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Quirky seaside cafe

I think it’s fair to say that Worthing doesn’t have that at-a-glance hipness that parts of Brighton and Hastings have.  There are however definitely pockets of indie cool if you look in the right place. So, next time you’re there turn your back on the usual chains, face the pier, then head left along the seafront and keep on walking.

I’ll draw your attention first to Crabshack which is beckoning me back for a warm evening of alfresco seafront seafood scoffing but today, we’re walking on by to Coast Cafe des Artistes. Long title but small place – for now –  it’s building a whole new kitchen and extra seating out the back. At the moment it’s a quirky little cafe studded with pebbles on the outside and with painted beach shack style wooden floorboards on the inside.

Ooh and booze too – look at those shelves

There’s also a small, round second storey with a sort of lookout that reminded me of a lighthouse lantern room. Not great for a drizzly winter day, particularly as the windows aren’t double glazed, but a fun beach-view perch in warmer times.

Given the name you might expect, as I did, a bit more art on the walls but there were certainly some fun pieces, including a big steampunk chandelier. There were even classic art prints and sheets of music serving as wallpaper in the outside loo. It’s all a bit shabby chic. We sat on old fold down cinemas seats near the door.

We had a simple lunch of soup and chips. The soup – lentil and vegetable, was particularly tasty and had the most fresh and gorgeous bread with it that I was kicking myself I forgot to ask afterwards who the supplier was.

Cake followed – a big brownie so rich it defeated me and I had to take most home, and a good crumbly carrot cake. There was a special up of baked camembert with sweet chilli sauce and the regular menu includes salmon fishcakes, an organic burger, fish meze or welsh rarebit. There’s also a kids’ menu with things like hummus and flatbread and aubergine fries. Breakfasts sound particularly fine – there’s a full Sussex or Vege breakfast which even includes bubble and squeak, or you can get a croissant and jam, chestnut mushrooms on toast, or a free range pork sandwich.

The staff were cheerful and helpful. There’s a decent amount of floor space, making it dog-friendly (there were at least three large lounging pooches on my visit making sad eyes at people’s plates) plus some young children rolled their little bikes right in. There’s also an ice-cream fridge if you’re popping in with kids mid-walk.

The cafe opens late some nights and come the evening they have events like open mic nights. They even had techno DJs on till one recently. Yes, in Worthing!

There’s a lovely deck right on the beach (I took the photograph below in summer) where you can enjoy sun-downers – the cafe’s licensed and has a surprisingly large range of spirits. I’ll be back again when the weather’s warmer and checking out that new extension. Incidentally, if you want to know more waterside eateries in anticipation of warmer times check out my feature here.

 

Oh those suuummer niiiiights…

The Muddy Verdict:

Good for: Mid-walk pit stops on your own or with kids or dogs; sundowners on the deck in summer; relaxed music nights; views over the beach from the upstairs; a quirky antidote to town centre chains.

Not so good for: There are cosier cafes to hang out in winter and you wouldn’t come here for fancy presentation. A sign on the wall warns that with the current tiny kitchen there can be delays, though there were no problems on our visit.

££: Reasonable prices. Cakes £2.50, soup and bread £4.75, sandwiches with chips £6.00, specials around £6.50, organic burger £9.25, Full Sussex breakfast £6.80.

Coast Cafe des Artistes, Beach Parade, Worthing, West Sussex, 01903 216937, coastworthing.co.uk

 

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Sussex