In a country overrun with bland, soulless coffee shop chains, walking into the Café Irie in Newquay feels a bit like you’ve tripped up and fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole.
Big chairs, little tables, little chairs, big pouffets. Vibrant clashing colours, art and poetry strung on washing lines – and more sofas than you’d squeeze into a sofa shop. “Relax,” says the menu, “And take a break from conformity.”
Indeed, normal rules do not apply here. If you want to put your feet up or play the old piano or mix and match ingredients on the menu, go ahead. And a sign on each table positively encourages you to make friends with a stranger.
Amongst this frivolity, the food is seriously fresh, home-made and health-enhancing: Dishes for vegans, vegetarians and carnivores and a long list of quirky drinks. Boozy milk anyone?
Oh, but there is one rule, as painted on the outside of the café: “Be nice or go home.”