Covid, in many ways has gone a long way to starve out hearts, our heads and indeed our bellies.
What better way to flea this famine than to indulge in the glories of Brighton, a place which ceaselessly offers a myriad of quirksome delights.
Having chosen to go at the beginning of the heatwave, like half the population of England, meant that we could only reserve a table for lunch instead of dinner at The Flint House which had come highly recommended by discerning folk.
Seated upstairs on the terrace in the blazing sunshine, a jug of tap water was placed on the table immediately by the most affable of waiters, who also suggested that I tried both the rose wines as I couldn’t make up my mind between a glass of Provence or an English wine from Sussex. A darling touch that rarely happens nowadays.
I had had a look at the tasting menu (£60 pp for two including wine pairing) and would have plunged right in from the description but I was with a pescatarian so that was that.
Most of the dishes are small plates; we ordered 6 oysters with a lime and cucumber granita, spicy raw tuna, bream with spiced tomato ketchup, piperade and pickled red onion, leeks with muhammara, sour cream mash and a tomato salad with a smoked tomato dressing.
How shall I put this without sounding over the top, although who the hell ever liked ‘under the top’ anyway.
Here goes. Stunning, beautifully balanced, an utter joy, harmony that only Bach could conquer. Easily in my top five over the past decade. You get my point. The only thing I would have changed is in my choice of granita over the usual shallots and vinegar. I wouldn’t eat oysters with anything icy, on reflection.
The meal, including wine, soft drinks and an Irish Whiskey was £107 including service, which was, by the way, outstanding. Happy serving staff who actually looked as though they loved working there.
Johnathon Swift put it better than I ever could:-
On the table spread the cloth,
Let the knives be sharp and clean:
Pickles get and salad both,
Let them each be fresh and green:
With small beer, good ale, and wine,
O ye gods! how I shall dine.
And how we did ye Gods. Chapeaux bas to you all. I think I’ll move to Brighton.
The Flint House
13 Hanningtons Lane