Over the last few weeks, I have been on a mission to review as many of Brighton’s best restaurants as possible, just in time for Christmas – scoping out festive menu’s, specials and bringing you my best recommendations on where to plan your pre-Christmas meals this season. We are certainly spoiled for choice in Brighton so I’ve handpicked a few for you! So, without further ado, this is the first in my ‘Brighton Festive Food Series‘ – watch out as I’ll be spamming your feed with more gorgeous food over the next few days too!
One of the most prestigious hotels in Brighton, is The Grand. Standing tall within the heart of Brighton’s iconic seafront, you can’t miss this beautiful building. Amazingly, having lived in Brighton for most of my adult life, I have never actually had the chance to visit so far! So, when I was invited to review the Seafood restaurant GB1 at the The Grand, I couldn’t wait to glam up for the evening at one of the best seafood restaurants in town. As Vee is highly allergic to seafood, I asked along my lovely friend Kirstie, who has been amazing recently and deserved a treat – she’s been listening to all of my pregnancy rants day and night – and when I asked her, she was even more excited than me! We booked a table and and excitedly discussed over Whatsapp about which dresses to wear, and finally, the evening for our big night out was here.
The beautiful hotel lobby was looking so festive, with soothing Christmas music playing, lined with Christmas trees. From the moment we arrived we were treated with excellent service, including concierge parking, which was a lovely touch.
Inside the hotel lobby | Dress: Tiffany Rose
The stylish restaurant, just off the lobby has a large central fish bar and gorgeous sea-facing area, which in the summer would be an ideal sun-trap, but for us on a gloomy December day it was warm and homely – the perfect escape from the cold, drizzly weather. GB1’s philosophy is ‘quality with simplicity‘. The restaurant has been awarded 2 AA Rosette’s and offers a fantastic choice of the finest and freshly caught seafood from Brighton’s shores. Executive Chef Alan White and his team aim to add a contemporary take on classic British cuisine and seafood.
We were seated in the window at a table I’m sure had a beautiful seaview (shame about the weather – thanks December!) and were greeted by the team, who were super friendly and polite. We ordered some drinks and although there weren’t any mocktails on the menu, the barman was happy to create virgin versions of their classic cocktails for me. As we perused the menu, the head chef Alan White came to give us a personal hello and some of his recommendations from the menu. I explained I was a rather tricky customer – ‘Vegetarian, who eats fish, but is pregnant, so can’t eat shellfish or soft cheeses‘ (I know, I’d be confused too!) and he was able to help me with what might be suitable. The menu is accommodating to all dietary requirements, so you can discuss all your requirements as you order.
Starters: For my starter, I went for the Salmon (Pastrami, pickled watermelon, cucumber, carrot, bulgur wheat and lemon) which has got to be the most flavourful, exquisitely cooked salmon I’ve ever experienced – also the pickled watermelon was a pregnant ladies dream, I was in my element. Kirstie opted for the Mackerel (Seared and pickled, compressed cucumber, fennel pollen parfait, extra olive oil powder, radish and kohlrabi), served with the cutest flower. She said the creamy parfait was delicate and complimented the mackerel beautifully, which was then cut through perfectly by the pickled elements to the dish, creating a well rounded plate of food.
Mains: For our main courses, Kirstie opted for one of the specials of the day – Thai Fish Curry, this dish was well seasoned with succulent prawns and delicate coriander rice, served with a crispy and soft freshly cooked naan.
I went for the Sea Bream, based on the chef’s recommendation. With the main fish courses, the fish is served separately, allowing you to create your perfect meal by adding the various sides and sauces to your fish. Of course, I had to go for the traditional Fish and Chips, so I ordered gloriously chunky chips and a portion of minty mushy peas. With my fish I opted for the garlic butter sauce, which was just indulgent, buttery and rich.
Desserts: My favourite bit of any meal – even though I was running out room rapidly, I simply couldn’t leave without sampling the dessert menu. Kirstie needed a bit of encouragement to go for a pudding (I know, I thought that was crazy too), but after a quick look over the menu we’d settled on the Lemon (Curd, vanilla cheesecake, ginger nut crumb, meringue and lemon gelato) and Chocolate (Chocolate Bitter chocolate fondant with caramelized banana, honeycomb, almond ice cream) to share so we could both try each pudding as there were too many fabulous options to choose from! I absolutely loved the zingy lemon twang of the Lemon and the hot bitter chocolate fondant pudding was just melt in the mouth. The desserts did not disappoint either!
Overall, I was absolutely delighted with our meal at GB1 at The Grand Hotel, it was one of the best meals I’ve had in months (and we eat out a lot) – every little detail was just perfect. With a bill of around £130 ( for two people including only 1 alcoholic drink) it’s most definitely on the higher end of the price scale, but our meal lived up to every expectation of such a prestigious hotel and is the perfect place for a special evening out.
To visit GB1 at The Grand Hotel – call +44(0)1273 224 300 or email email@example.com to book your table- Pre-booking for GB1 Restaurant is essential.
I was asked to visit GB1 for a complimentary meal in return for an honest review – all words, opinions and photography is my own.