The Breakfast Menu Breakfast reviews from the South Coast and beyond

15Jul/113

Seasons Cafe, Brighton

Seasons Café [map] (This cafe has now ceased trading- April 2012)
36 Gloucester Road
Brighton
BN1 4AQ
Tel: 01273 689388

Opening Hours: (PLEASE NOTE:  As of April 2012 this cafe has ceased trading) Tue-Sun breakfast is served 10am to 12pm. Unfortunately they are closed on Mondays.

Last Visited: July 2011

Another week, another find.  Amongst many of Brighton’s premier breakfast dining halls we stumbled across Seasons, injecting a bit of class into the breakfast experience.

TeaMilkOneSugar:

Hello!? Was this the best Brighton breakfast so far?  Hmm, actually we’ve been to Nia and Mange Tout this year so maybe not. But it’s up there with the big ones.

It was a toss up between the Full Seasons and the Chef’s Breakfast, and I went for the larger of the two. Obviously this was not due to greed, but to savour all of the fine ingredients on offer. What arrived was a lovingly arranged plate of wilted spinach on ‘chewy brown’ toast (bread from Real Patisserie, nice local sourcing) topped off with bacon, chipolatas and two poached eggs.

Interspersed amongst this was a grilled tomato and fried Portobello mushroom. There was nothing overly fancy about it, just good ingredients cooked well. In fact I don’t think anything stood out, it just all hung together really well. However best cooked poached eggs this year, they were perfect, no wibbley wobbly undercooked bits, just firm whites and runny yolks. I had a simple earl grey tea on the side, but they do an interesting selection of teas (see Mr NoEggs). This was one of the few large breakfasts I’ve had this year where I didn’t feel like I’d eaten too much after I’d finished.

I’ve not been here before but I will certainly be coming back. Top marks from me.

Mr NoEggs:

To be honest I was not as impressed as TMOS with my breakfast.  Although Seasons was a very slick and sophisticated outing, to me it lacked the relaxed atmosphere which goes along with a good breakfast.  The 10am opening time and staff still clearing up made it feel like a restaurant stirring after a nights sleep and this was in contrast to the very much awake Inside Out across the street.

The quality of the ingredients for my bacon sandwich with black pudding did not justify the steep £4.50 price tag, with the black pudding costing £1 extra.  Though it contained four good quality chipolata sausages, they were not in the same league as the bangers found in Nia or Ethels.  The bread was also very lifeless and was not as good as what Farm offered.

However as prompted by TMOS, the tea menu is fantastic.  Alongside the standard breakfast teas, Seasons offer many fragrant tea blends which became the highlight of my visit.  I finally decided on the 'Veranda tea' which blended black tea, mango pieces and Sussex summer flowers; a very manly tea I'm sure you would agree.  It's light fruity taste refreshed my taste buds after a meaty breakfast and help wash away the stress of the weeks work.

As TMOS was a great fan and wants to return I think I will follow him back here, but only if he agrees to go for lunch.  To me there are better breakfast options nearby and aside from the bacon/sausage sandwich there are too many egg dishes and I can't justify going back just for the tea.

Portion Size: ★★★★☆
Value For Money: ★★★½☆
Service: ★★★½☆
Ingredient Quality: ★★★☆☆
Overall: ★★★½☆
  • Ken Handley

    Hi fellas, I’m the owner and head chef at Seasons. I’d like to thank you for taking the time and trouble of trying us out and for posting a review on your website. I’ve noted some of the criticisms and will be acting on these and also some of your many kind comments. Although I do welcome your feedback in which I think it’s quiet refreshing to have candid reviews, I’m a bit disappointed that you rated my ingredients only 3 out of 5. The bacon (dry cure) comes from Natural Farms- a co-op for the local farms that raise their animals in a natural and free-range environment, the black pudding is an award winning black pudding from liverpool which uses fresh pigs blood – most producers use powdered black pudding, the eggs (also free range) come from Kent where the farmer plays classical music to the hens to enhance their well being. The mushrooms are the expensive portabello mushrooms which are slow roasted with thyme and truffle oil, the sausages are from the Brighton Sausage co. (who, incidentally Mr No Eggs, supply Nia and Ethels) tomatoes and spinach also from Kent and of premium quality, the bread- both sour dough and chewy brown is supplied by Real Patisserie which is hand made and additive free, I also only ever, ever use real butter- no marg in this house, so please forgive me at being a little off with the 3 out of 5. Also I would like to point out to Mr No Eggs that there is plenty of choice of breakfast items to have without eggs- there are 8 items- tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, bacon, sausage, black pudding, beans and smoked salmon, surely with a little imagination, a decent breakfast could be made from those? and I’m happy to swap the eggs on the set breakfasts for others- as I often do. As for prices, these ingredients aren’t cheap, especially the bacon. British bacon is very expensive because of the strick pig rearring criteria in this country, I can tell you now that my bacon costs as much as 4 times that of other cafes that use cheap imported bacon. I also think it’s only fair that you fellas get a handle on how expensive restaurants are to run before you criticise the prices, the £4.50 for the sausage sandwich for instance doesn’t really cost £4.50- remember VAT at 20% goes straight to the Treasury, so it’s really only £3.60, the unit cost of that sandwich is £1.50- £1.00 for the 4 sausages, 20p for the butter, 30p for the bread, then there’s the ketchup or brown sauce which I don’t charge for. But, apart from that, I really do appreciate your efforts for raising the profiles of local restaurants as well as standards, and I only wish there were more blogs and websites like yours. If you wish, I would like to invite you into my kitchen one Sunday breakfast service to see how it’s done, and I hope you will come in for lunch, I’ve some lovely locally sourced rump of lamb just put on menu.

  • Mr. Chipolata

    Hi Ken,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. It’s always nice to read the words of someone who is clearly passionate about his craft.

    I wasn’t able to make this review but your (almost poetic) descriptions of your ingredients and Mr Teamilkonesugar’s glowing praise are enough to make me want to pop in as soon as possible! I’m always one for savouring the flavours and that black pudding sounds fantastic.

    Our reviews are of course based on wavering opinions and averaged out between the reviewers. So a 3/5 isn’t anything to be sniffed at. I’m sure we can convince Mr No Eggs to come back and try something else, I’m not sure how anyone can resist after reading your comment to he honest.

    All the best,

    Mr Chipolata

    • Ken Handley

      Ta,
      Thats great you want to pop in, please note tho that I only do the full breakfasts at weekends, this is because I simply cant do everything, and I always put quality over quantity everytime. I look forward to having you here one sat/sunday. PS, if you like hollandaise sauce, best to come early when it’s just freshly made, it’s quite a time consuming thing to make and often don’t get time to make a second batch when the first batch runs out!