The Downs Hotel

The Downs Hotel gets a makeover.

After a recent refurbishment, we went along to see the new changes at The Downs Hotel proudly situated on the corner of Woodingdean, Brighton. 

On arrival, we pulled into the convenient parking bays which lead to a large seating area sweeping around the building. Gone with the black exterior, the bright transformation and decking area opens up to a beautiful view down to the sea. “It’s been nice to hear the buzz and chatter about what we are doing here and now the doors are open again, customers can see it in all its glory for themselves” Nick Whitacre, the general manager, tells us. 

For the historians, you’ll be glad to know they kept the huge Downs Hotel lettering across the roof which was painted back in its original incarnation to help RAF pilots navigate their way home during WW2.

After being greeted by the friendly team we went and sat in a nicely lit seating area near the bar and mulled over the extensive menu. For the starters, we went for the glazed chicken skewers (£5.99) drizzled in a refreshing mango, chilli and pineapple dressing, plus the mini baked camembert (£7.29). Who doesn’t like gooey cheese!? 

For the main, I chose the slow-cooked roast lamb shank (£14.49) coated in a deliciously rich red wine and minted rosemary sauce creating the perfect melt-in-the-mouth experience. This came accompanied with a crispy bubble and squeak, savoury cabbage, sweet and sour red onions and a side of beef gravy. A perfect meal for a blustery autumn day washed down with their gin of the month – Boe Raspberry and Sweet Basil Gin.

My dining companion opted for the 8oz rump steak (£14.99), which gave me a bit of envy when I saw the plate loaded with triple-cooked chips, beer-battered onion rings, sauteed mushrooms and grilled vine tomatoes with a side of Stilton & Peppercorn Sauce (£1.99). It was a big thumbs up from them with a perfectly cooked medium rare steak. 

There’s always room for pudding, right? But we couldn’t decide what to go for so our friendly server Louisa suggested we go for the Trio of Desserts (£6.49) which meant we could share a mini Espresso Chocolate Brownie (this was definitely my favourite), Eton Mess Sundae and mini Strawberry Daiquiri Cheesecake. 

This was the moment I was glad we drove as we definitely ate too much. But for the non drivers, there’s a convenient bus service that goes past the pub regularly.

For the Sunday roast fans, you’ll be glad to know that they will happily top up your roast potatoes and Yorkshire puds for free (while stocks last) should you feel the urge to fall into a large food coma. You can also participate in their pub quiz every Sunday with a £50 bar tab up for grabs. 

The venue also caters for large groups and Christmas party bookings, with options for sit-down meals (pricing starting at £27 for a 3 course) or £25 per head for a buffet.

For people travelling and looking for a place to stay they also have a Bed and Breakfast service with 8 different room options varying in size from single rooms to executive suites. All rooms include breakfast and it’s only a 20 minute drive to the centre of Brighton.

The Downs Hotel

Warren Road



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