Romantic Restaurants In Sussex
Food and romance have long shared a unified history, coupling up cosily for dates, anniversaries, special occasions, and, well, just because. The term ‘made with love’ has never been more apt than when linked to gorgeous food and studies show that dishes made for and by a loved one actually taste better to those for whom they are intended; it seems love can actually be tasted.
But, what’s even better than cooking food for someone you love? Going out to a romantic restaurant with them, of course. Sussex has more than its fair share of places to share in a bit of gastronomic alone time – just you, your partner, and some fantastic food.
Riddle & Finns // www.riddleandfinns.co.uk // Brighton
Riddle & Finns is located right on the beach in Brighton, which means you and your loved one can relish the most romantic of views as you enjoy your meal. With wax-splattered candles on every table and friendly and unobtrusive staff catering to your every whim, here you can while away a wonderful evening with the one you love. Romance can be felt as you read through the menu together spotting dishes such as braised octopus with potato salad; a half lobster with mango, green beans and a citrus dressing; and of course, the ultimate aphrodisiac – a variety of delicious oysters.
Crab & Lobster // www.crab-lobster.co.uk // Sidlesham
The Crab & Lobster in Sidlesham, near Petworth is a 350-year-old coaching inn with a dreamy, romantic atmosphere, fabulous food and a wide range of drinks to choose from. Snuggle up with your other half in the lovely restaurant, and, for a truly romantic getaway, why not stay overnight in either the comfortably kitted out self-catering Crab Cottage, or in one of the gorgeous luxury bedrooms above the pub itself? Located right on the edges of Pagham Harbour and Nature Reserve, the romantic atmosphere of the Crab & Lobster is palpable from the minute you approach. This, added to the fact that the food – including chargrilled mackerel fillet and pickled beetroot with a port and beetroot reduction; and caramelised feta and roasted rump of lamb with a Madeira jus – is locally sourced and prepared lovingly by a dedicated team of inventive chefs, makes this the perfect romantic getaway.
The Mirabelle at The Grand // www.grandeastbourne.com/mirabelle-restaurant // Eastbourne
Romance can be intimate, or it can be lavish and splendid, as is the case with the incredible Mirabelle Restaurant at The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne. When you truly want to spoil the one you love, this is the ideal place to bring them and indulge them with attentive service, remarkable food, and opulent overnight accommodation. Voted as one of the top 50 restaurants in the UK by The Independent newspaper, there is something very sumptuous about The Mirabelle; something that oozes romance and sets the scene for a luxurious evening ahead. So, what about the food? It is, as you can probably guess, wonderful. You can start with a velouté of green asparagus and truffle oil (made using truffles from woodlands in Wiltshire), follow that up with thornback ray wing with garlic and parsley butter, smoked sea salt mashed potatoes and baby spinach, and then finish with a dark chocolate and morello cherry tart with cherry sorbet, saffron and honeycomb ice cream. The perfect meal for two.
The Curlew // www.thecurlewrestaurant.co.uk // Bodiam
Once upon a time, The Curlew was a coaching inn, and was a particularly unromantic place where weary travelers would stop for the night on their way to and from London. But times have changed, and what was once a pretty, but purely functional establishment has now become one of the most romantic places to eat in Sussex. The Curlew sits neatly amidst some of Sussex’s major towns including Hastings and Brighton, and it is close to the atmospheric and really rather lovely Bodiam Castle. Combine this sense of history and setting with a menu that consists of local delights such as wood pigeon with salt baked beetroot and pistachio; stone bass with burnt cauliflower, parmesan gnocchi and roast chicken; and the most decadent treacle tart you’ll have tasted, and The Curlew has all of the ingredients for a romantic meal out.
The Gingerman Restaurant // www.gingermanrestaurant.com // Brighton
The Gingerman Restaurant in Brighton’s Norfolk Square is intimate and cosy. It’s the ideal place for a couple to enjoy an evening out together. The food here is uncomplicated and locally sourced; created by a chef that understands that food needs to taste as good as it looks. Divine dishes include ballotine of rabbit with a duck liver parfait and poppy seed cookie; monkfish with purple potatoes, leek puree, Jerusalem artichoke and a red wine sauce; and blueberry parfait with lemongrass ice cream, pain d’epice and a coconut crisp. The Gingerman is the kind of place where a romantic ambience is encouraged through soft lighting and atmosphere – and it’s exactly where you should head for a midweek date night.
La Locanda del Duca // www.la-locanda-del-duca.com // Eastbourne
Although perhaps not much to look at from the outside, La Locanda del Duca is a hidden gem and proof that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. This authentic Italian restaurant offers an enchanting place for lovers to be together in comfort, serving fantastic food and offering some of the most memorable dishes you could ask for – and for all the right reasons. Traditional, fresh Italian fare served up in this Eastbourne restaurant include gamberi con salsa piccante – king prawns deep fried in a light batter with chives and lemon zest and tossed in a spicy tomato sauce and chilli caramel; fegato alla griglia con pancetta – calves liver grilled to order with thin slices of Italian dry cured bacon; and bigné al cioccolato – indulgent profiteroles filled with chocolate patissiere and topped with chocolate sauce. Bliss.
Restaurant Tristan // www.restaurantristan.co.uk // Horsham
When you want to really spoil the one you love, take them to Michelin-starred Restaurant Tristan. With its combination of 16th-century romance and modern, chic dining, Restaurant Tristan offers a special experience and the most exquisite of flavours. The food cooked here is innovative, with delicate flavours coming together to create new and exciting dishes such as an apricot soufflé with ginger, verjus and pistachio; squab pigeon with watermelon, seeds and Sichuan; and suckling pig with peach, carrot and lavender. Award-winning, unforgettable, and sure to impress, Restaurant Tristan is a real romantic treat.
