With Christmas just around the corner, Nick Mosley picks his top nights out for some interactive festive fun – with a food and drink element – to enjoy with friends and family in Brighton.
I love karaoke so putting Lucky Voice on my party ideas list was inevitable. Although it must now be over ten year’s old, Lucky Voice is still hands-down the city’s best karaoke venue. The cellar bar is a great place to start the night with a cocktail or two before heading to your private room with anything up to 20 friends to sing – or perhaps belt – your little hearts out. My Beyonce has to be heard – and seen – to be believed…
8 Black Lion Street, Brighton
01273 715 770 • www.luckyvoice.com
Even though its already taken London and New York by storm, I have to admit I was a bit of a skeptic when it was suggested that I should visit The Cauldron potions pub but my mind was transfigured in a big puff of smoke by the sheer enthusiasm of the witch and wizard staff and some pretty darned fine cocktails. Pick up your wand and follow the potions recipe to create your drinks – expect fire, smoke and all manner of unexpected fun. The Cauldron also offer alcohol-free magical sessions for budding little Harrys and Hermiones in the afternoon and they’re serving up a Christmas themed experience. Shazam!
1-2 Clarence Gardens, Brighton
I’ve done a few escape rooms in the past so I knew what to expect with my visit to Pier Pressure. What I didn’t expect was how impressive the theming and story behind the challenge would be. My colleague Nat and I were offered the ‘Loot the Lanes’ scenario, complete with a purpose-built set that actually looks like a twitten in the Lanes, complete with cobbled floor. You have an hour to follow the clues and complete various inter-linked game scenarios to escape in an allotted time. I won’t spoil it by saying anything else, but suffice to say it’s jolly good fun. Strictly speaking, there’s no culinary offering but you do get a voucher for a free pint over the road at The Windmill. Also, keep an ear out as the guys are partnering with Preston Manor during the winter season for an interactive game experience in one of the city’s most iconic heritage properties.
33 Upper North Street, Brighton
01273 220 388 • www.pierpressure.co.uk
Brighton Gin School
With ten years under their belts, Brighton Gin is a city icon that’s right up there with the Palace Pier and a good old stick of rock. Having recently relocated to a new distillery, they’re throwing open the doors of the gin cave to guests so you can make a bespoke 700ml bottle using your own still, Brighton Gin’s secret recipe base spirit and your very own choice of botanicals. You even get to label and wax your bottle so don’t get too squiffy whilst you sample the Spirit of Brighton.
01273 448 092 • www.brightongin.com
The Royal Pavilion Ice Rink
You know Christmas is coming when the ice rink returns to the gardens of the Royal Pavilion. With the energy crisis in full swing, this year it’s reassuring to know that the ice is entirely powered by green energy. Undoubtably the ice rink with the UK’s most spectacular and Instagramable backdrop, the rink caters for all ages and abilities. And, for those with no abilities such as myself, then you can still pop in the neighbouring café-bar and watch the spectacle with a mulled wine in hand.
The World’s End pub
Enjoy the thrill of speed with the giant – and I mean GIANT – Scalextric racing car set at this busy pub that is home to an up-for-it crowd at weekends. There are also oodles of arcade and table games alongside a menu of guilt-free vegan fast food from Vegan Noms at pocket-friendly prices.
60-61 London Road, Brighton
01273 692 311 • www.worldsend.pub
Curds & Cases
I love cheese so Christmas is a great excuse to stuff a wheel of Sussex Mayfield down my neck. My mate David runs Curds & Cases on Western Road and always ensures I get my regular hit of the good stuff along with a glass or two of wine when I pop by. They’re currently in the very final stage of refurbishing not only the ground floor but also the huge cellar which is going to be hosting regular jazz and cocktail evenings and – of course – cheese and wine nights featuring local cheeses, fondue and delicious raclette. The cellar is also available for private hire making it perfect for parties for friends, family and colleagues.
34-35 Western Road, Hove
01273 732915 • www.casesclub.co.uk
As any regular reader of these pages knows, I’m a huge fan of Brighton’s Shelter Hall. During the day, I can often be found on table 22 beavering away with work or chatting with colleagues whilst later in the day I love spending time with friends enjoy a wine or cocktail and sampling the varied cuisines from their seven kitchens. It’s such a great buzzy environment and so welcoming and inclusive plus – I really must add – for a ‘food hall’ the food is consistently and genuinely top notch. The Christmas decorations are now up, the private dining igloos are outside and a little robin tells me that the kitchens will also be presenting special festive dishes this year. I dare say you’ll see me there!
Kings Road Arches, Brighton