where to go for christmas day dinner in brighton and beyond

With 2020 drawing to a close, we more than deserve a bit of festive fun to close out the year. But two lockdowns and many restrictions later, you may be bored of the four walls of your house and would rather have someone else get a sweat on this Christmas Day. From swanky set-ups to Christmas collaborations, here are six venues with fantastic options for the big day. Get in there quick, though, as although all of our picks had availability at the time of writing, tables are going faster than Santa’s reindeer!


The Salt Room
This jewel in the seafront’s crown boasts fantastic views of the promenade looking out to the iconic West Pier ruins. The modern British seafood restaurant celebrates cooking over coal and is known for its innovative dishes and top-notch seafood, so you know you’re in for a culinary treat. Champagne and canapés on arrival set the tone for the three-course feast to follow. Veggies are well catered for throughout, with a wild mushroom and chestnut wellington a tasty alternative to the traditional turkey. If you fancy something a bit different, then there’s also fillet of beef or roasted Gigha [it’s a Scottish island] halibut on the menu. And with The Salt Room a recent winner of the ‘Seafood Restaurant of the year’ accolade, you know it’s going to be good. The halibut even comes with a Champagne sauce for that extra bit of decadence your Christmas deserves.
£120 per person for three courses; sittings available at 12pm and 3:30pm
106 Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2FU


The Hartington Pub
If you’re after a smaller, more casual affair this Christmas, then a ‘Harty Party’ might be right up your street. You can book a table at the friendly Hanover pub for Christmas Day for just £5. That will get you get a small Christmas platter with nibbles including sandwiches, sausages rolls and scotch eggs (yep, definitely substantial). And if you want to hang out with people from different households, you can do so in their spacious garden even if it’s freezing as they’ve upgraded their wooden booths with heaters and USB ports. Head here for a relaxed home-from-home atmosphere with some Christmas bangers in the background, perfect if your festive commitments aren’t until later on in the day.
£5 table booking; open from midday to 3pm; email Lucy to book or book here
41 Whippingham Road, Brighton, BN2 3PF


The Temple Bar x Halisco Brighton
The brilliant Halisco will be leaving their Preston Street HQ to show off their award-winning roasts with their first-ever Christmas dinner at Western Road’s The Temple Bar. We do love a bit of exclusivity. They’re offering beef, turkey breast or a chestnut roast alongside a wide variety of vegetables and trimmings. The ‘plant-based pigs’ are sure to be a hit with veggies who don’t want to miss out on the Christmas culinary traditions. They’re hosting two sittings on the big day so you’ll have more than enough time to open your pressies before heading to the venue for a slap-up meal.
From £34.95 for two courses; sittings at midday – 2.30pm and 2.30 – 5pm; email info@thetemplebar.pub to book
121 Western Rd, Brighton BN1 2AD


Hove Place
Hove Place is a bit of a hidden gem, with many people – usually those who live in Brighton – completely unaware of the pub’s tasty bistro food and gorgeous Italianate garden (with heaters!). They’ve built up a bit of a reputation for producing high-quality, interesting dishes and this year’s Christmas Day menu is no different. The treats start on arrival with the choice of a BBQ ox cheek doughnut (loving that sweet and salty combo), a smoked eel toastie or a crispy truffle quail egg. Luxury produce, such as lobster and truffle, feature prominently in this extravagant menu, which champions creativity across all its dishes – meat, fish and veggie alike. Want to do it all again for New Year’s Eve? They’ve got a menu for that, too!
£110 per person for four courses; sittings at midday, 3.15pm and 6.15pm
37 First Avenue, Hove BN3 2FH



Rockwater Hove
Fancy being one of the first people to try out the long-awaited main Rockwater building on Hove seafront? Now’s your chance! They’re approaching completion just in time for Christmas week and have just announced they’ll be hosting a four-course Christmas Day dinner with champagne. Details of the dishes weren’t available when we wrote this, but the food at their Shacks by the Shore and igloos is pretty damn good, so we’re excited for this one. There are limited spaces, though, so get booking fast if you don’t want to miss out on dinner with one of the best views in town. If you’d rather just pop down for a casual Christmas snack in between your home feasting, the shacks are open from 9am.
£75 per person for three courses and a glass of champagne; (kids menu also available); 3pm; email bookings@rockwater.uk to book
Western Esplanade, Kingsway, Hove, BN3 4FA

Rockwater Hove


The Crown Inn
If you’re willing to go a little further afield this Christmas, The Crown Inn is a great bet. This award-winning, dog-friendly country pub in Dial Post, just outside Horsham, is known for its excellent food, not to mention its comfy sofas and cosy wooden-beamed interiors. Co-owner and head chef James Middleton Burn always uses fresh ingredients and, as a keen forager, you can expect some of his tasty wild findings to make an appearance on your plate. You’ll be treated to perfectly cooked traditional classics – think smoked salmon, turkey galantine and all the trimmings, plus plum pudding with brandy sauce. Veggies can get stuck into a mushroom, chestnut and sherry soup, followed by a nut roast. Prefer the idea of posh pub food at home? You can get the main courses to take away (full heating instructions included) for £20 a head.
£98 per person for three courses (includes a £10 voucher to be used in January); midday – 4pm; email to book
Worthing Rd, Horsham, RH13 8NH

By Oscar Edwards