A couple of delegates at Labour Conference have asked for some food, drink and fun suggestions for when they’re down in our great city-by-the-sea. And as a special service to them, here are some places that I really like and can honestly recommend. Places that you might not naturally stumble on as a visitor in Brighton, these gems are mostly small local businesses rather than chainy places.
Let’s start with Breakfast. I adore Billie’s. Less than five minutes from the sea it is the purveyor of fry ups and hashes to die for (and you well might because the portions are huge). My personal silly breakfast of choice is coffee, eggs benedict and a banana milkshake.
Spot of lunch? Bill’s has quickly become a Brighton institution and I think for a salad and a pie or a quiche it’s great because it’s fun, friendly and colourful. But don’t bother yourself with the branded olive oil which is crazy expensive even if the bottles are sexy.
Afternoon tea doesn’t mean beer and sandwiches. Peter Mandelson says so. And whilst there are plenty of sooper dooper places in the North Laine, venture into Kemptown and you’ll find MetroDeco. Opulent, whimsical and wonderful for tea and cakes, comrades.
Maybe fish and chips for dinner? Or is it tea, or supper? Bankers on Western Road is very reliable and the Regency very convenient on the Seafront. Both are better than the unspeakable Harry Ramsdens by a nautical mile.
Pubs. I’m thinking real ale. The Evening Star is one of Brighton’s serious real ale boozers and my goodness what an array of goodies: including very potable libations from all over and plenty from the Dark Star Brewery. But Brighton is also Harvey’s country, based just up the road in Lewes they make some cracking beers and you’ll find the full slate at the Lord Nelson (appropriately) on Trafalgar Street.
A late drink not far from conference? Ditch the dreary hotel bar and venture to a Brighton legend that opens late: The Lion and Lobster. And speaking of legends, if you want to go out on the gay, Legends, not so very far along the seafront towards Kemptown, never seems to shut.
Shitfaced and peckish in the middle of the night? There’s a little place we Brightonians know. I’m not saying it’s good but it is a treasure and it will be open. The Market Diner, home of the Gutbuster, serves breakfast all night.