I grew up in a “Meat and two veg” kind of family. When I chose to become a vegetarian as a teenager, dinner mainly consisted of the meat-free sausages of fifteen years ago that tasted vaguely of cardboard… and two veg. Somehow, this happened less than 30 miles away from the centre of Brighton – vegetarian Mecca. Back in the day there were two prominent vegetarian restaurants. One of which, Terre A Terre, it took fifteen years for me to get to try.
We celebrated our fifth anniversary having an amazing day out in Brighton. I absolutely love the city, especially the alternative outlook on life. I don’t feel completely out of place when I want something meat free in Brighton – almost everywhere has at least one veggie option and it’s hugely unlikely to be the dreaded mushroom risotto!
But it was a special occasion, so we booked a table at Terre A Terre all the way back when we were in Cairns. After 15 years of waiting, I was so excited to see what this restaurant had to offer. I have to say, I was not disappointed.
We sat in the middle of the very busy restaurant which was dark and lit with spotlights from above. The atmosphere was great, and there was always a decent flow of people, which, sadly, is pretty rare for a purely vegetarian joint. It takes me asges to chose what I want when there are more than two available options on a menu. So we settled down with the menu and a bottle of wine to share. As a side note, all of the wines are at least vegetarian and organic. Many are vegan, some are biodynamic and as few sulphites as possible.
Better Batter and Lemony Yemeni Relish
As we were at the seaside, we had planned to have fish and chips for lunch. It turns out to be hard to find anything vegetarian in the huts that serve this traditional British delicacy in newspaper on the seafront.
So in the evening, D chose the vegetarian version of fish and chips, with buttermilk soaked halloumi dipped in chip shop batter. As usual, we swapped halfway through, so I got to try some after I had been craving some all day.
Maybe it had tasted better when it was fresh out the kitchen, but I was a little disappointed. The halloumi was tasty, but not an explosion of flavour. The chips were a little cold a lifeless. I also wasn’t massively keen on the homemade tartar sauce.
It felt a little bit cheap to be serving in such a nice restaurant, at such an eye-watering price. But D loved it, and he preferred it out of the two meals (he thought my choice was too pretentious).
Chimchimney Souffle and Sooty Tops
I much preferred my admitedly slightly douchy looking souffle. It was a Brighton Blue double baked souffle, which was soft and creamy and incredibly yummy. There was satisfyingly crunchy butter parchment wrapped around it.
I loved the salt toffee apple potato stack, which I could happily have every day for the rest of my life and never get sick of it, and the sauce was absolutley amazing.
There were so many different flavours to explore, and I genuinely regret giving it over to D when I’d gotten to halfway. I think I would have felt much more satisfied if I’d stuck with my original choice rather than swapping – but that’s what you need to do when you’re married!
If someone wanted to treat me to a meal out at Terre A Terre, then I would not say no. The food was delicious and it was a really pleasant place to eat. I also really love being able to drink wine outside of the house and not have someone look at me like a moron if I ask if it’s vegetarian.
But at £15 a main, and bottles of wine starting at £25, it is not a cheap evening out. It’s still a great place to eat out if you’re celebrating a special occasion or happy to splash out on yummy food and good wine.
Have you got any recommendations for Brighton? Where is your favourite vegetarian restaurant in the world? Let us know in the comments below!
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