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Day and Night at Infinity

I am lucky to have visited Cafe Infinity both as a daytime cafe venue and as an evening venue on a night when the floor was given over to displaying and selling excellent local fine art and photography.

As a daytime venue, Cafe Infinity has a lot to offer. Whether you want a hearty breakfast, a lunch with workmates or a cuppa with a friend, this fresh new modern space is the place to go. The cafe is located upstairs, but to the relief of disabled people such as myself, a spacious and reliable lift is available, as is a wheelchair-accessible toilet.

Once upstairs, patrons are greeted by smartly-dressed, friendly staff. I chose a table at the far end of the cafe because the final wall is made up of windows overlooking the River Tees, its wildlife and attractions. With pine ceiling and decorative finishes, the venue tips a nod to its outside surroundings, and the venue's clean, angular look does not dispell the comfortable atmosphere that is sought by people wishing to relax.

The price of the daily specials and light lunches are reasonable - around £6. There are a range of 'light bites' such as a bowl of soup or olives, as well as a selection of cakes and confectionary. I'm a herbal tea drinker, and I was offered several refills, which, of course, I accepted! The £1.95 I paid for my drink went a long way! I found my waitress to be attentive but not intrusive. She was unphased by my speech difficulties and spoke with me with me in a friendly and professional manner.

By night, Cafe Infinity can be an intimate restaurant, but on other occasions the modern tables and slightly cushioned chairs are put away and the floor is opened up as an event space. As an event or function space, Cafe Infinity offers a good area - not too big, not too small - where people can gather and take advantage of the licensed bar and the balcony overlooking the illuminated river. As a function or event space, Cafe Infinity has the potential to be startlingly beautiful in the summer; chic and very attractive to professionals.

One drawback I found at Cafe Infinity were the upstairs toilets. Despite their modernity, the cubicles are a bit of a squeeze, and I fear larger people may have difficulty using them in comfort. The other drawback is the current route to Cafe Infinity. At the moment, it can be a little mystifying, even when following directions, because the cafe is part of a new development that is under construction. However, once the development is complete, there will be a clear footpath to the venue and people will get to know their way around the new and improved riverside area.

Cafe Infinity will also be host to special occasions such as the up-coming Burns Night which will showcase some of the region's best poets as well as Scottish cuisine, and for St Valentine's Day patrons can expect a decently-priced three-course Italian meal with champagne and chocolates. More information about these and other up-coming events can be found on the venue's website;

www.cafeinfinity.co.uk

It is easy to see that Cafe Infinity could become the nucleus of the new developments in Stockton and be a leading light in attracting yet more people to the town in its exciting revival.

   15-01-13

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