The sea may not be the sparkling blue of the Mediterranean and the beach more shingle than sand, but Due South, Brighton, offers the closest you can possibly get to an Al Fresco beach-front dining experience this side of the English Channel. We were very lucky to have visited on a warm late summer day, and even the sun put in an appearance, so we were able to sit outside at one of the half dozen tables delightfully decorated with vases of pink and white heather. There is also plenty of seating inside, still with sea views, for not so pleasant days.
What is so impressive and inspiring about Due South is that all the ingredients used are organic, free range and biodynamic, sourced from small independent local suppliers. Even all the beers served (with the exception of Guinness, the traditional accompaniment for the fresh oysters) are local and there is also a nice selection of local wines. In fact, Due South aim to source at least 80% of their ingredients from within a 35 mile radius of Brighton itself, and their philosophy of using only seasonal ingredients ensures that the food served is always the freshest and highest quality available. This also means that the menu changes monthly, reflecting these seasonal changes, offering their clientele an ever changing range of new and exciting options to try.
The lunch menu offers a good selection of dishes for all three courses, with a definite fish/seafood emphasis, naturally, since we are virtually sitting on the beach! There are fresh oysters, sashimi and several “catches of the day”. We chose for starters a Confit Free Range Chicken Parfait with red onion marmalade which was beautifully smooth, rich and creamy and a Wild mushroom and Tunworth cheese tart…..I had never heard of or tasted Tunworth cheese before, (local, of course) but can thoroughly recommend it. We followed on with a catch of the day for me which was a whole fresh plaice grilled and served with lemon butter, new potatoes and green salad, while my companion chose a whole Sussex Crab Salad. Both courses were delicious and the green salad deserves a mention all of its own…..pea shoots, leaves, herbs…..I don’t know the exact combination but it was wonderful. We were both really too full for dessert but decided to share the Bitter organic chocolate pave with espresso ice cream. Rich, decadent, sumptuous…..what more can I say!
As we reluctantly left our seats in the watery afternoon sunshine we reflected upon the diverse clientele we had seen that day…….young (and not so young) professionals, a family lunch including parents, grandparents and toddler, a table of Italian tourists….and we left behind two mature ladies enjoying afternoon coffee, whilst on a neighbouring table two locals had set themselves up with two glasses of red wine for a game of backgammon. Clearly Due South has something for everyone, rather like Brighton itself in fact….friendly, cosmopolitan and fun.
I must make mention of the staff who were all extremely friendly, courteous and knowledgeable. And the beautifully fragranced fresh white lilies in the ladies restroom added a lovely touch.
Due South is open every day for lunch from 12 and dinner from 6. They cater for weddings and private parties and have a separate dining room seating twelve for private functions. There is good wheelchair access. Go to their website and check it out…you will even find some of the recipes….not the green salad though unfortunately!
139 Kings Road Arches
Brighton Beach, BN1 2FN