Home south coast breakfasts South-coast breakfasts : The Deck

South-coast breakfasts : The Deck

by Clare Mansell
South-coast breakfasts : The Deck

After six months living on the Sussex coast we are still seeking a great weekend breakfast venue, so as part of an occasional series on some of the hidden eateries in our area, I thought I’d document our journey to find the perfect weekend breakfast.

This week it was the turn of a cafe which was a tip off from a local dog walker. The Deck occupies a fantastic location in Emsworth marina and from the moment I heard about it on Monday last week, I was ready to love it.

It’s 10 minutes from our house, parking is easy, the view is cracking and they are even set up to accommodate dogs. I won’t lie, before we arrived I thought we’d found our breakfast nirvana. 


The cafe is set in the heart of a lovely buzzing little marina with a view out on to the deck houses and yachts moored in the basin. Lots going on even on a Sunday and plenty for a the dogs and boy to view happening. The styling of the place was perfect, with a sweeping glass deck to take in the views and a lower patio with quirky touches like an old dinghy planted out with herbs.

However as much as I want to be able to write only positive things about this lovely little cafe, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the service we experienced veered between disinterested and plain bad. We spent most of the time wondering if we’d come at the wrong time (11am) the wrong day (Sunday) or perhaps sat in the wrong place (the downstairs). Tables took forever to be cleared, tea arrived with juice spilled in the saucer, milk wasn’t topped up, food choices weren’t available and the general vibe was that the staff would be happier without customers to bother them.

Food wise, we tried the croissants (excellent) the Big Deck breakfast (also good) and the poached eggs on toast (I’ve had better) along with juice, tea and coffee. We might have ordered more if anyone had asked us what we wanted, but no one seemed to care, and ultimately we left feeling a little deflated.


So much potential, such a great location, but why oh why do us Brits get it so wrong with service? We’re hoping it was a glitch, we certainly think it’ll be worth a second crack at the whip in a few weeks, but until then, it seems our quest for a great breakfast goes on….

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Geoff Matthews August 4, 2013 - 1:22 pm

Great write up, to start I was looking forward to it but as I read on I was also felt deflated by the result. Good bit of writing
Hope your all well down there
Geoff (Elgin)

Clare Mansell August 4, 2013 - 1:29 pm

Thank you Geoff, really appreciate you taking the time to comment! Hope all is well in sunny Moray!

Linda August 5, 2013 - 6:39 am

How disappointing! As you said, the venue had everything going for it. Obviously the owner has not trained the staff at all. Sad.

Magnolia Verandah August 5, 2013 - 11:36 pm

It quite amazing isn’t it that places can get it so wrong! I wonder if the owners know that there service is terrible? Good food and terrible service seems to hit annoy us more than Ok food and great service. Great photos.

Clare Mansell August 6, 2013 - 6:21 pm

Sine I published this I’ve had a few comments verbally and of facebook which seem to indicate it’s not unusual – unfortuantely

Suzanne Bramble August 6, 2013 - 1:56 pm

Such a gorgeous location, let’s hope it’s a one off and next time you visit you get the service you should. Found your blog via twitter and now following you. XX

Clare Mansell August 6, 2013 - 6:21 pm

Thank you Suzanne and always nice to know how people find the blog so I appreciate that.

Anonymous August 1, 2014 - 8:08 pm

I’ve just had tapas there which is an every Friday thing – the food was really nice, but…… When the bill came there was a heading ‘entertainment charge’ and next to it…..£10.00!!!! This was for a guitarist in the corner who started playing an hour after we got there and finished 45 minutes later!!!!! Ridiculous – weren’t told about this when we booked. I have to say that we won’t be going back and the owner obviously has her ‘favourites’ who were dining so therefore everything took forever!!! Such a shame as location is fantastic. Apparently they opened 3 years ago today (the chap gave a long speech about it in the middle of the dinner) so I guess they’ve been lucky keeping it going!!!!


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