With temperatures beginning to soar in Brighton and Hove, it’s about time everyone got prepared for some serious sessions in the sun. No matter where you live in the city, or even if you’re just visiting, there’s bound to be a secluded terrace or grassy garden just around the corner. It would be a crime to stay cooped up at the local.
Just off Western Road is one of the city’s oldest pubs, the Lion and Lobster. Not only does this behemoth of a boozer offer excellent food over three levels, but it also features a peaceful two-tiered terrace adorned with artwork and boasting its own outdoor bar. Then when the sun starts to go down, the heated awnings and wood burner will be on stand-by to keep you cosy.
In the warm evenings, you can enjoy unrivalled views across the city from the terrace garden of The Setting Sun, Windmill Street. As its name suggests, the pub’s garden is a great place to watch the sun sink behind the horizon whilst enjoying a drink.
But in the height of the day’s sun, where better to be than on the best rooftop in town? You’ll find this at The Grand Central, with colourful walls and furniture making the terrace a vibrant spot to enjoy lunch, dinner or a few drinks. Its proximity to the station means it can be the first port of call on arrival to the city by train, and you won’t have to cut your evening short to walk back afterwards.
The ground level equivalent of this colourful space can be found at Neighbourhood, a bar and kitchen in Kemp Town. The colourful chairs and modern white benches peppered with cushions, palm trees providing a little shade and a curtained pagoda at the bottom of the garden make this a tropical retreat in the heart of the city. This is a great spot to chill out and enjoy giant burgers and tasty cocktails.
Just up the road is the pub fast becoming a Kemp Town institution–the Sidewinder. The spacious yet cosy indoor space leads out onto a garden of the same description, with heated wooden booths for the evenings and an outdoor sofa area to lounge in on hot, lazy days.
Across town near London Road station you’ll find a couple of traditional pubs in suitable pub-crawl distance from each other, both boasting large gardens. Firstly, The Signalman’s large decked garden can accommodate lots of punters for a great pint or pub lunch, and also doubles up as a stage for the frequenting Morris dancers. And the outdoor space at The Open House is more like a small village than a garden, with each of its many wooden booths secluded by leafy plants and decorated with vintage Guinness signs.
Similarly the Hare and Hounds, London Road features heated and sheltered booths perfect for a catch up with friends, and the colourful artwork of Mexican skulls dotted around the walls follows the theme of its great La Choza menu. At the other end of London Road you can’t miss the Hobgoblin after its recent redecoration. The exterior is now painted from the floor to the roof with beer-themed artwork, and their large patio garden also features paintings advertising their wares including the Thai food they serve from their outdoor kitchen.
In the heart of the North Laine, the popular White Rabbit has outdoor seating on both sides of the building. Sit on the benches out front and enjoy the bustling atmosphere of Kensington Gardens, or discover the hidden gem of a garden at the back, which is quaint and quirky with its Alice in Wonderland theme.
In the South lanes, the smart interior of The Black Lion gives way to a garden furnished with multi-coloured lights, painted picnic benches and even a DJ booth, reflecting the pub’s focus on good music and late night sessions.
Down in Hove you’ll find the stylish Connaught Pub and Kitchen, which serves beautifully presented food and an extensive drinks menu. Above all, the pub offers something that is very hard to come by in Brighton – a grassy garden. This is a great place to enjoy the sunshine with friends or family, as kids are welcome until 7pm.
Nearby, the patio garden at Hove Place is also a charming place to relax. Decorated with Grecian statues and leafy plants, it is a suntrap in the daytime and when night falls there are heaters to keep you toasty.
Just over the road from Preston Park is the giant Park View, which has a four-level patio garden surrounding it. This is an ideal place to stop off for a pint after a day in the park, or to just while away the hours sampling a great range of cask ales and wines. They offer different discounts and events each night of the week and even host activities such as Tai Chi Mat.