I can’t believe it’s almost a week since our Friday night escape to the Brighton Harbour Hotel to celebrate our 16th Wedding Anniversary. This week has been a blur of sick kids, Christmas present deliveries (trying to hide them before being spotted) and general feelings of house-trappedness. Yes, that’s a word.
We were invited to stay in one of the group’s latest openings, the Brighton Harbour Hotel & Spa, which opened in August 2016. For us, Brighton is our second home, our spiritual home, and we absolutely love being there, especially without the kids, as it reminds us of our ‘youth’ where we would spend entire days on the beach and drinking 2for1 cocktails at Old Orleans. Good memories!
The hotel is situated literally on the seafront, between the old and new pier. From the outside you would be forgiven for thinking it’s quite a small, compact hotel but it actually homes 79 rooms, a spa, The Jetty Restaurant and Harbar – but despite fitting all of that in, it feels so spacious, you never feel like you’re on top of someone else.
Each of the rooms have been styled in a modern, relaxed way, but with touches of luxury throughout. They all give a little nod towards the seaside vibe too, which works, because they have the most amazing views of Brighton! The artwork is incredible throughout the entire hotel, with posters from films (the hotel is right next door to the cinema) and proper Brighton prints in big, bold colours. I wanted to take every single one home with me.
Our room was a Sea View Corner Suite, on the third floor, which faces south, looking directly out onto the sea. It has a huge bay window, the biggest bed you have ever seen, and, as well as an en suite shower room, it had, for me, the pièce de résistance, the biggest bath tub, and I do mean tub, ever. Right in the middle of the room.
Next to the bath of dreams was a selection of fluffy white towels and some products from The White Company. So, clearly, I needed to have a bath before dinner. For those who know me, a bath is my most favourite thing to do, but, sadly we have the worlds smallest bath at home, where you have to choose between body or legs, because neither can be under water at the same time. So, whenever I get the chance to actually lay down in a bath, I am right there. And yes, there’s more than enough room for two.
Brighton Harbour Hotel provide you with a complimentary gin or sherry (or both!) in your room, so, with a tonic from the mini bar, we poured a G&T and got into the bath to toast our Anniversary. We don’t often get time to just completely switch off and be ‘us’ so we wanted to make the most of every minute we had.
We had a dinner reservation at 8pm in The Jetty. I was actually lucky enough to be invited along to the opening of The Jetty last summer so it was lovely to come back, to taste the food and soak up the real atmosphere.
The food is gorgeous. There is obviously a lot of fish on offer, as we’re right by the sea, but there is also plenty of vegetable and meat dishes. For starters I chose tempura squid rings, and T went with twice baked cheese soufflé, topped with smoked haddock. Both were perfect.
Mains were crab & chilli spaghetti for him, filet steak for me. A little bit of gender based assumption went on when the waiter bought our food over, because T was given the steak, but, that was quickly corrected! The steak was amazing, so soft & tender. I had truffle fries, tomato and watercress salad, served with Bearnaise sauce – all I can say is yes. If you like good steak, you’ll love this. The crab & chilli spaghetti was delicious, perfect portion size and really well cooked.
I have to say at this point, we were sat next to the most awful man, who, we think, had made it his mission to complain as much as possible in one meal, but throughout, all the staff were SO good, so patient, and, in my opinion, too nice to him! We really do think that nothing was going to please this ‘gentleman’ but they took it all in their stride and tried to make his visit as enjoyable as possible.
Dessert was a chocolate soufflé for him, chocolate and pistachio tart for me, served with ice cream. Need I say more?
Of course, being child free and having no responsibilities for the evening, there was a little bit of alcohol involved. If there’s a cocktail on offer, then you can pretty much guarantee I’ll be having one. Or two. There are pages of cocktails to choose from and the bar staff can recommend drinks to you, or, I’m led to believe, create something just for you, but I went with a Strawberry Spritz, which was Finlandia Vodka, Aperol, Strawberries, Lemon Bitter & Prosecco.
That’s me right there in a huge, fish bowl sized glass. At £7.50 each, you really can’t argue with that! Plus, I think between certain hours (not the hours we were there!) you could get 4 cocktails for £20, which, sounds like a dream bargain to me!
It was really nice to take our time over dinner, there was absolutely no rush and each course had just the right gap between, so you’re not being served the main before the starter has been cleared away, and you’re not waiting an hour between each dish. We had time to sit, chat, people watch and really feel like we were on a date. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, there were tables full of people having a party, and small tables with couples. I often feel uncomfortable in places where it’s too quiet and stuffy, and this definitely wasn’t one of those times.
After dinner, we made our way back to our room, and guess what? Had another bath. Obviously!
Then we climbed into bed, and I do mean climbed, the bed is SO high, and had a seriously good nights sleep. The bedding is just what you would want from a hotel, huge fluffy duvet, crisp white sheets, and a choice of pillows. I left the shutters open on some of the windows, just so I could see the lights and the view when we woke up, but even though we were right on the main strip of seafront, on a Friday night, there wasn’t that much noise. Either that, or we were both so exhausted we slept through it.
Breakfast the next morning was included in our room rate, served from 7am. There is a choice of cereals, croissants, pastries and cooked breakfasts. You can choose how you have your eggs, and, if you’re a fusspot like my husband, you can change a few things around, if you’re nice and polite. There is also a selection of juices and tea & coffee served with your breakfast. We were given a little booth at the back, which meant it was probably the most romantic breakfast we’ve had. Perfect end to our stay I think!
There is an underground spa at the hotel which has indulgent treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room, hot tubs and pool but, because we were on such a small time frame we didn’t get a chance to visit. You don’t need to be a guest in the hotel to use these, so you can use this facility whenever you’re in Brighton.
Once we had checked out at 11am, we spent the rest of the day tackling our Christmas present list, walking round Brighton and making the most of not having to watch an 8 year old dart in and out of crowds. It was the perfect way to spend our Anniversary and I wouldn’t change a second of it.
Room and breakfast in a Sea View Corner Suite starts from £184.50 mid week (Monday to Thursday) and from £220.50 on weekends. There are lots of categories of rooms (see here). There are lots of offers and packages so you can include dinner and so on. You can phone 01273 323221 for more info or everything you could need is on the website: https://www.brighton-harbour-hotel.co.uk/.
We were guests of the hotel but, as always, all opinions are very much my own. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who made our stay so perfect.