Review: The Cyclist Refreshment Room, Brighton

Posted September 2, 2014 by Bethanie Lunn

Courtesy of The Cyclist

Situated within the train station, The Cyclist Refreshment Room is the latest addition to the newly expanded station and it’s a welcome one in my book.

Based on the concept of refreshment rooms in the late 1800s where, in their words, ‘people could get away from the boozer-stand-up-brash-blokey-pub that was then all the rage’, The Cyclist offers a more refined yet entirely cosy and relaxed environment. 

The Interior

Inviting from the outside and then presenting a burst of colour and texture as you walk in, The Cyclist uses up-cycled bike parts, old tyres, natural materials and AstroTurf for a raw, almost industrial touch which is softened with cosy seating areas and charming, humorous details. The bar for instance, is built on vintage suitcases giving a nod to the building’s history as a left luggage office and the wooden panels by the kitchen counter come from the dining room floor of the family who runs it.

It is this personalisation that made me fall instantly in love with it.

The Food

Breakfasts include the simple 2 eggs any way, £3.50 or granola, £5.50 with a range of finishes, to all-time favourites like smashed eggs and smoked salmon, £7 and the more adventurous fried eggs, rocket, chilli flakes and parmesan, £5.50.

The Cyclist Breakfast sounds incredible and for a mere £8.50, you’ll be served up a plate of streaky bacon, sausage, your choice of eggs, slow roasted tomato, saute mushroom, homemade BBQ beans and sourdough.  Phew!  The bread, alongside the cakes and muffins, is made in their own kitchen and if they don’t bake it on-site they use local producers.

Lunch is comfort food at its best with the Fishfinger Sandwich and The Cyclist Burger, both £7 at the top of the list.  My guest chose Seared Salmon Taco’s, £7.50 of generous portion size with two tacos each filled with a salmon fillet, herb aiolo with chilli and lime salsa.

The salmon was perfectly cooked – tender, delicate and well balanced with the citrus and spice for an injection of excitement.  Just make sure you’re hungry if you’re ordering this one.

I chose Crispy Poached Egg, £6.50 with chorizo, baba ganoush and rocket – all washed down with a glass of prosecco served in a traditional champagne glass.  The presentation was fabulous and again, the flavours well balanced.  My eggs weren’t as runny as I hoped for (or expected), them to be but I have it on good authority that they usually are plus it was mouth-wateringly deliciousregardless.

As the lights dim for the evening, small plates offering a range of fish, meat or vegetable choices provide the perfect sharing food for social gatherings while the desserts leave me dreaming of time just for me after a hard day at work followed by a long commute.  Giant arm chair, my favourite book, a glass of wine and an Earl Grey Panna Cotta…or Oat Cookie with clotted cream ice cream or…  😉

On the drinks menu are six red and six white old world wines, Australian rose and local Longmans and Brighton brews.  Brighton’s own Small Batch coffee and two Sussex sparkling wines from Ditchling Common’s Ridgeview and Pulborough’s Nyetimber make the drinks selection a blend of the worlds and the city’s best.

Final Word

From the founders of Geronimo Inns, Greenwell & Tipple, we can expect the next generation of venues with The Cyclist; more laid back than a Gastro Pub but with the same modernity and quality produce and more design lead than your local boozer.  

The Cyclist is a place to unwind solo, catch up with friends and meet for business.  It gives us great food for our commute (let’s face it, who likes train food?), and a cool meeting place whether you’re travelling or not.  So The Cyclist is really as versatile as we need it to be with our busy lifestyles today.

Look out for them next to the waiting room on your right as you walk in, past the ticket machines and you’ll be happy you did so.

Open from Monday – Friday from 8am to just catch the commuters for breakfast till 10.30pm for after work drinks or dining out, then 10am – 10pm Saturday and Sunday.

The Cyclist, Brighton Train Station, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XP.

Follow them @CyclistBrighton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *