Food, Interiors

Review: Beyond Design Cafe, Rottingdean, Brighton

Posted January 12, 2015 by Bethanie Lunn

I love Rottingdean, Brighton.  It is a small seaside village steeped in equal measures of history and beauty, with a sea view at its foot and the Kipling Gardens at its head.  Brimming with independent boutiques, charity stores, bars and cafes – there’s plenty of treasures to be found and culinary delights to savour.

My favourite cafe in the village has to be Beyond Design.  Created and run by Steve and John 

three years ago, Beyond Design has evolved into a collection of coffee, cake and curios.  As you enter, you are greeted with an array of eclectic artworks, grand paintings, kooky sculptures and witty gifts.  
”Que No WIFY – here you are free”
Gifts: From embellishes throw pillows to jewellery and gift cards
Blending current style with vintage, the industrial floor both complements and contrasts with the wooden vintage furniture and china and everywhere you look, you can’t help but be dazzled.
You see, as you take a seat and tuck into anything from a homemade cake or scone to a fresh artisan sandwich or quiche, you are sitting among art and design that you can buy.  The antique lamp on my table is for sale, the picture on the wall next to me is too and the stags head I spy across the room, hilariously decorated with fairy lights and a tiara, could be yours.
This cafe-come-gallery-come-shop is a concept that has grown through demand from customers loving their style, and wanting a slice of it for themselves, and as a showcase for Steve and John’s passions.  Both with artistic backgrounds, Steve was an interior designer and John a Fine Artist exhibiting in France, this decedent space exudes humour, style and originality.
Owners, Steve (left) and John (right), embarrassed at having their photo taken


Beyond Design support local suppliers from the delicious Drury coffee (mine’s a flat white), to Southover Foods in  Hanover and even John himself.  You must try his homemade scones, they’re out of this world.  Much like the some of the wall hangings here, ha ha.
John’s yummy homemade scone – choose fruit or cheese
Typical menu choices include crumpets, toasted goods and croissants to meringues, homemade cakes and jacket potatoes.
I have taken my young son in here before and at busy times, it is great as the place is bustling but for me, it is a place to enjoy alone, when the boy is sleeping in his pram or with your other half or close friends.  Why?  Becuase they openly encourage you to come in and relax (it’s almost considered nostalgic to do so these days isn’t it!).  In fact, they campaign for it.  They don’t have WIFI for this very reason and you’ll always hear Gladys Knight or Frank Sinatra on the stereo.  
On one mirror are the words, ‘Kill your TV, bake cake, drink tea, play a kazoo, say yes, small is beautiful, make stuff, laugh lots, choose handmade, life is sweet, write letters, Aardvark, be kind‘.
You get the impression this is a personal ditty of the owners featuring their favourite words and ways of life. 

Other Useful Info

I was happy to discover that the venue is also available for evening private hire from 5pm onward.  Beyond Design have hosted numerous events to date from murder mystery evenings and tarot reading to Jazz Festivals and charity fundraisers.  Party anyone?


In a nutshell, Beyond Design for me is a vision of where Rottingdean is headed as a village that gently embraces forward thinking while also cleverly catering to the now.  This is a place to enjoy, talk and kick back.  Try it 🙂
Beyond Design, 2-4 Marine Drive, Rottingdean, Brighton BN2 7HQ
Opening Times: 10-5 everyday, 365 days a year. 

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