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!!!