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Cool kid-friendly cafe, ahoy!

A cafe that's become a destination for its doughnuts alone must be worth a visit, no? Muddy's definitely going back to The Curious Kitchen.

What do you do with bored teens on rainy day three-thousand-and-two of the summer hols, when they’re too old for soft play and too young to prise themselves off their screens? Take them to The Curious Kitchen.

LOWDOWN

You only ever hear good things about this Brixham cafe and its amazing doughnuts, plus it regularly makes the finalists in the Muddy awards. Run by head chef Ash and a young friendly team, it’s a fave with locals and the quality of the food has Brixham tourists coming back year after year. So, the perfect place to take the 14 year-old daughter, my 15 year-old nephew and Mr Muddy for brunch.

LOCATION

On Middle Street, down the main drag which takes you to Brixham’s boat-filled harbour, where you’ll find a full-size replica of Drake’s Golden Hind and beyond that the dock where Brixham’s daily catch of fresh fish gets landed.

THE VIBE

Hipster’ish, with panelled walls painted black and yellow, and a mixture of cafe tables and street-facing perches to watch the world go by. Though you’ll be too busy rubber-necking the waiters to-and-froing with plates you’ll wished you’d ordered. The crowd was mostly young – mums with buggies, couples and mates out for a smoothie.

Covid-wise, they’re not taking bookings but social distancing was well-handled with timed entry, sanitiser by the door and loos, and rather than their usual counter service, you were told when it was okay for you to head up to choose your cakes and what-nots.

SCOFF & QUAFF

It’s home-made and delicious with modern, urban options aplenty, including sourdough, burritos, excellent coffee, and abundant options for veggies, vegan, gluten and dairy-free.

Warning: it’s hard to choose and portions are generous! For brunch, the choice includes smoothie bowls, breakfast burritos and their signature TCK brunch of a full English plus for lunch, there are burgers, wraps and toasties.

My dishes gets full points for prettiness: cinnamon and vanilla French toast, and don’t be deceived by the healthy yogurt and berry topping, there are two slices lurking underneath.

Mr Muddy’s TCK brunch came with a curly butcher’s sausage, homemade hash brown, with apparently the best poached egg he’s ever had, a truss of grilled vine tomatoes and a slice of sourdough.

The nephew gave the thumbs up to his breakfast burrito which came piping-hot in foil.

My daughter’s (adult-sized) burger was also a double layer – spiced pepperily (is that a word?) in a brioche bun. Very tasty, I kept nipping in for a wee slice of it.

Drinks were a mix of excellent coffee, hot choc, tea (including chai), plus healthy and not-so healthy smoothies, ice-cream shakes (the Oreo one comes smothered in cream and choc, very authentic.) Also recommended is the Hullabulloo soft drinks, good for people who want a pep-up without the fizz.

KID-FRIENDLY?

Though small, it’s spacious enough for the table next to us to have a couple of buggies parked next to it, and a high chair and there is a changing mat hanging on the back of the loo door. About a third of the menu can be made kid-sized.

What I liked best though is the fun menu, meaning even hard-to-please teens and teens put their phones down temporarily to ooh over the sweet stuff (coke float and peanut butter ice cream sandwich, anyone?)

ANYTHING ELSE?

Don’t miss out on the #donutporn, their name, not mine (not sure how you explain that to young kids). If you’re too full get a takeaway box (£3 each or 5 for £12). They’re made fresh every day, with ever-more quirky ingredients. The day we went the choice was pear and passionfruit, creme brûlée, Mars Bar with a whole bar sliced in half and stuffed in the middle, and a jammy one with a huge blob of jam topped with a jammy doughnut. They are puffy and bready rather than oily, flavourful rather than crazy-sweet and definitely worth travelling from afar for.

OUT AND ABOUT

Brixham is the place where most of Devon’s fresh fish gets landed and good for a mooch around the shops and harbour front. Once you’ve checked out the fishing trawlers and lobster pots on the far side next to Rockfish, there is the full-size replica of the ship in which Drake circumnavigated the globe, The Golden Hind, which is easily visible from the front or you can pay to board and have a snoop around.

Middle Street has some interesting shops, including makers studio, Flotsam 50 where you can buy local ceramics, soaps and sheepskins and where owner Jo (pictured above) holds Annie Sloan chalk paint workshops, Maison et Vie for divine home scents and genuine Japanese kimonos and the indie wine shop and deli, The Wine Loft to top up on your rioja and charcuterie.

THE MUDDY VERDICT

In the words of the Mudlet, “If I was on death row this is the food I’d want to eat.” More’ish, a menu that makes you want to go back, and back again.

Good for: brunch dates with or without toddlers; a shopping pitstop or a solo coffee break on your own; takeaway (you can pre-order for later and an app is in the offing); a kids’ boredom buster on a rainy afternoon; foodie instagrammers (the lighting is as perfect as the food.)

Not for: it’s noisy so not for the hard of hearing and work meetings (unless you want to lighten the atmos); anyone on a Keto diet (too much carb-temptation).

The damage: Most of the brunch/lunch dishes were around £10-£11, so great value.

The Curious Kitchen, 14-16 Middle Street, Brixham TQR 8ER. Tel: 01803 854816

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