Restaurant Brighton's guide to

Alfresco Dining for Mixed Households

Our top picks

Pubs and Bars

The Cleveland Arms near fiveways have renovated their outside space, adding heaters, lighting and coverings so that groups of six can come together and enjoy their famed homecooked food and glowing hospitality. The nearby parks make for an excellent opportunity to extend your time together.

Hove Place has for many years transformed its Italian garden into a Winter Garden, packed with twinkles and festive decor. Additional heaters and covering on both sides of the garden make for a snug spot for mixed households abiding by the rule of six to enjoy a super festive feast from the kitchen of Phil Bartley. A special Fare Share menu gives you a ‘substantial meal’ for £5 with a £2 discount going to the Fare Share charity, relieving poverty and diverting food waste. Bookings for the Winter Garden can be made online.

The Cricketers is situated in the heart of the Lanes and is one of the city’s oldest pubs. The newest addition to the classic pub is an outdoor marquee, open for mixed households looking for an impromptu spot for a post-shopping drink and Scotch egg. The marquee at the Cricketers is open for walk-ins but single households can reserve indoor tables. A Fare Share menu gives you a ‘substantial meal’ for £5 with a £2 discount going to the Fare Share charity, relieving poverty and diverting food waste.

The Ladies Mile pub in Patcham has a new marquee and heated booths added in the rear garden. The pub is a family favourite and these outside spaces can be enjoyed by families spanning multiple households (up to the rule of six). Russell Tisbury runs the kitchens, whose Sunday roasts have held a top-three spot in the BRAVOs for the past three years. An affordable Fare Share menu gives you a ‘substantial meal’ for £5 with a £2 donation going to Fare Share

Ohso Social is set in one of the finest locations in town and offers its dinners panoramic sea views, ample covered, outdoor seating that benefits from heaters and table service. They serve great quality grub and drinks throughout the day and will be open to mixed groups of up to six. Osho, is not only a stone’s throw away from the sea, on a still stay you may even be able to catch a waft of the candy floss being spun on the pier.

Indulge in some local fun times at the historic Black Lion Pub this winter. They benefit from having a heated beer garden at the rear, with individual covered and heated booths. This year they have introduced a large marquee to the front of the venue. You’ll find this space suitably festive, with extra heaters and twinkly lights. All outdoor seated areas are open to bookings of up to six people from mixed households.

The Walrus on Ship Street in the Lanes is a sprawling beast of a pub, with ample seating for comfortable social distancing inside and a secret rooftop garden atop. A favourite venue of Masterchef winner Kenny Tutt, the ‘substantial meals’ here are no hardship. The roof garden, while protected on four sides from the elements is still open, and there is additional heating at the tables.

The Mesmerist is continuing to endorse the good times over the chilly season and will be opening their fabulous heated roof terrace for mixed groups of up to six every Friday from 6 pm and Sat from 3 pm. They have provided their guests with an additional outdoor heated marquee which can accommodate up to five groups of six from mixed households. This space will be open seven days a week. They have a delightfully festive menu to accompany their vast cocktail selection. Booking is essential.

This lively pub and restaurant is worth visiting for a festive jug and some grub from their festive menu. They’re set smack in the middle of Brighton’s bustling North Laines, which means they can offer you the perfect spot for a stopgap from all the Christmas shopping. If you’re sat outside you’ll get the full effect of the North Laines Christmas light display. These seats are prime street-side spots and now benefit from the addition of shining new awnings, so you can enjoy the views with friends and shelter whatever the weather.

Bohemia benefits from having two fantastic areas for its guests this season. The front of Bohemia is set on the cobbled streets on the Lanes, offering guests the perfect spot for people watching whilst enjoying their mulled wine and nibbles from their revamped, heated and extra twinkly terrace. Bohemia’s “Veuve Clicquot” Roof garden has been revamped with now has additional heaters, speakers and offers guests ample space for safe socialising this season. Booking is essential.

The George Payne in Hove is a lovely community pub off the beaten track. Their garden area is tucked away from the road, making it great for children and families. This winter they’re turning their garden into a hygge paradise in which to fulfil that long-awaited and much-needed reunion with friends. Tucking into their delicious menu for a substantial meal is hardly a chore either

The Longman Pub in Patcham has added an outside marquee which will accept multiple household groups for drinks and a substantial meal of good quality, affordable Thai food (roasts on Sundays). To help keep you feeling warm on the inside, The Longman have created a Fare Share menu, each ‘substantial meal’ is only £5 of which £2 will go to Fare Share, relieving poverty and diverting food waste.

