Set just south of Western Road, on the way to Hove is the Sanctuary Café. And what a sanctuary it is. Opposite, in a back lane is a yoga and therapeutic massage centre, and inside is food of the finest flavours.
With dedicated organic fare, the team at Sanctuary prepare most of the food on-site; this includes cakes and snacks, which are top notch (several vegan and gluten free options) – definitely one for the Top Café’s list.
Bohemian, definitely bohemian. Large thick wooden tables strewn with copies of the Guardian, flyers and assorted eco-info, and two floors – plenty room.
The serving area is downstairs, with the kitchen half-open and half-under the stairs. I am growing to like open kitchens, makes me feel somewhat at ease. Perhaps it’s the thought that at any minute Gordon Ramsey will flit through, or more likely because it shows they are transparent – always good to trust the people who are serving your food!
While largely vegetarian, the Sanctuary feels no need to be exclusively so, and serves a mean burger. Another top taste trump are the thick-cut potato wedges, with their trademark herby, leathery skin. Breakfast is good too, although not cheap.
Vast communal/group tables on the first floor offset the smaller tables downstairs. Coffee is usually good, wireless is free and they don’t insist on playing Mayan Hits of Gold or Pan-Pipe Paradise on shuffle.
There’s also the ‘Cella’ venue in the basement, which is good for ‘intimate’ gigs and shows. Open brick walls add to its charm, probably best enjoyed in the company of a jazz band, or for a private party.
All round, a top café, well worth a visit. Just take care not to miss your turn from western road. Top Tip: Turn left after the pub on the corner.
51-55 Brunswick Street East
Hove BN3 1AU
01273 770 002