Since the day it opened its doors, the Mirabelle Restaurant in Eastbourne has celebrated numerous awards, accolades and critical notices from the UK's top food writers. As well as being considered one of the finest restaurants in Eastbourne, The Independent voted the Mirabelle in the top 50 best restaurants in the UK. The Mirabelle serves a modern European menu of seasonal specialities that play creatively with flavours and textures, and which are complemented by an extremely well-chosen wine list. Just as impressive is the elegant splendour of the beautifully furnished dining room itself, which you can enter either directly from the hotel or via its own discreet side entrance, and is a quiet haven that attracts romantic couples, small business groups and devotees of gourmet dining.
Harden's survey result
“Old-style in the nicest way” – this white-linen dining room in a grand old seaside hotel can still be a “lovely spot for dinner when taking a trip to the coast”. It has, though, become a battleground between traditionalists and modernisers following the 2017 appointment of Stephanie Malvoisin to head the kitchen and moves to update the 30-year-old interior. For some, the process has not gone nearly far enough: “what an antediluvian and over-rated place!”, whose, “refurbishment was a terrible waste of time and money”. For others “things seems to be picking up a little under the new lady chef (but while acceptable, it’s in no way memorable)”. And at best, “a really pleasant surprise!”
This 30-year veteran “hidden in the corner” of a grand seaside hotel is very much one for the traditionalists and has hitherto occupied “its own little time warp” – an approach fans see as “perfection” (but which could also seem plain dated). Change is afoot though, following the September 2017 installation of Stephanie Malvoisin to lead the kitchen, and some diehard disciples feel things could go either way: “the jury is still out on the new chef, and a potentially disastrous refurbishment (if modern influences are permitted) mean this great bastion is in greater peril than it has been for decades. I fear very greatly that modernisation may bring with it mediocrity. Cut crystal and the signature china have already sadly been downgraded to more modest standard replacements. Getting rid of the salvers, and particularly the silver cloches is also deleterious to the sense of occasion. Some things are better left as they are: the Mirabelle being a prime example!”
“A reminder of a more gilded age!” – this grand hotel-restaurant has long been a haven of old-school values, not least its “charming” service. Some doubts crept in this year however, and though it still wins many endorsements for its “superb cuisine” and “extensive wine list” it also took flak for some “bland” meals, or for seeming too “old fashioned and stuffy” generally.
An unabashedly “old-school” hotel-restaurant “with the sort of smooth, deferential, willing and professional service which is like gold-dust nowadays”. The food is “always good, sometimes excellent” (not least “the best cream tea” in town).
|Wine per bottle||£29.00|
King Edwards Parade, Eastbourne, BN21 4EQ
|Tuesday||12:30 pm‑2 pm, 7 pm‑10 pm|
|Wednesday||12:30 pm‑2 pm, 7 pm‑10 pm|
|Thursday||12:30 pm‑2 pm, 7 pm‑10 pm|
|Friday||12:30 pm‑2 pm, 7 pm‑10 pm|
|Saturday||12:30 pm‑2 pm, 7 pm‑10 pm|