Updated: Jul 13
FRIDAY 4TH NOVEMBER 2022 - DINNER
Friday afternoon we set off to East Bourne, a trip organized by Resident Fine Dining Contributor of TurningPoint Magazine and Bespoke Lifestyle Consultant to the Rich and Famous, Mr Tony Jazz. He had invited me along to a weekend experience to unwind and yet to sample some of the delicacies and experiences of this sleepy coastal resort. I was happy to tag along, as I needed some well-deserved down time.
"Eastbourne is a resort town on England’s southeast coast. On the seafront are Victorian hotels, the 19th-century Eastbourne Pier, and a 1930s bandstand. Towner Art Gallery includes modern British works. Nearby, Redoubt Fortress, built during the Napoleonic Wars, has a military museum. "
Friday afternoon we arrived at our hotel, a pleasant train journey up from London, where I dozed in between times. I was tired and hungry - it had been a long week and all I wanted was to sit down to a nice plate of fish and chips, synonymous with coastal towns, funfairs, and candy floss, walking on pebbly beaches and picking up sea shells. Mr Tony Jazz too was eager to sample the delicacies of East Bourne's fish and chips and we certainly did. After a brief rest in our rooms, we sauntered out onto the windy pier, wandered around a bit, and then found ourselves a lovely fish and chip eatery where Mr Jazz ordered Cod, Chips and mushy peas and I ordered Plaice and Chips. I added lashings of Tartae sauce onto my juicy-looking plump Plaice, glistening with healthy fresh batter and drenched my chips with vinegar and tomato sauce. Each mouthful was like biting into heaven. With each, mouthful, I had to dutifully remember that I was eating in a public space. Had it not been for that reminder, I would have flung my face directly into the plate and gobbled it all up in one go. These fish and chips were the ....... best and more importantly they were fresh. The chips were just right, not too soggy and not too hard and the fish well, soft and succulent and the batter light and crisp enough to enjoy the flesh underneath.
Tony Jazz, too thoroughly enjoyed his Cod and Chips, as he drenched it all down with a soft drink. A man of his caliber knew about good food. After all, he has been in the hospitality industry for over 29 years working in some of the finest hotels in the industry and he also has a personal love of cooking.
On the way back to hotel, even though the wind chill factor had risen, however we were both happily bloated after such a fine hearty meal and our only thoughts were to get back to our respective hotel rooms, shower, snuggle under our duvets and let the TV watch us.
SATURDAY 5th NOVEMBER - BRUNCH
The next morning, I wasn't quite bright eyed and bushy-tailed as I thought I would be. I had found it difficult to drift off, the night before - my body was taking time to unwind and the thought of having breakfast wasn't uppermost on my mind, especially since we'd had a lovely meal the night before. I usually do intermittent fasting until 1pm or 2pm in the afternoon. However, after heading to the train station around 11am to gather some information about our trip back into London on the Monday, we allowed ourselves to be tempted, feeling in the mood for a little something sweet, and so throwing caution to the wind, we sauntered into a nice little Cafe called Bella's in the Train Station and ordered Carrot Cake x 2 with hot drinks. The Carrot cake was hmmmm...ok, I really should've gone for the Lemon Drizzle cake that had captivated me when I first walked in, but the glutton in me, seductively whispered its wicked self in my ear.... ...Go for the Carrot cake because the slices were bigger. Hmmm...Isn't there a saying somewhere that says "You can take a person out of their environment, but you can't take the environment out of a person."
SATURDAY 5TH NOVEMBER - DINNER
The Grand Hotel - East Bourne: One of the best Fine Dining experiences that I've ever had.
This was a surprise billed into my East Bourne stay. I had no idea what to expect, but what I did know is anything organised by Mr Tony Jazz from Butlers of Mayfair, would always have that special touch and etiquette. I was not wrong. Once again it was a blustery evening, to be expected at this time of the year, and the walk from the hotel to The Grand took about five minutes, so it wasn't that painful. The external structure of the Grand was indeed, Grand. It was striking in presence, huge and held the air of significance and splendor. It's 'affectionately known as The White Palace'.
We were a little early for dinner, so we went to the bar which had a wonderfully calming ambience. It wasn't particularly full, just conveniently so to enjoy and indulge in a pre-dinner drink.
The waiters and waitresses diligent in serving customers, were helpful and attentive to us. I ordered sparkling water, whilst Mr Tony Jazz ordered a glass of wine. We were also given some snacks which went down well. Once again, I was struck by the ambience of this grand old building. I'm an old soul and it all felt very nostalgic to me. From the decor i.e the wall paper, the furniture created the atmosphere that was resplendent of a building such as this and its given name.
We were then ready for Dinner and escorted by one of the Waitresses to The Mirabelle Restaurant. As soon as I walked into the space, it felt like home. It held a warm welcoming energy and in the background a pianist serenaded the evening into motion, with many old classics, that I remembered from may of the old black and white movies. We were ushered to our table, napkins placed on our laps and our adventure began. Fine Dining etiquette at its best.
It was difficult to choose our meal as there were so many wonderful dishes, and to be honest I'd never ever heard of many of them, but we took good counsel from the Head Waiter. I ordered for starters 64 Degree Duck Egg Yolk*** Broccoli Puree, Tenderstem, Smoked Duck Ham, Pickled Shallot Rings, Crispy Onions, Toasted Brioche. For my main South Down Venison Duo, Rump & Venison Pie, Caramelised Onion Puree, Pickled Walnut, Sprout, Girolle, Red Mouneyrac, Port Jus with side dishes of Green Bean Salad-White Balsamic & Miso, Roasted Sweet Potato Mash Chickpea & Olive Oil (M) Creamed Spinach-Nutmegand. Tony Jazz's starter was Sussex Smoked Haddock , Welsh Rarebit Topping, Fish Velouté and his main Herdwick Lamb Cutlets , Chervil Root Puree, Sweetbread & Ricotta Croquette, Courgette, Smoked Anchovie, Lamb Sauce. In between all the above, we were both served with two slices of handmade bread with a lovely type of clotted butter. Absolutely delicious. Just the way mother used to make bread. Soft and buttery, handmade rich and creamy. We grudgingly, our stomachs protesting, but dessert happily decided to go for desert, one that we could share between the both of us and decided to go for a selection of Pacotised Ice Creams & Sorbets , Shortbread Crumb, White Chocolate and Black Sesame Tuille. I could barely sit straight after, but it was well worth being slightly glutonous at the time, because the food was so maddenly delicious. After all this was one of those experiences where the loosening of one's belt was a must.
Overall, the whole experience was wonderful and The Grand is certainly a place I would love to go back to experience more of their culinary delights. To those who served us, they were hospitable and shared their knowledge and expertise of the process as well, as making welcomed suggestions from the menu, this is a restaurant I would definitely visit again and recommend.
. Tony Jazz and myself ended the evening at the bar, to chill, to allow our food to settle, whilst reminiscing of our time had. The Grand is a definite must for all those who seek exclusive Fine Dining experiences.
We will be arranging Afternoon Tea there shortly so watch this space. A great place for a day out and then Afternoon Tea after.