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The Museum Cafe
The Pavillion Museum,
Brighton,
BN1 1EE




01273 290 900

The Gallery Cafe was recommended to us by the friendly locals
of Brighton. Although not originally on our tea-time agenda,
game birds that we are, we made a small detour on our way to
the Pavilion. Our experience of museum canteens has so far
been entirely negative so with rumbling tummies and low
expectations we made our way through a Egyptian burial
masks, 900 varieties of Dutch porcelain and fascinating
exhibition of retro furniture to the tearoom on the first floor.

With its jolly mosaic floor and a gallery overlooking the museum
atrium, it's a perfect setting. It's also clearly popular. Because -
or perhaps in spite of - the chilly grey seaside drizzle we had to
fight our way through prams and shopping bags to our table but
already the all too familiar signs of unimaginative management
were patent. Our table was dirty and there weren't enough staff
to do anything about it. To make matters worse, the previous
occupants had left a 20p tip and an untouched a plate of
morose-looking scones, which did nothing to ease our minds.

We ordered dry coronation chicken sandwiches which are
usually Amos' favourite but even he couldn't muster enough
enthusiasm to finish them. Whippy cream and round-bagged
dreary brown tea followed but by this point we'd had enough. As
we left we saw an elderly gentleman propped up quietly in the
corner copying something or other into a sketchbook. Beside
him sat a thermos flask and a brace of sandwiches wrapped in
foil.

He probably had the right idea.