It was all smiles as what is thought to be the country’s very first “happy cafe” launched.

The Happy Cafe opened at the Emporium on London Road last Friday with Brighton’s Action for Happiness group launching the initiative.

The Happy Cafe is a place for people to socialise with others who are part of the Action for Happiness society, a global charity with an ambition of improving people’s happiness and wellbeing.

Stan Rosenthal, a co-organiser of the Brighton Action for Happiness group and the brainchild behind the Happy Cafe idea, said: "I hope the UK’s first Happy Cafe will become a beacon of happiness in Brighton, which will reinforce and inspire people in their search for wellbeing.

“We hope this becomes a national thing. The national director said he will roll out the programme depending on how successful the cafe is.”

More than 600 members belong to Action for Happiness in Brighton - the largest branch in the UK.

It is hoped that the cafe will spread the word of the wellbeing group and have a positive impact on the city’s residents.

The Happy Cafe will also display inspiring and informative literature to help people discover new ways to improve their wellbeing.

Co-organiser Joshua French hopes the concept will create a friendlier and more welcoming experience for customers.

He said: “Our vision is that cafe culture becomes more focused towards people connecting with each other and talking about positive things.

“It will probably have a subtle impact at first but when word gets around that there are happy cafes, I think it will start to grow.”

Alex Nunn, who works on Action for Happiness’s international campaigns, added: “I think this is a wonderful idea and the Brighton group really is in a league of its own. I have to give all credit to them.

“We are really excited and we would be thrilled if we could replicate this in other parts of the country.”

Chris Gull, manager of Emporium, said he was “looking forward to bringing even more happiness to Brighton".

Other meet-ups have included an introduction to positive psychology, talks on willpower and self-control and the therapeutic powers of music and singing.