Cafe Review

The Sussex Born & Fed Best Babycino Guide

There are babycinos, and there are babycinos.

Here’s a round-up of the coffee shops that serve the best.

Marram Trading, High Street, Hurstpierpoint

Babycinos at Marram are served in the most adorable ceramic milk cartons, with a paper straw, at drinking temperature, sprinkled with chocolate. Oh and with a dish of mini marshmallows, if you ask.

The staff are friendly and super helpful. They hold the door open if you have a buggy and nothing’s ever a problem.

There’s a lovely little garden and fish pond, popular with little ones on warmer days. Another HUGE plus is the fab gift and interiors shop which is perfect for last minute gifts, cards and impulse home buys. There’s usually something interesting going on in the pop-up shop too.

I asked both of my girls (separately) to tell me their favourite place for a babycino and Marram came out top trumps both times. You heard it here first.

Just a note to say that although you can get a buggy or pram in, it’s still a little bit on the small side, especially during winter when it’s too cold to sit in the garden.

Cocoa Loco, Swan Walk, Horsham

For the most indulgent babycinos, head to Cocoa Loco. They come served with a side of organic chocolate buttons. A sweet little treat for those extra special occasions.

There are pots of pencils and sheets of paper to draw on (for everyone!). There’s loads of space in the shop so it’s really easy to navigate with a buggy. The choice is mouthwatering: divine hot chocolates, milkshakes, cookies, cakes and the best brownies. The coffee’s really decent too; perfectly made from organic and fair trade single origin beans.

All Cocoa Loco chocolate is 100% organic, fair trade and made by hand so it has all the virtuous ethical credentials going on as well as being 100% delicious. 😋.

If we’re ever in Horsham and happen to pass-by the shop, we ALWAYS pop in for a drink and come home with a box of treats (organic chocolate dipped dried mangos, yes please!)

Proper Coffee & Cycling, High Street, Hassocks

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Proper is a second home for us. It’s just across the road from the train station at the top of Hassocks High Street. We often go after school, or ballet or when we’re picking up Daddy from the station.

Their babycinos a.k.a. junior racers go down a storm with our two. Served in an espresso cup, on a saucer, with a straw and some mini marshmallows (usually offered to parents in hushed tones. Discretion appreciated).

This is a great coffee shop to hang out with little ones. It’s really chilled and very family friendly.

As the name suggests they cater for all of your cycling requirements too. There’s bikes for sale, accessories, a mechanic on site for advice and repairs, plus an impressive range of Mini Micro scooters, children’s bikes and accessories.

Proper good.

4. Pelicano, Sidney Street, Brighton

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It’s nice to have a little bit of something for yourself when you go out with your kids. And this is why we Babycino in Pelicano when we’re in Brighton. It’s for when you want a babycino that’s extra.

For Brighton veterans, Pelicano used to be The Dumb Waiter. Between 2005 and 2011, you’d have found me here at the weekend sporting sunnies, with unkempt hair shovelling in breakfast or gingerly sipping on a can of coke or a mug (a proper builder’s mug) of milky coffee after a big night out. It was always a bit of a greasy spoon with an edge. We loved it.

Now fast forward to 2019, The Dumb Waiter is long gone and has been replaced by Pelicano. It looks different, more grown-up, trendier, but it still has it’s Brighton charm. I’d like to think, a bit like me 😉.

There’s still a super cute garden out back with an impressive kiwi tree. Yep, that’s a true fact. Don’t believe me? Head over in summer and check it for yourself.

Toilets are outside too. I’m not sure if they have baby changing. I’ll check next time. These things soon pass you by!

The coffee is exceptional, as is the abundance of impressive cakes on the counter.

The babycinos don’t fail to disappoint either. They come served in a small glass, with quirky sugar spoons, a paper straw and chocolate sprinkles. The milk is frothed to absolute perfection. I reckon they’re numero uno in the babycino stakes. But what can I say, I’m biased when it comes to this place. It bleeds Brighton and I find it so nostalgic.

If you’re looking for hipster babycinos and don’t mind al fresco loos, this is the place for you.

Unless you’re sitting outside, this cafe is unsuitable for buggies. It’s easy enough with a sling and we don’t have any problems sitting in with our girls (3 and 5 at the time of writing).

The Nutmeg Tree, Ditchling

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The Nutmeg Tree is a lovely vintage tea room in Ditchling, which we’ve only recently discovered. I’ve been once with the littlest but I feel that they deserve a huge shout out for gold-plated exceptional service. We didn’t just feel welcome; we felt at home. Such incredible hospitality is very rare, especially when you have children.

The babycino was served perfectly warm and dusted with chocolate in a proper tea cup, which my little one declared “so grown-up” with squeals of delight.

The tearoom itself is deliciously warm and charming with a log burner, lots of tables, quirky decorations and a massive menu serving everything from cakes, to traditional knickerbocker glories; sandwiches to roast dinners. The soundtrack is a gentle hum of wartime golden oldies and the staff wear aprons and bonnets. I imagine it’s just like the tea rooms my Nan would have gone to with her mum as a child. Golden.

The Flour Pot, First Avenue, Hove

I’m a big fan of all the Flour Pots. If I’m going solo, I love the one on Sidney Street (what can I say, I’m a North Laine kinda gal). But with the kids, I like the one in Hove best (oh yeah, I’m a total cliché).

The Hove shop has a box of toys and a pile of books and colouring pads. If you’re with children, you’re usually in good company at the weekends; week days tend to be more adults with papers, polite conversation and laptops. But it’s still perfectly fine to go with children and babies in the week. There are just fewer around.

There’s lots of room inside, small tables line the edges and two big tables fill the middle: a huge communal table, usually surrounded by affable Hove residents who like to coo over small people; and another overflowing with the most delectable pile of freshly baked breads (they’re for sale). Try to queue up for coffee and leave without going home with a loaf of sour dough. I dare you! It’s impossible 🥖🍞💁🏻‍♀️

The babycinos are babycino perfection. No small treats here but cute-as-pie espresso cups and saucers with perfectly luke warm froth and an ample dusting of chocolate. What’s lacking on the saucer is amply made up for on the counter. The snacks, cakes, and treats are all excellent. You can choose a slice of toast (several types of bread), pastries, toasties, and best of all the dreamy doughnuts on Friday (our favourite day), check out their Insta and prepare to drool. 🍩🤤.

So there you have it. My family’s favourite places to Babycino across Sussex.

With thanks to all of my team for their suggestions! 💕👨‍👧‍👧💕

Where’s your favourite place to take your little one for a babycino in Sussex? Do you allow them to have marshmallows or do you keep it healthy? Or do you share an even more indulgent snack?

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