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The Camelford Arms

Shamefully I have never reviewed any Brighton pubs which offer good value at reasonable prices. Yesterday I had Sunday lunch at the Camelford Arms in Camelford Street in the fashionable Kemp Town area. I must immediately declare a personal interest here as the owners Alistair and Tony are good friends of mine. I like to think that I would give an honest review whatever but this has the advantage that I know what they are trying to achieve. At first blush, I assumed this was a gastro pub. Alistair said otherwise. The aim was to offer food at pub prices and not compete with restaurants and gastro pubs.

After 2 rounds of local ales, I ordered a roast of rib. A plentiful platter arrived of thick and juicy rib, Yorkshire pud, roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, ratatouille, for £15.95. The value was as remarkable as the quality. Often roast beef can be fatty and greasy served with a cloying gravy. A nice touch: the gravy was in a small jug as I prefer a small quantity on the beef.  Service was at the table, no numbers handed out at the bar. By serving food all day and night and not over-ordering food by having too large a menu, prices can be contained. I did not take the bill but at most the price per head would be £30. The beef was as tasty as any I’ve had in Brighton. Little wonder it has won roast of the year two years running.

I have read that pubs are closing at one per day. The Camelford Arms shows that you can if you show initiative and enterprise you can make a pub pay. I’m not intuitively a pub person and I don’t know if young girls would go to a pub on their own. Of course Brigiton has a substantial gay community and this might be their constituency. Alistair and Tony who also own 3 other pubs and the Boutique night club say however there is no sexual divide on branding and appeal. You might expect this of Brighton: one of its best known schools   has a uniform for transgenders!!! I will have to go from Loubertin to Lobb for my footwear!!!

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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