Many would claim that London is best city in the world, and I would struggle to disagree as it has almost everything I want in a city. Loads of sights to see, feasts to be had, culture to be immersed in and shops filled with anything my materialistic heart could desire. While I’ve resigned to the fact that London will rob me of my hard earned pounds for the pleasure of her company, I’m not quite ready for her to completely rob me of my peace and quiet. Every now and then every London dweller needs to escape, just for a short while, and head for the hills, or in our case, the sea.
A logical destination for this escape is Brighton, only an hour or so away, it will give you a much needed dose of relaxation and that fresh sea air. While it is traditional to head to the seafront and chow down on some fish chips, I’ve never been much of a fan and unlike the song we used to sing in primary school, fish and chips do not make me want to lick my lips and I most definitely do not want to have them for breakfast, lunch and tea. So if you’re on my side of the divide, let me tell you what I would rather have instead.
Breakfast at Silo
After jumping off the train, take the short stroll from the station to Silo where you can start your day with hearty breakfast and clear your conscience. Eating locally sourced and sustainable food has been in the spotlight for some time now, but at Silo they take things a little further and have adopted a pre-industrial food system which produces zero waste (and a lot of compost I’m guessing).
So yes, we’ll have some greenie points with our tea and hot chocolate before tucking into the Silo Breakfast- slow cooked eggs, beans with intercepted tomatoes on sourdough, with extra bacon and black pudding for the really greedy amongst us. I’m not entirely sure what or where they intercepted those tomatoes from but the end result is nothing short of heavenly, along with meaty bacon slices, a robustly flavoured black pudding, and the crowning glory- those oozy eggs adorned with fragrant herbs, this is quality on a plate. Now you’re ready to explore the North Laines, a grid of vintage stalls and independent shops selling anything from cool homewares to secondhand books.
Lunch at The Salt Room
Wind your way down to the seafront and take in a big breath of fresh sea air, you’ll need it if you decide to face the bright lights of Brighton Pier and wade through the crowds of families spending the day at fun fair! If you make it out reasonably unscathed, reward yourself with lunch at The Salt Room, a seafront restaurant that’s easily a class above its neighbours.
We embraced our surroundings and ordered fish but there are plenty of meat options for those less keen on a pescetarian diet. We whet our appetite with moreish salt cod fritters made infinitely tastier by the smoked cod’s roe sauce, and a carafe of the Urra di Mare, Sauvignon. My cider cured sea trout was perfectly paired with sweet cockles and asparagus, while a certain someone had the Sussex cod, octopus and monk’s beard bathing in a delicate seafood bouillon.
Nab a table by the window or sit outside if the weather is cooperative, and spend some time enjoying the view. If you’ve still got room, order the fantastical Taste of the Pier dessert platter before walking it all off by weaving your way through the narrow alleys of the Lanes.
Dinner at 64 Degrees
As with most things, I always like to save the best for last, so I highly recommend you end your day of Brighton dining at 64 Degrees, a tiny restaurant in Meeting House Lane with front row seats to the kitchen. These are our favourite kind of seats; no, after almost 3 years together we have not run out of things to talk about, we simply like watching the flow of the kitchen.
The menu is succinct; consisting of four of each meat, seafood and vegetable dishes, we easily polished off all but three. With our order placed, we settled in and started watching hungrily and waiting eagerly. The compact kitchen works harmoniously, delivering dishes which are quite simply a pleasure to eat. As well documented offal lovers, we would be lying if we said we didn’t enjoy the pork cheek or the ox tongue and marrow, our carnivorous tendencies devoured the lamb chump, and rump caps but we must say, they were slightly outshone by their less meaty counterparts.
We loved the grilled asparagus which we covered with lashings of the hollandaise, and enjoyed the even more decadent tagliatelle, glowing yolk and a generous shaving of truffle. A certain someone could have eaten several more of the tender strips of squid wrapped in celeriac, we were initially sceptical about the combination of scallop, rhubarb and lemongrass but of course we were wrong, and the spicy seared tuna with passionfruit and pomegranate made my tastebuds positively jump for joy.
I guess we should have expected the seafood to be outstanding but the whole meal was a well worth the train ride… a perfect end to a perfect day of dining!
So Make a Move
- There is a frequent train service from London Victoria, taking approximately 60 minutes. Book in advance for tickets costing as little as £10 return.
- Silo, 39 Upper Gardner Street, North Laine, Brighton BN1 4AN, approximately £20 for two.
- The Salt Room, 106 King’s Rd, Brighton BN1 2FA, approximately £70 for two with wine.
- 64 Degrees, 53 Meeting House Lane, Brighton BN1 1HB, approximately £140 for two with wine.