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64 Degrees

64 Degrees in the Lanes in Brighton is attracting ecstatic reviews and a second one will be opening in Cambridge Street in Pimlico in September.

I went there yesterday with Victoria, my regular dining companion, to check it out. At 11-30am there was a message on my mobile that due to loss of electricity the restaurant could not serve food until 3.00pm. My friend urged me to press on though we saw Bob Tickler’s normal table in English’s was empty and looked tempting in the sunshine. I am so pleased we did as hardly had the greeter confessed her embarassment then the lights came on.

The greeter epitomised the qualities of out-of-London restaurants: informal, helpful and unpretentious. She did not make us feel that it was us who should be grateful for visiting such a fashionable restaurant. She explained the formula of 12 tapas styles dishes, one might call them confections as chef Michael Bremner was ready to experiment with ingredient and flavour. It reminded me of Tosi and it seems to be taking fusion to a new level. This is what experimental cuisine is all about. I noticed too that the dishes are changed daily. We had scallops in pea puree,  lamb, sardine in parsley, knodel potatoes and chicken wings with kimshi. Fruit and vegetable were added to the basic fish or meat. It was all scrumptious. Our greeter was there to clear way the debris but we never felt an overbearing or pushy presence. I had two gin and tonics with samphire, well mixed and refreshing and water.

The bill came to £64 which is London prices but quite acceptable  I will visit the London branch but I hope it does not lose its informal ambience. This may be due to Brighton’s tolerance to all social groups – it is Gay Pride this weekend and it will be wall-to-wall bacchanalia- and service culture for the visitor.

My only criticism would be the small size of the restaurant. There is bar seating I would guess for ten and three tables with cubed seats. It’s not comfortable for the long haul meal, but understandably they want to turn over the tables. One could imagine a London restaurant, being rather severe, with timed sittings. I gather the music is loud and geared for the younger crowd. No doubt Tarquin in one of his vomit-strewn clubbing weekends in Brighton would  like it too .

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About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts