I’d headed to Brighton with my friend S to do some Christmas shopping. We walked around the shops for a bit, slightly agitated by the impervious crowds which we had hoped to avoid by going on a weekday. With minor success on the Christmas present front but a few new outfits each (whoops!) we were growing ravenous and began looking for somewhere to eat. We wandered down the lanes of Brighton and settled on a place…
We stepped inside Bohemia to a low lit dining area facing the front windows. Red velvet curtains draped to the floor and the glow of quirky lamps reflected here and there off the silver ceiling tiles.
A wreath hung from the door, menu and cocktail specials were written on large vintage mirrors mounted on the walls and behind us a Christmas tree stood proudly in the corner.
We ordered some wine while we perused the menu. Christmas songs played in the background. It felt perfectly festive with a classical charm rather than modern tackiness.
I opted for grilled sea bream on a bed of steamed samphire with mushrooms, grilled cherry tomatoes, and roasted new potatoes in white wine sauce. S went for lamb shank with roasted root vegetables and potatoes.
The food was exceptional, and paired with the wine we ordered was extremely satisfying, leaving us two very happy ladies feeling as stuffed as Christmas turkeys.
Bohemia are also famous for their vast array of cocktails such as smoked coffee, hidden depths, kiwi daiquiris and bakewell sours. Many of the concoctions whipped up at the bar involve an elaborate show incorporating various elements of dry ice and fire.
We had an entirely different mission this day and so we bypassed the cocktails, but I vowed to return and sample them at a later point.
We headed back up the road to The Seven Stars where we had passed a sign earlier on boasting some very enticing mulled wine with shot of dark rum. We walked into the pub, green tiles decorating the walls and each table lit with candles in glass bottles.
We ordered glass mugs of mulled wine to warm the cockles, ladled out of a steaming barrel perched alongside mulled cider and apple juice, and sat next to the window to people watch (you may see a pattern emerging here).
The pub also boasted an impressive selection of infused gins (mango, raspberry & mint, black forest gateau), lined up in glass containers at the back of the bar. I spotted various quirky touches such as peach or aztec chocolate bitters and independently brewed beers and ales.
For reference, they also offer a food menu with a section specifically labelled “hangover/comfort food” which includes mac and cheese with a bacon crumble, or braised chilli brisket with slaw. Just in case you wondered.
After the mulled wine, I followed the very brisk footsteps of my leggy friend (no small feat for my little stumpy legs) and we made our way back to the station to the backdrop of a flute playing / beatboxing busker.
Bear in mind I also had arms laden with heavy shopping bags and having already done a heavy stint of cardio earlier that day, I collapsed onto a seat on the train in a bit of a mess.
Full and sleepy, we finished off the evening with a glass of red wine in our local, and then headed home to retreat to our respective beds for a very deep sleep.