A foodie weekend in Brighton
By Izzy Brimeau
Brighton is a foodie mecha. Set by the sea, with its famous pier, this bustling city is brimming with places to drink great coffee and eat fabulous, fresh and well-sourced food. My boyfriend Nick and I decided a weekend away, filling our bellies, in one of our favourite UK cities was in order. Neither us, nor our tummies, regretted this tasty decision.
Here are my must-visit restaurants and cafes for eating your way around this quirky seaside town…
We kicked off our weekend in Brighton with an intimate, booze-heavy Italian dinner at Cin Cin. Located in the trendy area that is Brighton’s North Laine, this hole-in-the-wall restaurant offers high-quality meals in an informal, relaxed setting. Diners sit perched on bar stalls along three sides of the oblong that makes up both the kitchen and bar.
My boyfriend Nick and I clambered onto our designated leaners, and looked around in admiration of the plates being delved into. Much to my pleasure, I noticed that the menu was designed for sharing – no food envy to be had here. The charming, and incredibly knowledgeable, barman convinced us to start with two very strong cocktails (a Negroni and a Bergamot Spritz) and a platter of cured meats. The meats were sliced in front of us and served alongside fresh focaccia, olive oil from Puglia and a bowl of plump, buttery grassy-green olives.
Then, out came the highlight of the meal – a crispy, addiction-invoking croquette. Square in shape, this edible present cracked open to reveal succulent melt-in-your-mouth rabbit. Dipped in the basil emulsion, it was a sensational starter.
Our mains came in the form of a sausage ragù and squid ink pasta with cuttlefish. Luckily I preferred the ragù and Nick the cuttlefish.
Dessert was double the decadence – vanilla mascarpone and strawberries topped with a moreish rosemary crumble and white chocolate mousse topped with cherries and an icy cherry granita.
Breakfast at The White House (where we were staying). Nick chose the full breakfast and I went for wild mushrooms on brioche. The coffee was strong and the juice bottomless.
We headed to central Brighton for the Very Independent Food Tour. This three-hour tour is best described as ‘a tasting plate of some of the best independent foodie hotspots that Brighton has to offer’.
Our tour included stops at Smorl’s Houmous, Falafel & Salad bar for vegan dips, flatbreads and falafel, Happy Maki for vegan sushi, Rainbow Organic Chocolates for the most wonderful hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted, freshly shucked oysters and Portuguese wine at English’s of Brighton and Burger Brothers for the best burgers in the UK (according to Trip Advisor). And yes, I agree. They were phenomenal. The tour was filling, informative, interesting and an all-round great time. 10/10 would do again.
After an enjoyable stroll down Brighton beach we ended up at the furthermost arches. Here, we found The Flour Pot Bakery‘s newest venture – The Flour Pot Kitchen. After trying so many different foods on the tour we decided to only share a small pizza. The sourdough is made with a 48 hour ferment and is the perfect combination of chewy and pillowy. We tucked into something a bit different – a pizza base topped with carrot puree, beef short rib and pickled enoki mushroom. It may sound a little unusual but I tell you, it would have you going back for more.
We took a trip up the British Airways i360 to soak up the views of Brighton from every angle, and to get a different perspective on the city.
After a very meat-heavy meal on Friday night we decided to head to Terre à Terre for dinner. Terre à Terre do plant-based dining, and they do it well. After raving about the rabbit croquette, burgers and a pizza topped with beef short rib, you’ve most likely gathered that we have a fondness for meat. But, my carnivorous boyfriend and I adored our meal here.
The interior was simple, the candles were lit and the ambience oozed romance. We began our vegetarian journey with the pièce de résistance – marinated halloumi and bok choy bao buns. Now, I love a bao. I could live off them. So believe me when I say this – order them as a main and whatever you do, don’t share them.
While it was near impossible to live up to the greatness of the bao buns, the vegan Terre à Terre sharing plate was a fine competitor. The KFC (Korean fried cauliflower) and aubergine slow-baked with tahini and miso were, without a doubt, the highlights.
Sad to leave The White House, but hungry for breakfast, we wandered down to Trading Post Coffee Roasters. To no surprise this cafe smells incredible. Serving up sustainable, fair trade coffee, pastries designed to make you drool and an extensive selection of brunch dishes, it’s always busy.
We were unoriginal, and a little hungover, so both ordered the sourdough topped with roasted vine tomatoes, smashed avocado, poached eggs and halloumi. The coffee was strong and iced, the halloumi ample and the eggs perfectly cooked.
After another trip to the beach, it was Riddle & Finns on the Beach for lunch. For starters, my friend Lily and I shared ceviche with chilli, red onion and lime, plump juicy scallops with lemon and parsley and a sweet, not-so-metallic oyster each. The oysters, still tasting of the ocean, stole the show.
Lily was presented with a large bowl of al dente seafood linguine and for me, Shoreham cod with pillowy gnocchi, sun-dried tomatoes and a deep-fried courgette flower filled with creamy ricotta.
Dessert was the definition of decadence – a chocolate fondant with ice cream, crumble and berry coulis. While it looked a little like a scene from Jaws, it was hold-me-back good. Death by chocolate some would say…
Where to stay
We stayed at The White House in quirky Kemptown. Located about a 15-20 minute walk from The Lanes, this quaint guest house is mere moments from the sea.