The Restaurant at Drakes

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Set in a boutique seafront hotel, this dinky little restaurant has built up a formidable reputation locally, thanks to the talents of chef Andrew MacKenzie. He has brought high levels of skill & refinement to the town’s dining scene, & his technical know-how is evident in, say, a main of English pork, comprising crispy head, braised cheek, roast loin & confit belly stuffed with black pudding. However, the regularly changing menu also keeps it plain & simple with the likes of chestnut soup or pepper-glazed duck breast. The cooking is matched by a sleek dining room that combines soft lighting, designer banquettes & exposed brickwork to stylish effect, while the high-powered wine list (by Brighton standards), culminates in a 2005 Gevrey Chambertin at £110. There's a decent selection of cocktails – plus sea views – in the bar upstairs.

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