First loves are special: they tease, delight and overwhelm you, but always leave you wanting more. Meeting them again after a time apart can be devastating though, as often that magical spark, the very essence of why you fell for them in the first place, has dimmed or vanished completely.

Not so with Head Chef Michael Sutherland, who had me at hello smorgasbord at Mirabelle, The Grand hotel in Eastbourne’s flagship restaurant. There he impressed with stand-out Scandi-inspired dishes in a luxurious setting.

That’s why, understandably, I was hesitant to see how he’d translated his lip-smackingly delicious style to his new restaurant at the Towner, recent host of the prestigious Turner Prize in the seaside town.

Great British Life: Head chef Michael Sutherland is a leading LightHead chef Michael Sutherland is a leading Light (Image: Light at Towner)

But Light at Towner has done something so completely new that it has transformed dining in Eastbourne, elevating it to new heights on the top floor of the art gallery.

With stunning views overlooking the English Channel, the décor is chic with a Scandi-vibe by day – all bleached wood, a plethora of plants and statement lighting – that becomes mysterious and moody, jazz bar-style, in the evenings.

The food is, quite simply, inspired. With menus that start with breakfast – cornflake milk punch anyone, after all who doesn’t like rum, brandy and pineapple with their cereal? – to light lunches, a pre-theatre set menu (2 courses £22, 3 courses £28) and an evening a la carte or set menu, there’s plenty of stylish variety, all executed perfectly with a Scandi flair.

We opted for the evening set menu (£56 for five course, £48 for four). We sipped on a refreshing Port Spritz, made with white port, and cucumber gin, as we settled in. The restaurant was almost full on a weeknight, with pre-theatre goers, heading later to Devonshire Park Theatre and The Congress and diners, like us, ready to tackle five-courses over the next couple of hours.

Great British Life: The decor is Scandi-inspiredThe decor is Scandi-inspired (Image: Light at Towner)

First up was an amuse bouche of onion crisp, which was a flavour bomb of pickled shallots, aged parmesan custard and chive powder, followed by a melt-in-the-mouth laminated brioche with ampersand butter.

I opted for a marinated tofu Caesar salad next while my husband had braised Mangalitsa pork with crab apple ketchup and crispy pork skin crumb. Both of us hardly spoke as we savoured every morsel.

I had a stuffed globe artichoke with crispy vermicelli and watercress puree while Alexio oohed and aaahed over his lemon sole with samphire and caper butter.

Great British Life: Every mouthful is deliciousEvery mouthful is delicious (Image: Light at Towner)

By now I was full, but I squeezed in a Pitchfork Cheddar with parsnip cake, gooseberry and golden raisins. My sweet-toothed husband grinned as he devoured a Calvados Baba with vanilla mascarpone and caramelised poach apple.

Just as we thought we’d died and gone to Scandi heaven, we were handed home made chocolates that looked like art on a plate, which was very fitting considering where we were.

It was a scrumptious meal at Light at Towner that has, at last, given Eastbourne a London-style restaurant for both everyday and special occasions. From the friendly but not overly fussy staff to the chic surroundings and genuinely exciting and tasty menus, this is Michael Sutherland setting the culinary bar high. You could see he’s a leading Light.