PIEB Top 5… Valentines Day
Valentines Day in Brighton is one of my favourite days of the year. Some restaurants pull out all the stops to create fantastic menus for us to feast upon, whilst others stick to their a la carte and let loved up couples choose old favourites or try new dishes. Either way, we are always in for a treat come February 14th.
Here, we’re put together our Top 5 Valentines Day recommendations for Brighton and Hove.
This year, I’ll actually be spending Valentine’s Day with an old school friend in London, sitting on her sofa eating cheese and drinking prosecco in our PJs. Romance is well and truly dead! But if I were to be asked out for a perfect Brighton Valentine’s night, here’s what I’d love to do.
We’d start at Cocktail Shack on Regency Square. I’ve never had a duff cocktail here, the staff are great and it’s a lovely, relaxing place to take a date, especially if you reserve the table for two in the bay window.
Then we’d head to English’s – Brighton’s oldest seafood restaurant – for a fruits de mer platter with lobster and plenty of chilled Sancerre. Champagne if he’s feeling flush (and yes, in this fantasy the man is definitely paying). English’s has an old-world charm that can’t be beaten, with its crisp white tablecloths and scarlet drapes, and it’s perfect for cosying up to someone and sharing beautiful, fresh seafood.
English’s also have a special Valentine’s set menu this year, running from 13-15 February, which has been specially designed for sharing and looks fantastic, mainly as it includes beef fillet with lobster tail, Bearnaise and chips (probably my death row meal). And if you’re feeling seriously indulgent, the five-course tasting menu with wine pairings, which includes crab bisque and house-smoked salmon, looks an absolute treat.
It is always an event going to Terre a Terre and it works as great date night venue on a lot of levels. The menu is strictly vegetarian and vegan, with lots of gluten-free options too.
I recommend the tapas at Terre à Terre. It is a whirlwind of flavours from sweet to mouth-watering citrus. The Mexican corn cakes with avocado, chili and lime are one of the tastiest morsels I have wolfed down in a while. The salad with lotus root and pomegranate is a complete riot of sweet, sour and salty – a very addictive flavour combination.
The zhuganoush (better than baba!) was a gorgeous silky dip that goes well with everything on the plate. But let’s not forget the chips eh? The last time I dined there, they slipped easily in to my top 3 chips of all time.
The tasting plate of sweet things, called ‘Sweet Sixes’ is also worth a look.
Terre à Terre give the impression was of whip smart cooking with cool, yet warm and kind service by people who know how to do their job. This is how to run a restaurant.
As much as I love to cook elaborate, romantic meals on Valentines Day, I do also enjoy a good splurge on the plastic and dining in some of Brighton’s finest restaurants. And what better restaurant to romance in than a premier steak hotspot.
The special Valentines Day menu looks fantastic. Begin with a glass of champagne (£9.50), followed by a light, fish starter – perhaps the flame grilled mackerel or if Coal Shed are serving their main menu, half a dozen oysters to share (£15) – alongside a glass of crisp, dry white wine.
At Coal Shed, I would recommend letting your canabalistic tendencies run wild and order big, with lots of sides. Steaks start as cheap as £7.50 per 100g for the porterhouse and rise slowly to £32 for 400g of juicy ribeye.
On Valentines Day, why not share an 800g porterhouse and vamp it up with some luxurious sides such as truffled macaroni and cheese and half a lobster? Finish with a cheese board or chocolate fondue. Heaven.
Whatever you decided to feast on, don’t forget to order a bottle of something bold and red from The Coal Shed’s extensive wine list.
Valentines Day, or any other special occasion, Coal Shed has the hallmarks of meat indulgence. We can’t wait to try their new fish and seafood orientated restaurant The Salt Room, opening on Brighton’s seafront very soon.
Featured image is Coal Shed’s own.
Valentine’s Day once again approaches to caress us in an icy corporate grip so I thought I’d go for something a little bit different with the stay-home approach; thus avoiding the quagmire of choice when it comes to finding a restaurant that is not going to break the bank or be stuffed past peak capacity with sloppy doe eyed couples (or worse, couples who no longer have anything left to talk about and sit in silence or stare at their phones).
At the end of last year I reviewed the Food For Friends: Modern Vegetarian Cooking cookery book (click here to read) and nothing says “Darling, you are the holder of my affections” like a sweaty, sweary kitchen bound paramour brandishing a potato peeler for half the night. There is a lot to be said for making an actual effort when it comes to dating and investing personal effort into a relationship rather than slapping down the credit card. It would do it for me anyway.
I found the recipes to be the perfect balance of tasty and impressive looking (note my swanky sparkler tip folks). And, another bonus, you can get frisky without grossing out your fellow diners. Just make sure your flatmates are out for the evening.
If this night of intense romance does not have the required effect then you can tweet us @PlacesIEatBrighton for a free virtual hug.
Not got a Valentine’s date this year? Get a bunch of buddies together and hit the in-real-life Food For Friends restaurant (read our review here) for a night out of delicious, delightful food. It can be a bit of a squeeze with the tight table layout but where could be more appropriately named or serve food more scrumptious?
Semolina is a relatively new European bistro tucked away off of London Road. Unassuming to the average passerby, this new restaurant serves up some mighty fine food.
Run by husband and wife team, Linda and Orson work hard as a duo to bring you a really good, wholesome menu. Starters begin at £5 for cream of Jerusalem artichokes and truffle soup, with roasted root veg and quinoa salad or citrus cured salmon hardly breaking the bank at £6 each.
Mains include cod, squid and mussel stew with squash and saffron potatoes (£14), shoulder of pork, artichokes and red wine (£14) and a raviolo of Brighton Blue, brassicas, walnuts, lemon and honey (£10). It’s worth noting that Semolina cater brilliantly for dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.
Semolina is high on my Valentines Day list due to its intimacy, romanticism – think candles, flowers and hand-holding across a table – personal and polite customer service plus great value, home-cooked food.