Tell us about this place
This is a beautiful, proper five star place on the seafront in Eastbourne. Have you seen ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’? It sort of puts you in mind of that, in all the right ways.
The service is impeccable, the afternoon tea is tall and delicate, the food exquisite, the concierge discreet… They even have those silver domes over your food that they remove with a flourish simultaneously. I adore this place and took my papa for Father’s Day. He loved it too.
What did you eat?
There are two restaurants at the hotel – the VERY grand Mirabelle, and the Garden Restaurant, which is where we had Sunday lunch. The Garden Restaurant, despite its high ceilings and period elegance, retains a friendly, intimate atmosphere, and the place was packed with couples, oldies, families and lovers. It’s the softer option for a more relaxed atmosphere. Jackets still required though – no rough stuff or denim here.
They do a really great set menu for Sundays, with an option to mix and match with a kind of upgrade selection. Pa had a mixed charcuterie plate to start and I went off-piste with Soy Tuna Loin Sashimi with Cucumber & Wasabi Jelly – one of the singularly most delicate and sophisticated dishes I’ve ever eaten.
The main courses were also a joy. Duet of English Lamb Mint Mousseline topped Medallion with ‘Hariyali’ Confit, Chick Pea & Coriander Mash is every bit as rich and comforting as it sounds, and the Pater, whiskers drooping despondently when he heard the lobster was finished, was elated to be told moments later that a Lobster Thermidor had been located just for him.
The moustaches bristled up happily again and all was well. And yes he does look like Colonel Mustard.
Did you do dessert?
We did the right and proper thing which was to share a pud and a cheese board between us. The sticky chocolatey thing we ordered was utter heaven, but my favourite is always the cheese. And any place that has a cheese menu is right up there in my little black book.
In a nutshell?
The Garden Restaurant strikes an excellent balance between top service and exquisite food, and comfortable surroundings that don’t feel overwhelming. It’s somewhere you can put on your nice frock and have a cracking cocktail before lunch but it’s not black tie and it’s very relaxed.
Sunday lunch prices from £29.50 pp for three courses