Tom Flint: A touch of variety at the Marina

Malmaisons Brighton hotel services a range of tipples at its bars
Malmaisons Brighton hotel services a range of tipples at its bars

Brighton Marina has been undergoing quite a facelift lately. The number of restaurants on offer has doubled, with big brands such as Five Guys, Franco Manca and Las Iguanas taking up properties in the new development.

While there is clearly more choice in terms of numbers, there is an argument to be made that it does not offer much more in terms of variety. This may not be a concern for many who appreciate the family-friendly fast food offerings. However, what options are there for those looking for something a little more refined or stylish?

One of the bars at Malmaison Brighton

One of the bars at Malmaison Brighton

One spot for something a little different is the Malmaison Hotel. Formerly Hotel Seattle, the Malmaison group took over the site and set about making some improvements. These were completed recently, and a launch party took place last Thursday (June 15) to celebrate. Never one to miss a swanky do, I headed down to check it out.

I was looking forward to a drink on the fabulous balcony overlooking the marina. It has always been a great spot to enjoy a beverage, and this remains unchanged. It was a bit windy on the night so I didn’t linger, but the newly decorated and modernised bar area has further added to its appeal.

The reception area has been given a splash of colour and style. On the night there was a live band performing here, so I moved on to seek out some food and drink.

The main bar area, complete with DJ booth and red banquette seating, is a cool space with plenty of Instagram-friendly features and has access to the balcony and outside space. I managed to get my hands on some tasty treats in here, such as Asian-style salmon pancakes, sliders and risotto balls to keep my hunger at bay. We were also treated to different drink stations dotted around the space, including a G&T bar, Cosmo bar and wine station.

Through to the new dining room: I really like what they have done with this space. The restaurant looks interesting, with plenty of private and communal space. The décor is very sleek, and as hotel dining rooms go it is impressive. We tucked into some fantastic seafood and BBQ from the outdoor food stations. Highlights included the scallop ceviche, spider crab and smoked brisket. This may not represent the usual menu, but if they keep the standard this high then things
are looking good.

This was a launch party and so the hotel was showing off what it can do and trying to impress, and they did a great job. As somewhere to stop for a drink or bite to eat, Malmaison is in a class of its own at the Marina.

They have put a lot of effort into the space and the rooms and conference areas look fantastic as well. I would be interested in seeing what the food offering is like on a
day-to-day basis. If they have put as much effort into that as they have the rest of the space, it should be worth the trip.

11 Mermaid Walk, Brighton
01273 679799