Out of all UK cities, Brighton is a very likely contender for the “most vegan-friendly” crown. Generally a foodie paradise, this seaside hippie town offers anything from faux-fish and chips and greasy veggie burgers to fine plant-based dining, as is the case of Terre a Terre, an award-winning vegetarian restaurant (with excellent vegan options) which has gained iconic status in Brighton and beyond over its 23 years in East Street, right by the sea.
The polished interiors, elegant in their simplicity, are warm and inviting, as are the incredibly competent and friendly staff. Once you walk into the restaurant, the feeling’s there: you’re in for an evening of culinary indulgence.
And are you ever. Terre a Terre’s speciality is combining a variety of unexpected ingredients in a way that surprises and delights the palate. The tapas plate we were served was explained in detail by the very knowledgeable server, and contained more tantalising flavours than one could count. From KFC (Korean fried cauliflower) to smoked tofu and creamy dipping sauces without a drop of dairy, this is the supreme vegan dining experience. A hot tip: start off with the sundried tomatoes, which are smoked in-house and will blow you away.
The dessert selection is a chapter of its own. We had a vegan Chocoholic, a sharing platter of everything choco-flavoured that the menu had to offer. Which included strawberries with a chocolate dipping sauce, sorbets, dark chocolate polenta cake, churros (oh, the churros!), chocolate pralines and tiny boozy milkshakes. It was heaven on a plate.
What’s unique about Terre a Terre is that it feels like an upscale restaurant with an injection of warm familiarity and a cordial yet refined ambience. The staff go out of their way to make your experience as pleasurable as possible (and they succeed!). The dishes are extremely well-studied and every last leaf of seaweed is considered – yet they are easy to appreciate and take delight in. This isn’t the restaurant that will offer up an empty plate with a tiny, fancy piece of I’m-not-sure-what-that-even-was, leaving you queueing for a falafel wrap later in the night (I was full for days afterwards!), but make no mistake, this is one sophisticated venue.
Another tip: check out the vegan afternoon tea. A new and inspiring take on a British institution, this is the perfect way to indulge in sweet and savoury flavours and hide from the February chill.
Don’t miss the restaurant’s on-site shop, filled with tiny delights from their dishes. We tasted the rum chocolate truffles – little pieces of cocoa heaven to take home as a reminder of this beautiful night.
Photos by David Camilli. This post has sponsored content.