Words and pictures by Chris Knight
On your marks, set, GO! This is how we feel about Brighton’s new opening, Redroaster by day, Pike & Pine by night. Matt Gillian and his team have fully renovated the much loved coffee shop and has now become Brighton’s ‘must see’ destination so you can forget the i360 tower.
To me, Redroaster was an unexpected surprise as I hadn’t seen any pictures of the recent renovations and wasn’t exactly on the ball when it comes to exciting new openings. As a result, I didn’t even bring my camera so some lovely iPhone photos will have to do. So walking through the 2 big doors, I wasn’t expecting amazing things, but once through the 2 (I mean, these things are huge) doors, you’re completely transported from the hustle and bustle that is St James’s Street to a huge, airy space that feels a million miles away. Never before has a coffee shop felt so luxurious and gone are the days of industrial, rustic styled coffee shop interiors and of course, the humble Edison bulb.
We went in the day and found the staff to be buzzing with enthusiasm and who could blame them? It’s always great to find a place that has paid close attention to the look and feel of the place without being too intimidating. Even going to the toilets felt special and I couldn’t help but notice the Bose UFO sound system descending from the ceiling. It left me wondering what kind of parties they must throw up there! Maybe Matt could explain?
Matt had previously said, “When we talk about this new luxury we are not talking about financial value, but more of wellness, health and relaxation. “As such natural textures, marble and plants feature heavily, offering guests a space of tranquillity in a busy city.”
We couldn’t agree more and whilst we didn’t have a meal, we had coffee and a Tiramisu unlike any other. The long white marbled prep area/bar gives you front row seats to the kitchen. It’s lucky that Matt isn’t the shouty type, otherwise things could get awkward quite quickly! Watching the action unfold provides a fresh connection to the food that’s being prepared and it’s nice to see a number of new openings trying out this method of interaction (Kricket in Soho comes to mind).
However, despite being open only a few weeks, it does seem the place has divided opinion in Brighton. Which is unfortunate as sometimes places like this are needed in order to facilitate change to an area. But, I suppose, not everyone is a fan of such change and Redroaster appears to have had a loyal following previously and was well known for being the best coffee in Brighton so when a 5 star Michelin Chef comes in and takes over, some people are bound to be upset. But they needn’t be concerned.
We believe both Redroaster and Pike and Pine will be a storming success with people coming from far afield to see what all the fuss is about. We hope Matt and his team work through any teething issues they may encounter and get some much needed funding for the outdoor area round the back.
Finally, as you come down from the toilets, there’s a tongue in cheek mural on the wall that reads “The Beach Is Boring”, which might certainly be the case now this place has opened.
We just hope we can get a table when we next visit!