Review – Earth and Stars
The Earth and Stars sits on the corner of Windsor Street and Church Street. Coated in an earthy green and light cream, it’s not hard to miss. Stepping inside provides an immediately welcoming sensation, perhaps due to their large, inviting oak tables, organic ethos or smiling bar staff? Either way, this pub is one of my favourite Drink In Brighton venues.
We visited on Sunday which can only mean one thing: roast dinner. Earth and Stars have a good weekly selection that includes all the firm favourites: chicken, lamb, beef and a vegetarian option. The specials board is tempting, our visit had a gorgeous pan-fried duck with puy lentils. Desserts are also crowd pleasing; options include chocolate brownie, sticky toffee pudding and a local Sussex cheese board.
All meat and vegetables are sourced as locally as possible, with the veg selection changing with the seasons.
Sat on a table for two, it was promising to see a plethora of ‘reserved’ signs scattered across the pub. We even saw people being turned away due to the popularity of the Earth and Stars sunday lunch offering.
Ordering a large lemonade and diet coke (sober October, eat your heart out) and two Slow Braised Free Range Sussex Pork Belly (£11.95), we sat and waited, keenly already eyeing up the dessert menu.
Colourful, inviting and piping hot, this roast looked every bit the ideal Sunday lunch.
Nestled under parsnip crisps were a range of vegetables, a slither of pork as thick as your arm, a Yorkshire pudding and three round roast potatoes. As we peeled back the layers to sample the delights underneath, delving inside felt like a task in its own right.
Firstly, potatoes. These could have done with a bit more crunch but were soft in the middle and large in size. Not at all dry, I struggled to finish all three. A touch more of the ever so slightly too thin gravy would have gone down a storm, especially in the final struggle to saturate the potatoes as much as possible and shovel them into my bulging stomach.
There were, however, copious plus points for the Earth and Stars. The pork belly was fantastic, a real swelling, thick curl lay awaiting: dark white, tender and not overly fatty, the cut of pig was a meal standout. The cracking came in two thin strips, adding a satisfying salty crunch to the plate.
Buried further was a sweet mound of braised red cabbage, sat vibrantly on the plate next to an equally as bright pile of mixed greens: leek, kale and white cabbage. Carrot and what was to be my first roasted parsnip of this Autumn were also to be found – all cooked brilliantly. The Yorkshire pudding was the only part of the roast that needed some serious renovating. Soggy and tasteless, I almost envied its presence for soaking up the meaty gravy.
Seeing as we had been eyeing up the dessert menu since we sat down, ordering a gluten-free chocolate brownie seemed an opportunity too good to miss. And boy, I’m so glad we did.
A large slab of dark, gooey and slightly warm chocolate brownie sat underneath a melting scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. The crispier shell lead to smooth, airy brownie; all without a trace of flour in sight. A great dessert for those with alternative dietary requirements.
Booking ahead advised.
Earth and Stars, 46 Windsor Street, Brighton, BN1 1RJ
Words and images by Claire Beveridge
Claire’s food was complimentary courtesy of Earth and Stars and Drink In Brighton.