If you are heading for Brighton this bank holiday, there's no need to settle for candy floss on Palace Pier.
Over the past five years or so, the East Sussex city has enjoyed a culinary renaissance and now offers an array of restaurants, bars, cafés and food shops to rival the best in the UK.
Part wine shop, part wine bar, at Ten Green Bottles, 9 Jubilee Street (01273 567176; tengreenbottles.com), you can browse the shelves for your favourite bottle and they'll open it for you and serve it up with some charcuterie or cheese for good measure. The collection of 250 wines includes Hindleap, from the Bluebell Vineyard in Sussex, as well as bottles from across the globe.
Mó:Mo Dumpling Shop, at 15A Kensington Gardens (01273 698129), brings a touch of New York-style ethnic dining to the city. This quirky "oriental food and tea house" is decorated with artificial turf and serves a variety of steamed and fried dumplings with salads, noodle side dishes, and miso soup.
For a more stylish cup of java, head for Small Batch Coffee Company, 67c Church Road (01273 710627; smallbatchcoffee.co.uk). Pull up a Philippe Starck golden gnome stool and enjoy one of a range of high-quality and seasonally changing coffees from Peru, Colombia and Brazil that are roasted in the company's own nearby roasterie.
Backed by piscine-loving TV presenter Dermot O'Leary, Fishy Fishy, 25 East Street (01273 723750; fishy fishy.co.uk), is one of the top spots for simply cooked, fresh seafood. The menu might include familiar classics such as dressed crab salad and grilled Cornish sardines, as well as a more adventurous Channel fish and prawn curry.
Chef Will Murgatroyd trained with Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing, but his own venture, The Meadow, 64 Western Road (01273 721182; themeadowrestaurant.co.uk), is a more relaxed affair. Nevertheless, there's plenty of skill on show in dishes such as steak tartare with Parmesan and walnut salad and Rye Bay plaice roasted on the bone with chickpeas, capers and wilted spinach. Don't miss the "table snacks", which include home-made Scotch egg with prune and wild garlic.
Royaltea Fizz made with jasmine and green tea-infused Bombay Sapphire Gin, elderflower cordial, apple juice, citrus, and sparkling wine is just one of a list of highly inventive cocktails available in the spacious, comfortable bar at Hove Kitchen, 102-105 Western Road (01273 725495; thehovekitchen.com). But the food, from a former River Café chef, is the big draw here, and might include South Brockwells Farm asparagus, fried duck egg and pecorino, and Eccles cake served with Lancashire Bomb cheese.Reuse content