Above the hustle and bustle of the Grand Central pub, the clandestine Nightingale Room boasts a 1920's pizzazz and I was treated to a magical evening that threw me back to the more opulent times of gin and cabaret.
Just outside Brighton Station, the Grand Central pub is located in a striking building that really lives up to its name. Through the red velvet door inside the main bar and up the staircase, you'll find the swanky Nightingale Room. The Nightingale Room is stylish and sophisticated with plush velvet booths, sumptuous red lighting and walls adorned with framed pictures of pin ups and starlets. This place drips with 1920's extravagance. This intimate, Golden-age style venue is the perfect place to eat, drink and catch a show whilst being conveniently close to transport links to get you in and around the town.
The Food and Drink
The Nightingale Room menu offers a small selection of classic Brasserie style dishes with a range to suit all tastes including meat, fish and vegetarian as well as a few puddings for those with a sweet tooth. I opted for the ham and pistachio terrine (£5.50) to start followed by the pork belly with rainbow chard and apple fritter at a really affordable £11.50, with my friend going for the smoked mackerel and horseradish pate and the blackened duck breast with potato bake (£14.50) for main. Each meal was presented beautifully, making the already mouthwatering food even more appetising. No part was just garnish or filler - each ingredient had been carefully selected to compliment the other creating an exciting combination of flavours with every mouthful.
The bar in the Nightingale Room offers a vast array of premium sprits, wines and beers - but as with any self-respecting speakeasy, it really specialises in gin. Not being seasoned gin drinkers, we asked the waitress if she could recommend a few to get us started. Happy to oblige and obviously knowing her stuff, the waitress explained the various gins on offer and what the Nightingale Room serves with them to accentuate the flavours. From strawberries, blueberries and orange peel for the more fruity flavours to rose petals for the more herby taste and even (my favourite) Brighton gin served with a stick of Brighton rock for an authentic sweet seaside flavour. The Nightingale Room is passionate about gin and so makes sure each drink is made perfectly and whilst I may not have been a gin drinker before, I would happily return to the Nightingale Room for a couple of its special G&Ts.
The Nightingale Room was small without feeling crowded which just added to that secret, speakeasy vibe. Playing host to a variety of acts including comedy, jazz, cabaret and theatre, we were treated to a show from magicians Griff and Jones. With tricks that kept us trying to work out how they did it for days after, the pair also kept the audience laughing with their comedic style. The act seemed pretty typical of the Nightingale Room - brilliantly entertaining and a little off-beat, not your usual Saturday night! The staff were friendly and welcoming to anyone wanting to enjoy a tasty meal and a great show in a laid-back atmosphere.
If you fancy something that's a little different from your everyday then the Nightingale Room is the place for you. Providing great food, delicious hand crafted cocktails and top notch entertainment to boot, the Nightingale Room has everything you need and more for a fabulous night out.