Chard Brighton first opened its doors as a pop-up in Cafe Rust near Preston Park. Within a year the success of the pop-up meant they could move to a permanent residence above i-Gigi general store in Hove, increasing their hours of operation to meet demand.
A real family team
The family team of three consists of Benny in the kitchen and Mae and Ciarán running the front of house and day-to-day operations. Chard is a tightly run ship where the strength of familial bonds and a combined love of their offering feeds directly into the experience as a whole.
Within the first year of moving into their new home, Chard rose to local and national acclaim receiving prize reviews and awards including an AA Rosette, The Good Food Guide, Brighton’s Top 20 and fourth place in the 2019 BRAVO for Best Restaurant.
Benny’s cuisine is at once innovative and nostalgic, bringing together homely comforting flavour with creative ingredient combinations. Open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday, Chard serves a five or seven-course tasting menu that is available as meat or vegetarian and can be paired with a wine flight from local wine expert, Henry Butler, of Butler’s Wine Cellar.
Lunch is served Friday and Saturday from midday until 3 pm, with an a la carte menu that also includes vegetarian and vegan options.
The Chard Brighton experience
Any venue where the team evidently take pride in what they do bring a little extra to the dining experience, but at Chard, the pride is a deeply familial one. Mae and Ciarán at the front of house, jostle, as couples do, but ultimately this is endearing rather than awkward. And Benny, whose fabulous cooking launched the venture, is rightly and frequently praised with heartwarming sincerity and love.
To dine at Chard is more than a special occasion, it is to become part of something special.