This neighbourhood pub is a much cherished Hanover based gem. They have revamped their already excellent garden, and now have individually heated wooden booths with the addition of USB charging stations. Traditionally serving superb pub favourites, and now with a Christmas special for only £5 per head they are serving sharing platters via their app, straight to your table.

Restaurants and Cafes

The Salt Room has converted their chic black and white seafront terrace into a cosy winter wonderland with the addition of rugs and blankets, extra heaters and festive sparkle. Cosy up with views of the seafront, both piers and i360 while enjoying a feast of seasonal delights from the celebrated kitchen.

Brunch in the winter sun at Moksha Caffe. After the Valley Gardens project, there is now a much larger outdoor seating area available, to which the family-run team have added external heaters. Good coffee sipped on a bright cool morning is a blissful combination, made all the better since you can enjoy it over award-winning brunch and good company.

The delightful French bistro Mange Tout will be opening their streetside tables up to small mixed groups this winter. They won top place in the BRAVO‘20 as the restaurant serving Brighton’s Best Brunch. So, whether it is a visit for a belly-filling French fry up or to share a glass of wine and a Scotch oeuf with a friend, Mange Tout is certainly worth popping on your Brighton Bucket List. Word on the street is that they’ll be serving their sumptuously seasonal mulled wine for takeaway. So, if you’re passing and need those cockles warming you know where to go! 

The pearl of Brighton’s Marina (AKA The Watershed) is sat just on the water’s edge in the marina’s Yacht Club. They are offering mixed groups of up to six the opportunity to enjoy the idyllic surroundings from the comfort of their covered seating area. You can expect to find them serving up platefuls of festive cheer, fine seasonal spirits and for extra festive twinkle make sure to check out their Christmas set menu. See website for amended opening times.

Enjoy their specialist coffees and all-day brunches with the company of friends this winter. Redroasters sleek “outdoor, indoor” aesthetic has been spun on its head and They have created an “indoor, outdoor” space in their garden. Revamped with extra heaters, wall to wall cover and ample space for you and your party of six to socialise.

The West Beach Bar and Kitchen located at the base of the British Airways i360. With panoramic views of the sea and a huge terrace that faces the iconic West Pier. There is currently seating available for 80 guests outside on the terrace. Making this a perfect location to meet friends for coffee and cake or a festive roast and bottle of wine whilst enjoying Brighton’s best views. Open Thursday to Sunday and everyday for a week runup to Christmas.

Further Afield

A trip to an idyllic village pub is never a far off craving during winter. The Plough is nestled is the historic seaside village Rottingdean and makes for a great destination for shoreside excursions and family outings. They have provided a heated courtyard marquee for groups that wish to socialise outside their bubbles and families this winter. In addition to their winter menu, The Plough Inn is offering a Fare Share menu, each ‘substantial meal’ is only £5 of which £2 will go to Fare Share, relieving poverty and diverting food waste.

This family owned wine estate is set in an idyllic south-facing spot in Alfriston. They have opened the Cellar Door to the wine shop and will be inviting visitors to take a map guided walk around the picturesque vineyard. A crisp walk around the vines and some award-winning wine sounds like a top way to spend a day out this winter. Groups of up to six from mixed households are permitted.

The stunning 500-acre golf and wine estate Mannings Heath will be swinging back into action this season. Whilst, unfortunately, they will not be opening their kitchen or running any wine events, you will be able to purchase bottles of wine from their shop and have a punt around the golf course.

Head out to Polegate this winter to enjoy some of the great British countryside, The Sussex Ox will be serving up hearty meals made from homegrown organic produce and invite you to share a bottle with up to six of your favourite humans from the comfort of their newly installed covered heated garden.

The New Inn in Hurstpierpoint is a superb country pub with a gastro-pub menu, nestled in amongst plenty of countryside and the quaint village full of boutique shops. The pub garden’s south aspect means even in winter a sunny day catches every ray. There’s a large awning covered area and the addition of fire pits and heaters turns The New Inn’s garden space into a gem well worth the journey out of town.