“Located in the heart of the famous Brighton Lanes, The Flint House offers counter-level dining, small plates with beautiful wines by the glass, a glamorous first-floor cocktail bar and rooftop terrace.” The Flint House
I put my hands up, I like a trendy eatery. I’m a sucker for a contemporary establishment with an Instagram worthy interior and pretty food on pretty plates. The other half likes a good old British pub with draft beer, hearty dishes that fill him up and don’t break his wallet. So there’s a dilemma.
Needless to say I (maybe) didn’t outline the whole story when I booked The Flint House located in the redeveloped Hanningtons Estate area in Brighton’s South Lanes. I did mention tapas and that I had been to other pubs/restaurants in The Gingerman Group (The Ginger Fox & The Ginger Man). Small plates, expensive cocktails and a rather large final bill was the outcome. In defence of The Flint House there was five of us, we had practically every item on the menu (never let my middle son be in charge of ordering) and consumed a lot of alcohol.
The restaurant is remarkably different to all Chef Ben McKellar’s and his wife Pamela’s other venues that I have visited. Firstly, in its European style of seasonal small plates and secondly the usual nod to his flame coloured hair is missing in the name above the door. What is the same is the fresh, seasonal well presented food and attention to detail.
The Flint House gets an A+ for its fashionable interior. There’s a dining room and cocktail bar on the first floor and downstairs, where we sat, there’s a few tables in front of the large open kitchen. Counter level dining is also available in front of the kitchen and along the window. The dark decor is offset with green botanical furnishings and funky artwork, the upstairs bar is well stocked and there’s a lovely outdoor roof terrace.
Dishes range from a very reasonable £4 up to £26 (for 12 oysters). Our very attentive and knowledgeable waitress suggested three dishes each but in reality we ended up with much more. We started with some local craft beers, colourful cans of Laine Brew Co. Ripper and Source and some cocktails accompanied by bread with miso seaweed butter (personally not a fan) and marinated olives.
There’s five main sections on the menu as well as sides and dessert/cheeses. The raw/cured offerings included oysters, marinated courgettes and a charcuterie selection that we ordered and was gobbled quickly up by the meat eaters at our table. The Fried/Toast/Snacks section offered some tasty sweetcorn fritters and another table favourite of ham croquette, both served with black pepper mayo. Other dishes included grilled sweet peppers with stracciatella and Ortiz anchovies on toast.
We sampled all the dishes from the meat section. Crispy pigs head with sauce gribiche, Barbecued chicken thigh with fennel & apple slaw and slow cooked brisket with grilled lettuce. We had sides of roasted Chantenay carrots with salsa verde, confit potato and buttered Pink Fir Apple Potatoes. From the fish menu we had the miso glazed mackerel with seaweed emulsion. I had the tangy leek & gruyere tart served with watercress and a mustard dressing.
Being pretty full didn’t stop us ordering several desserts. The doughnut with salted caramel and candied walnut, the almond & dark chocolate parfait with plum sorbet and white chocolate & pistachio cup with cherry. All delicious, all devoured within minutes.
Diners can also opt for the Chef’s Menu that offers a selection of favourite dishes for two to share priced at £40 (per person) and £55 (per person) with wine pairing. The Flint House cocktails are certainly creative and pack a punch. We sank several of the Harvest Negroni made with Calvados, salted Amaretto, sweet Vermouth and pine and the spicy Bronze with salted caramel rum, red chilli, lime and ginger beer. Another table favourite was the Amber Livener with Gingerbread gin and ginger ale. We also had some French organic orange wine which reminded me of Aperol Spritz and a couple of overpriced glasses of Whispering Angel.
I really enjoyed our experience at The Flint House, it definitely exceeded my expectations. The food was excellent and well presented, the staff were friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating and the interior was stylish. Definitely the place to go if you fancy some small plates and fancy cocktails but not if you are looking for craft beer and big hearty plates of food.
The Flint House
Location: The Flint House, 13 Hanningtons Lane, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1GS
Opening Times: Monday to Sunday from 12 noon to 10:00pm
Telephone: 01273 916333
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All views are my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2020. All rights reserved. Additional photos used with courtesy of www.flinthousebrighton.com