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Sussex festive dining round-up #2

Nick Mosley shares a second round-up of festive dining and party venue ideas to enjoy across Sussex in the run up to Christmas.

Fine dining at the two rosette Mirabelle restaurant at The Grand Hotel Eastbourne

One venue where you’re absolutely guaranteed to be spoiled rotten is The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne. The only full service five star hotel on the Sussex coast, this Grand Dame property exudes effortless style and sophistication. In the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing their incomparable homemade afternoon tea and also a truly memorable lunch at the two rosette Mirabelle restaurant. You simply won’t find this level of service and attention to detail anywhere else in the county. I had a catch-up with the team about their festive offering and – unfortunately – their amazingly decadent four day ‘Christmas House Party Experience’ sold out months ago however there are lots of opportunities to experience some of The Grand culinary magic in December.

The Grand’s Garden Restaurant will be serving up a three course festive lunch menu for £40 or dinner for £45.50. The Mirabelle offers an a la carte festive menu throughout December – I’ve got my table booked for a leisurely Saturday lunch already – and there are party packages galore that are suitable for groups of friends, family and colleagues.

Over in Worthing then Tern – headed up by the very talented Johnny Stanford – is the place to be for informal fine dining with a focus on local, seasonal produce. Located on the upper level of Worthing Pier, alongside perhaps the finest view of the Sussex coastline, you’ll enjoy meticulously crafted creative dishes. The venue is available for private hire parties midweek in December, whilst Johnny and his team will be hosting one-off seven course dinners on Christmas Eve (£100) and New Year’s Eve (£125). Without doubt, Tern is deservedly the hottest ticket dining experience in West Sussex this year.

Of course, you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy a festive gathering at a restaurant. La Choza in Gloucester Road is one of my all-time favourite eateries, serving up colourful plates of tasty Mexican food at incredibly pocket-friendly prices. I should add that they also make the best margaritas to be found in Brighton, and I don’t hide the fact that I’ve had more than my fair share of them over the past decade. At the time of writing, owners Aoife and Annie were still finalising their December menus but you’ll be assured of fantastic value dishes in a buzzy atmosphere that’s perfect for groups.

Celebrate the festive season Greek-style at Nostos in Hove (credit Xavier Buendia)

Another international favourite is Nostos on the junction of Holland Road and Palmeira Square in Hove, that incidentally won an Argus food award in 2020. Serving a combination of authentic Greek cuisine alongside more contemporary twists, this is some of the finest Mediterranean food to be found in Sussex. December sees a £45 set menu running for both lunch and dinner but owner Kyriakos and the team will also be hosting some special events including live music every Friday and a New Year’s Eve drag queen cabaret party with Cherry Bomb priced at £70 including welcome fizz and wine.

Boho Gelato’s ‘Christmas Pudding’ bombe glacé is sure to wow

I have to hold my hands up and say I’m a little bias about my next festive pick – Boho Gelato in Pool Valley and Ship Street – as it’s owned by my mate Seb. Over the past decade, we’ve done some wild ice-cream events ranging from the bonkers Boho Disco featuring glow-in-the-dark and colour-changing frozen treats through to representing the UK for multiple years at the Nivarata Festival of Granita in Acireale, Sicily. As well as popping into the stores for a cone or cup, Seb and the team also have a delivery service so their wonderful, premium quality Italian-style dairy and vegan ice-cream and sorbet arrives in perfect condition to your door. Not everyone is a huge fan of Christmas pudding – especially youngsters – so why not look at having a bespoke ice-cream cake or chocolate bomb glacé on the big day instead? You’ll find everything you need to know at

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times over the years: Terre à Terre on East Street is not only the best vegetarian restaurant in Brighton, it’s also a serious contender to be THE best restaurant in Brighton. Currently celebrating their 30th anniversary, Terre à Terre is a true icon of the city’s dining scene, with an unfailingly creative menu of vegetable-based dishes that will wow even the most ardent of carnivores. Their three course festive menu is available from 24 November: choose from tongue-in-cheek named dishes including ‘Chilly Bristols’ (deep fried ricotta-stuffed queen olives with a Sherry granita) and ‘No Shroom at The Inn’ (mushroom, garlic and potato rosti with artichoke purée and crisps) but definitely save room for one of the desserts – ‘Santa’s Little Belter’ (figgy pudding with almond butter ginger ice cream and clove custard) has got my tummy rumbling.


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