The Town House // www.thetownhouse.co.uk // Arundel
Overlooking gorgeous Arundel Castle, The Town House is located amidst the beautiful shops and boutiques of Arundel itself. A romantic stroll as the sun sets followed by a delicious meal in a building that was built in the 1800s and has a Grade II listing to show for it sounds idyllic. As does the food. You can choose from dishes such as fillet of local black bream with summer vegetables, Jersey royals and chive cream; honey glazed Barbary duck breast with herb risotto and duck jus; and lemonade and lime jelly with strawberry-whipped cream and sable biscuit.
The Glass House // www.wickwoods.co.uk/glasshouse // Albourne
The idea behind the distinct and gorgeous Glass House is that casual dining shouldn’t be a rushed job. It should be just as tasty, just as well cooked, and just as well thought out as any more formal event. And it should be open to everyone, including those looking for somewhere romantic and relaxed for a wonderful evening out. With three-course set meals for under £20 per person, breaking the bank is the last thing you’ll need to worry about. Food includes delights such as whipped goat’s cheese, assiette of beetroot with apple and walnut salad; line caught sea bass, asparagus, confit tomatoes and black olive tapenade; and cereal panna cotta with ginger cake and wild strawberry ice cream – you’ll find the time and the space here to have a leisurely, loved-up evening.
Cinnamon Spice // www.cinnamonspice.net // Hastings
Very highly regarded locally, Cinnamon Spice in Hastings is the kind of restaurant happy couples return to again and again. They come for the ambience, for the romance, and for the friendly waiting staff who learn their names and treat them like VIPs every time they step through the door. And, of course, they come for the food. The food at Cinnamon Spice is authentic Indian, but with a modern twist that makes it stand out from other restaurants in the area. You’ll find dishes including the Cinnamon special sizzler – strips of tandoori chicken, lamb tikka, chicken tikka, green peppers, tomatoes, and onions stir fried with fresh authentic spices; and dilruba king prawns – whole king prawns marinated with traditional spices and cooked with onion, ginger, garlic, tomato, red chilli powder and yoghurt.
Ollivers Restaurant // www.olliversrestaurant.co.uk // Seaford
For something a little bit different, why not visit Ollivers Restaurant in Seaford? This very cool, clean, and uncluttered restaurant is all about attention to detail – from the décor to the ingredients, to the wine list. For those looking to have a romantic night out, Ollivers offers a unique private dining experience, which not only allows you to have a room of your own, but also gives you a personal waiter to serve you – all at no additional cost, so you can enjoy fabulous food in a setting that’s usually reserved for the rich and famous. Make your other half feel like a true star as you savour hot peaches filled with herb cream cheese; five spice rubbed duck breast served with hoisin and cherry sauce; or roasted rump of lamb on a lightly curried peanut sauce.
Tuscan Rye // www.tuscankitchenrye.co.uk // Rye
We all know that Italy is a romantic place, with a history steeped in tales of love, so when the authentic flavours of Tuscany can be tasted in beautiful Rye – another effortlessly romantic place – you can have the best of both worlds. Chef Franco grew up in Florence, helping on his parents’ vineyard, and learning about food and wine by being immersed in the beautiful cuisine of Italy. Thankfully for us, this food has now been brought to Sussex, and includes maremma ravioli – ricotta and spinach ravioli with brown butter, crisp sage leaves and parmigiano; baccalà alla Livornese – codfish with aubergine, courgette, onion, capers and tomato; and cappelletti di tartufo – Tuscan cheese filled cappelletti with a delicate white truffle sauce. Tuscan Rye is both inviting and charming; a really romantic setting for a date night, or a special anniversary.
The Lamb At Angmering // www.thelamb-angmering.com // Angmering
There is something so charming about the vintage look and feel of The Lamb at Angmering, with its beams and big open fires, and its rustic furniture and comfy chairs; it lures you in instantly as a relaxing place to enjoy some time away from it all together. Not only is the restaurant well known for its choice of locally sourced, inventively cooked ingredients, but the pub itself looks back to its coaching inn past and offers bright, airy rooms for an overnight, or weekend stay – they’ll even throw in a cooked breakfast. As for dinner, if the idea of sashimi tuna with a pepper and caper salsa and aioli; black bream, chorizo, artichokes, sauté potatoes and mussels in a saffron sauce; and pistachio crème brulee with a dark chocolate sorbet tickles your taste buds, you’re going to love it here.
Cassons // www.cassonsrestaurant.co.uk // Chichester
There is passion in the air at Cassons Restaurant in Chichester. You can taste the love that is put into each and every dish and the owners are clearly keen to keep their lovely establishment looking at its best for every couple that wanders in. Lovely really is the word for Cassons; it’s the kind of place that welcomes you in and makes you feel like a regular – even if you’re not one, and, if that is the case, you’ll certainly want to become one after you’ve tried the food. The menu includes delicious dishes such as Selsey crab and mackerel ballotine with a cucumber and lemon sherbet salad; sirloin steak with pea puree, carrots, asparagus, triple cooked chips and jus; and passion fruit and banana parfait with pistachios, honeycomb and passion fruit foam. Whether it’s to celebrate with a sumptuous meal, or to expand your foodie knowledge at one of the many specialist gourmet nights, you will find romance at every turn at Cassons.