‘Food is life. Life is food.’ This is the mantra that Hove Place affirm, and in this they offer British charcuterie at its very best. In fact, it’s the largest selection of British charcuterie in the country!
Located on First Avenue in the heart of Hove, this bistro pub aims for a stylish, relaxed dining experience with small plates and charcuterie. Head Chef Phil Bartley has built an amazing reputation for creating exquisite ever-changing menus showcasing the best sustainable, locally produced ingredients. He works with small artisan producers on the understanding that happy animals provide better produce.
With an extensive selection of cask ales, Hove Place favour local brewers such as Harvey’s, Dark Star and Brighton Bier Co. However, a hard day at work paired with bank holiday blues naturally led us to order two large glasses of wine. For myself, an Argentinian Malbec (£8.20 250ml), and for my dining partner a French Pinot Noir (£7.90 250ml). The wine list is divided into ‘Big and Bold’ and ‘Old World Classics’ – a pleasant little touch to accompany our choices. The menu also offers a selection of low-alcohol wines – another nice touch showing even those watching their booze have been taken into account.
We began with one of Hove Place’s famous deli boards. At £5, the board consists of homemade breads and pickles, which you then load up from the huge selection of cheeses and charcuterie (£3 each). With such a fantastic assortment it was hard not to order everything. After much deliberation we chose delicious Sussex Charmer and Graceburn cheeses accompanied by Bath Chaps (smoked pigs’ cheeks) and Beer Sticks (spicy pork shoulder salami). The charcuterie suggestions recommended by our waiter were a big leap for me. I was a little reluctant to try the cheeks at first – but feeling brave, before I knew it I was dipping them into chutneys, pairing them with cheeses, tasting them with wine and having the time of my life.
Our beautifully presented small plates arrived shortly after. My dining companion chose chicken wings and gnocchi (£7), gouda and truffle macaroni cheese (£6) and triple cooked chips (£3). I opted for the wagyu mini burgers with duck ham (£8), smoked salmon cakes (£7) and asparagus and duck egg (£7). The table, overflowing with small, gorgeous looking portions was a sight to behold. Sharing everything, our standouts were the fancy, feel-good macaroni cheese, the super cute and super tasty mini burgers, and the delicious, citrussy oriental salmon cakes.
Again, when it came to puddings, we were spoilt for choice. Our waiter suggested a selection of all puddings for two to share (£16). When the dish arrived it was so pretty, we didn’t want to touch it. Delicate, vibrant and incredibly professional looking, we agreed it wouldn’t look out of place in a top London restaurant. It consisted of a mango and passion fruit cream cheese mousse, a hazelnut and pistachio chocolate delice, a panna cotta with raspberry and white chocolate, and caramelised banana with peanut butter and salted caramel. Is your mouth watering yet? The fresh mango was wonderful and the milky way Quenelle topping the panna cotta was divine. Each element was so well thought out with fantastic colours and taste combinations – a truly wonderful dish to complete a truly wonderful meal.
Hove Place have done so well with their new menu and they should be incredibly proud. This relaxing little hideaway tucked out the big city is a cosy, sheltered haven. Blessed with stunning Italian-style gardens and a menu to die for, we’ve decided this is easily Hove’s best kept secret. Now, go see for yourself.
37 First Avenue, Hove, BN3 2FH