The sad thing about being on tour is that it gets to the end of the run before you start really discovering where all the best places to go are. This was certainly the way in Brighton, and I ended up squeezing visits into loads of places in very little time!
Feasting in a fish restaurant – Riddle & Finns
12b Meeting House Lane, Brighton, BN1 1HB
Down Meetinghouse Lane, a little cobbled alley in the South Lanes, is an absolutely amazing fish restaurant called Riddle & Finns. Somehow it’s easily overlooked: instead of ostentatious glass fronts, the narrow building exterior allows you a glimpse into their kitchen. This makes it feel rather like a hidden gem, all the most delightful for the fact that it could have been missed. The interior is cosy and inviting, silver candelabra burning atop high marble table tops, and we were brought a basket of delicious sourdough bread with a selection of dips whilst considering the menu: mackerel pâté, horseradish, and something else delicious I forgot the name of.
The menu itself was just a delight to read; I could have spent ages pondering what to get but in the end went with their excellent lunch deal: £13.95 for two courses. I started with sardines which were just beautiful, and finished with an amazing bream with colcannon mash.
The presentation of the food was also gorgeous: everything came piled up in little towers ad there was just the right amount of everything on the plate. Honestly, I can’t fault the food…My only real regret was leaving before being able to revisit the place and try other dishes on the menu!
I think this was haddock and something creamy with colcannon mash
An art deco style haven – Metro Deco
38 Upper St James Street, Brighton, BN2 1JN
The next day I met lovely Eleanor for breakfast at Metro Deco, an art deco café in on St James Street (in the Kemptown area of Brighton, parallel to the seafront) which I had walked past several times during my stay in Brighton and longed to go in. I was so glad that I did, and again want to return before too long to sample more delights on their menu! The first thing to mention is that the self-styled Parisian tea rooms are absolutely gorgeous to look at, as the interior is decorated with lots of interesting objects as well as the fact that it gets a lot of light within. It’s a really lovely place to spend some time in, whether musing by oneself or spending time with a friend.
I enjoyed reading their menu as they have a large selection of teas, renamed with period-evoking titles such as ‘Chrysler Breakfast’; I had a chilli and mint infusion called ‘Some Like It Hot’. They also had an amazing counter stocked with all kinds of cake, which looked just spectacular. (For instance, there was a victoria sponge which involved three layers of cake, and was topped with a garnish of ground pistachio nuts.) I had a stack of pancakes served with fresh fruit, and Eleanor went for a slice of cake involving lavender and blueberry. All was delicious.
The café’s basement houses a shop with vintage furniture – including some notably beautiful dressing tables – as well as a few clothes and accessories. I didn’t buy anything as I’m trying to keep my luggage and possessions to a minimum at the moment but I could have done so easily (oh, to have a place of my own!) as I felt the prices were quite reasonable.
Ray Charles & a gastro-ish pub -The Bath Arms
3-4 Meeting House Lane, Brighton, BN1 1HB
During our three weeks in Brighton, the Bath Arms became our regular to go for a drink after a show (generally being the first stop on the nightly crawl back to digs). I liked it because of the fact that it had a buzzing atmosphere and played Ray Charles albums every night. But it took us a while to get round to actually reading the menu! Pan-seared scallops with linguini, fish pie topped with a deep fried oyster, porcini mushroom risotto served with truffle oil…We ran out for lunch one day and I was so glad that we’d finally managed to try the delights chalked up on the sandwich board outside. My only regret was that I had to go back to work and thus wasn’t able to try the dessert.
Warning: bad photos, great food.