The Ivy in Brighton and Eastbourne's Port Hotel and Restaurant are checked out by Sussex Life's editor

The Ivy, Brighton

It might not have the guaranteed celebrity clientele of its London counterpart but The Ivy in Brighton is a feast for the senses. With its opulent Art Deco interiors - all glass, jewel tones and statement wallpaper – it looks more like a movie set than a restaurant.

But even on a Tuesday ‘school’ night it was buzzing with not a spare seat on one of those beautiful velvet curved couches to be had. The a la carte menu was a literal smorgasbord of favourites: zucchini fritti (£5.95), truffle arancini (£5.95), and salt-crusted sourdough (£4.50).

My notoriously fussy Italian chef husband ordered rib-eye on the bone (£33.95), which he said melted in his mouth while my teenage children declared The Ivy Hamburger (£14.50) ‘a winner’ and I feasted on al dente linguine with courgette (£15.95). There was no room for dessert – though my children found room for honey cheesecake - which is an excuse to return.

The service was impeccable, the cocktails expertly shaken and stirred and the menu packed with plenty for everyone to love – vegans, veggie, and even fussy teenagers.

*The Ivy Chichester Brasserie opened in East Street on June 21 to serve modern British classics from dawn to dusk, including weekend brunch, afternoon tea, breakfast, lunch and dinner. It includes a luxurious private dining room for up to 18 guests.

Port Hotel and Restaurant, Eastbourne

Great British Life: Port Hotel stands out from the rest with its striking black exteriorPort Hotel stands out from the rest with its striking black exterior (Image: @emmacroman)

With a striking black exterior, Port, the boutique hotel and restaurant on Eastbourne’s seafront, is impossible to miss. And while it looks dark and mysterious on the outside – standing out from the row of pristine white and cream hotels seemingly untouched since Victorian times – inside it’s a completely different story. Ballerina pink walls, chic furniture and designer accessories, along with a huge bar at one end of the restaurant makes it contemporary but welcoming.

The menu is just as modern and bijou as the 19-room hotel with a focus on local produce, sourced from within a 30-mile radius. A Sussex cheese board (£10) for starter caught my eye while my husband dined on deep fried salt and pepper cuttlefish (£6) followed by a Trenchmore Farm braised Sussex Wagyu burger (£14) and I feasted on baked homemade pasta primavera (£15). Our clean plates showed our appreciation for these simple but delicious dishes washed down with local Sussex sparkling wine. There was just room to share a desert - a dark chocolate pot, with blood orange and coconut (£5.50) which was rich but sublime, though I only got two spoonfuls before my husband polished it off.

Great British Life: The menu at Port is modern, local seaside foodThe menu at Port is modern, local seaside food (Image: @emmacroman)

Everything from beginning to end was perfect – with friendly, knowledgeable service, a great-tasting menu, and Instagram worthy interiors and culinary delights. We’re heading back soon to try out the sun-drenched decking area overlooking the sea for the utimate seaside experience.