helps to lessen the fear of walking into a busy toilet. However, it would be so wonderful to see these toilets ladled simply as ‘toilet’ especially as they are self-contained, and this wouldn’t pose a problem.
For myself, for the things I look for in a café as a writer, this ticks all the boxes as being a perfect place to easily spend half a day in and get lots of writing done.
If you are in Eastbourne and need a comfortable and welcoming place to sit and get things done, I recommend a visit to Deliciously Gorgeous, because it really does live up to its name.