My Experiences at ARTBOX Café – Brighton (UPDATED PHOTOS WITH EVERY THEME)
Updated: Apr 11
To call the ARTBOX Café – the UK’s first character café – popping in my hometown fate may be a bit of a overstatement. It is however extremely convenient as it means it’s so accessible to me! I finally found time to visit the long awaited café and so I’m writing this guide for anyone who is considering travelling down to pay them a visit.
The ARTBOX Café is planned to be a permanent resident in the city of Brighton, UK with the café staying consistent but the character themes changing every few months. It is located in Brighton, UK and houses a top floor indoor seating area, a retail shop downstairs and a take away menu.
According to the ARTBOX website the best day to visit the café is a weekday (specifically Monday) and to avoid weekends/bank holidays – that is if you want a quieter visit. As I am one of those people, I decided to visit on a Monday however as it is still technically the summer holidays, it was a fairly busy day.
Upon walking into the store customers are faced with a counter where you can order take away ice-cream and purchase things in the store. During my visit (I assume it’s slightly different on a quieter day) the shop was stuffed with people and since this was my first visit I asked at the counter what to do if we wanted to see the sit down menu. The friendly counter staff radioed the upstairs staff who promptly came down to ask how many seats we needed etc. They advised us that there would be around a 5 minute wait while they cleared a table for us and it was literally 5 minutes, which is a nice surprise. Once you’ve climbed up the stairs you’ll find an upper level full of various sized tables, photos below!
The ARTBOX Café – Pusheen themed menu consists of mainly ice cream sundaes as well as waffles topped with sweet treats and adorable Pusheen embellishments. They also serve milkshakes, tea/coffee and even mocktails. The café is also very understanding of dietary needs and so offer gluten free and vegan options. Find photos of the food, drink and the menu below!
The café was full of so many adorable details, many of which you didn’t even notice upon first glance that made the whole experience so immersive and fun. This level of detail could even be found in the toilets which featured graphics of Pusheen sitting in a litter tray on the doors and sticker decals on the bathroom mirrors.
The photos below were taken on 2 separate occasions - yes, I went twice during one theme!
To summarise, here are some quick things to consider before visiting:
Peak times – the café is a little on the small side so consider what time you will be visiting if you are uneasy in crowds (the link below details the best time to visit)
The food – one of the great things about the Pusheen café is that those of us with food intolerances and dietary requirements are not left out! The café offers gluten free & vegan options for almost everything on the menu
The price – if you’re familiar with ARTBOX the shop (online & in Covent Garden), you’ll probably be familiar with the kind of prices they charge for merchandise. It’s fairly affordable if you’re open to spending a little more than average on things like plush toys, keyrings, bags, etc. The food is also pretty affordable with a sundae, waffle and two mocktails coming in at around £24 all together.
Seating – During peak times, don’t be surprised if you’re asked to wait for a seat upstairs or are even asked to come back at a certain time. Due to the novelty of the first character café in the UK, it fills up quick! So be patient or perhaps consider the take out menu during your visit.
GUDETAMA’S LAZY LOUNGE PHOTOS (8/02/2020):
As I mentioned above, the character theme will change every few months at the ARTBOX Cafe. Since we had 2 Pusheen themes from last summer until this winter, it was time for a new character to put up shop. This came in the form of Sanrio’s (the company famous for making other cute characters such as Hello Kitty, My Melody and more) lazy egg character; Gudetama. The new theme was debuted last weekend on the 8th Feb 2020 and I was lucky enough to be one of the first to experience it. My photos from that day are below!
The new theme means a new menu and this time, it wasn't all sundaes and waffles. This time around, they opted for a more savoury menu which is pictured below. Since I visited on the first day though, I received the "introductory menu" which might not be the same if you were to visit the cafe today. The new menu boasts dishes like toasties, hot dogs and soup, but still with a couple of sweet treats on the back for those who are only there because of their sweet tooth. The drinks have also been updated with the usual teas and coffees maintained but new mocktails included. All items on the menu are vegetarian as well, with the ham in the toastie as well as the hotdog being meat replacements. Finally, like usual there are still vegan and gluten free options available.
Every experience I have at the ARTBOX Café is magical. The entire store is so well put together, the food is amazing and the staff are so friendly! I can’t wait to see what other Kawaii characters take up residence in the future. If you would like more information about the café - follow this link! You can also find a dedicated Instagram account to the café - @artbox_cafe.
The ARTBOX x Gudetama Café can be found at at: 5-6 East Street, Brighton, BN1 1HP. Make sure you check the ARTBOX Cafe website before visiting as their opening/seating hours have changed a couple of times.
For more event reviews and cute character content, see what else I have to offer here as well as nerdoutwordout.com!