East Beach Cafe in West SussexDesign website Design Curial has named East Beach Cafe in West Sussex as one of ten best designed coffee houses in the world.

Set in the sleepy seaside town of Littlehampton, West Sussex, the design beat off cafes as far afield as Tokyo and New York to be named in this global ranking. Co-owners Jane Wood and daughter Sophie Murray collaborated their ideas with British designer, Thomas Heatherwick, to bring new life to the town.

Jane said: “I’m absolutely delighted, how very kind of you. Thomas is a genius, as we know. It’s a well-deserved accolade for him.”

Design Curial evaluated four thousand cafes before narrowing it down to the top ten. Cafes were ranked on design, innovation and the building’s relationship with its surroundings.

Heading the list was New Zealand’s Knoll Ridge Cafe, perched dramatically in the North Island’s Tongariro National Park on Mt Ruapehu, in what is both a commercial ski field and New Zealand’s largest active volcano. Also in the top three was the Romeow Cat Bistro, Rome’s feline-friendly cafe designed by Tommaso Guerra and home to six cats.

Japan featured twice on the list, one cafe featuring wall-length mirrors on its exterior aptly named Mirrors in Gifu, reflecting the famous Cherry Blossom trees opposite, while the other, Cafe Ki, Tokyo, embodies minimal aesthetics with interior tree-like structures.

Other top challengers were an Australian cafe in Victoria created from a former prison deemed Jury, South Korea’s Dreamy Camera Cafe mimicking a vintage Rolleiflex camera and Ukraine’s The Cake featuring a giant pink, Jeff Koon’s-style dog as the focal point.

Design Curial selected the East Beach Cafe for its innovative design and its symbiotic relationship with the environment. The design replicated silhouettes of driftwood and other natural shapes such as sand dunes and shells.

Katherine Houston, Web Editor at Design Curial said: “The aim was to recognise favoured locations of the general public for their daily brew on a worldwide level. Simply by drawing attention to these cafes, our aim is to put some destinations on the map for travellers across the globe.”

She added: “A lot of painstaking research took place and the choice wasn’t easy, however we believe we have chosen a successful set of striking cafes from around the world.”

The full list of top ten best designed cafes in the world chosen by Design Curial:

  1. Knoll Ridge Cafe, Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand
  2. Mirrors, Gifu, Japan
  3. Romeow Cat Bistrot, Rome, Italy
  4. Jury Cafe, Victoria, Australia
  5. Dreamy Camera Cafe, South Korea
  6. The Cake, Kiev, Ukraine
  7. East Beach Cafe, West Sussex, UK
  8. Cafe Ki, Tokyo, Japan
  9. Salvaged Ring Cafe, Nha Trang city, Vietnam
  10. Topolski, Waterloo, London