The roof terrace at the Grand Central would be perfect for relaxing with a cold beer on a scorching summer’s day. Sadly, my visit to this pub next to Brighton station took place on a wet, miserable and thoroughly un-scorching Sunday.
Weather aside, I found the Grand Central to be a welcoming and homely place to spend a lazy afternoon. The pub has recently been refurbished, and while most pub-refurbishments in Brighton these days seem to involve bare lightbulbs and quirky found objects, the ownership of this establishment have gone for a more comfortable, vintage vibe.
The main bar is light, airy and open, while round the corner the atmosphere is more ‘fireside’ – there are bookshelves, lampshades and armchairs you can sink into.
The decor is reminiscent of a 1920s speakeasy, with velvet padding and old-timey lettering guiding you to the loos or the roof garden – and what a garden it is.
I remember visiting the place before the refurbishment and having a beer outside in the height of summer. The roof terrace was then a non-descript place, with low wooden benches and not much else going for it. This has completely changed, and the terrace is now filled with brightly coloured chairs, as well as a profusion of plants of all sizes. Even in the damp and chilly weather, the roof garden had a holiday-in-the-Med feel to it.
The pub also has a great range of craft beers, of which I chose Meantime Brewery’s Yakima Red – a reddish-hued, spicy ale that went down a treat. All in all, this is definitely one place I’ll be visiting again.