Nest, East Grinstead
Tucked away in the corner of the historic market High Street, Nest Coffee shop is a real find. Having taken over just before Christmas, new owners Janet, Andrew and Crystal have a clear vision for their new eatery. Hailing from East London the owners hope is to offer a modern coffee shop, using local produce and catering for all ranges of dietary requirements.
Andrew explains that their aim is to use high quality produce from here in Sussex.
They use Bean Smitten coffee beans from Flimwell, cakes and bakes from Crynel Bakery in Forest Row, chocolate from Cocoa Loco in Horsham as well as selling a wide range of other Sussex sourced goods and produce. The atmosphere on a dreary Thursday lunchtime is vibrant and busy… a real buzz about the place. Despite being a small venue there is plenty of seating with a coffee bar and seating area upstairs as well as cosy snug and further seating downstairs.
In addition to their range of hot drinks there is a wide selection of cakes and pastries and a daily menu based on fresh produce. I’m served a large cappuccino with coffee beans roasted by Bean Smitten in Flimwell on the Kent / Sussex border. This Classic Blend has a smooth, sweet taste with a hint of chocolate and hazelnut…a strong flavour but not over powering.
The lunch menu focuses on fresh produce (nothing frozen) and everything is made to order. Browsing the range of quiches, salads, soups, ciabattas and panini I opt for the avocado & bacon with crumpled feta cheese on brown toast. Within minutes I’m presented with a beautiful dish of bright contrasting colours plated on a slate slab. The brown toast is chunky and warm, the avocado perfectly soft and ripe, the bacon crispy and the feta creamy and smooth. The dish is garnished with rocket and lemon slice adding a zesty freshness to the dish. This light lunch feels healthy, fresh and light enough to allow for one of the cakes temptingly displayed on the counter.
I’m recommended the Citrus and Raspberry Polenta Cake (both gluten and dairy free) which I happily sample. The cake is light and moist with a delicious burst of fruitiness through each mouthful of raspberry. I’m not sure if I’ve tried polenta cake before…and it’s certainly not what I would have chosen myself but I’ll certainly be looking to sample a few more in the future!
I suddenly realise that my allocated parking time is racing towards its limit. Time flies when you’re in the company of good food! I order a Cocoa Loco hot chocolate for the road…served with fresh chocolate flakes. This is hot chocolate on a new level…creamy, incredibly chocolatey, but not too rich. Now I am definitely full!
Nest is an extremely welcoming and homely experience. The owners are clearly passionate about the produce they use and the level of service they provide. Chatting to Andrew I sense they are excited about the future of their shop..with several potential ideas for expanding their business in the future. For now I think that Nest is a wonderful and welcome funky addition to the town and I for one, can’t wait for my next visit.
Please check Nest’s Facebook page for opening times.