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Brighton Beer Blog review The Paris House Brighton

A descriptive, beer-by-beer account of our visit

Date: Saturday 12th June

Beers:
Darkstar – Hophead
Goose Island IPA
Wesmalle Trappist – Dubbel

 

There seems to be a bit of a theme with pubs in the centre of town, that is that they are not particularly themed. Lots of money gets spent gutting and refurbishing bars in order for them to be as on trend, or maybe simply as undevisive as possible, and don’t get me wrong, they usually look great afterwards. But they tend to lack a bit of individuality and character, so that a pub hopping trip along Western Road these days can feel a little samey (Bee’s Mouth excluded, that place is about as diverse as a pub can be).

However, if you walk far enough Westward, on the cusp of Hove sits a corner bar that offers something unique and a little exotic. Somewhere that, next day when blearily recounting the story of the night, you can quite easily pick it out from the crowd saying, “you remember, that little French place”.

The Paris House Brighton is not easy to miss as it grandly stands out from the buildings around it. Situated in what was once a late Victorian era Hotel, the elaborate drama of the upper storey featuring a corner dome, and the contrasting dark and wooden decoration of the ground floor with Paris Metro style art nouveu branding, really fools you into thinking this was plucked straight out of France. Today, the punters outside, drinking and smoking on little tables and chairs perched in the sunshine on the pavement corner, sell this image perfectly.

Inside, the space continues to feel.. well just not typically Brighton. A chequered floor, ceiling fans, art nouveau decorative pieces and the barman with a french accent all combine to maintain the illusion that you just stepped off Western Road and into a back-alley bistro in Paris.
The large french flag above the bar and the many black and white photos in cases along the walls lead you in a more pointed way towards that Parisian cafe vibe, but still it doesn’t seem overdone. In fact, the bedded-in, shabby-chicness of the decor gives it authenticity in a way Cafe Rouge could only dream of.

In the fore of the space there are a number of tables set out in the windows which today were bathed in the sun’s afternoon rays streaming in. Beyond the bar and down a step the area is darker and wood clad, and feels a bit more secluded.

Today some of the continental beers we came in search of, such as Vedett and Affligem, sadly weren’t available, and their usually good variety of Belgian bottles were limited to a single Westmalle option. Brexit and COVID were both blamed and while the barman was apologetic he was also kind of nonplussed about it all, which, to be honest, only further sold the authenticity of the French vibe to us. I think he mentioned he was a wine drinker, and the wine options, as you might guess, were pretty extensive.

We had a decent pint of Hophead each as well as a pint of Goose IPA – a pretty standard drinkable IPA – before sharing a bottle of the Westmalle Trappist Dubbel. What a stunningly dangerous beer this is, both refreshing and malty.
When we became peckish we realised that the Paris House also have one of Brighton’s best bar snack menu’s. Choose from jars of various spiced or coated things, or lord it up with a platter of various cheeses and cured meats. There are also toastie options and a pâté of the week, mais bien sur.

In the background the speakers gently oozed an album of easy-going jazz organ, played at the exact perfect volume for chatting. In fact we only noticed it into our second beer, that’s how seamlessly it and the environment gelled.
Pre-covid The Paris House used to host tons of live music, orientated around jazz and swing, and we can only hope these return asap as laid back music, particularly live, really is a dynamic that works so well here.

Not having hung out in Paris before, my friend and I were unable to say whether the Paris House Brighton nailed the Parisian authenticity or not, we expect they don’t provide Belgian beers as readily there as they do here. Either way we can emphatically say that it’s a totally relaxed and lazy place to while away time, whether alone or with friends, and whether you drink wine or beer. On a normal day they are one of the few places in town to offer draft Belgian options with a good list of bottled beers as well and live music most evenings of the week.

The Paris House Brighton is a petit slice of Bistro culture and the perfect way to mix-it-up from a homogenous high street pub.

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Date: Saturday 12th June

Beers:
Darkstar – Hophead
Goose Island IPA
Wesmalle Trappist – Dubbel

 

There seems to be a bit of a theme with pubs in the centre of town, that is that they are not particularly themed. Lots of money gets spent gutting and refurbishing bars in order for them to be as on trend, or maybe simply as undevisive as possible, and don’t get me wrong, they usually look great afterwards. But they tend to lack a bit of individuality and character, so that a pub hopping trip along Western Road these days can feel a little samey (Bee’s Mouth excluded, that place is about as diverse as a pub can be).

However, if you walk far enough Westward, on the cusp of Hove sits a corner bar that offers something unique and a little exotic. Somewhere that, next day when blearily recounting the story of the night, you can quite easily pick it out from the crowd saying, “you remember, that little French place”.

The Paris House Brighton is not easy to miss as it grandly stands out from the buildings around it. Situated in what was once a late Victorian era Hotel, the elaborate drama of the upper storey featuring a corner dome, and the contrasting dark and wooden decoration of the ground floor with Paris Metro style art nouveu branding, really fools you into thinking this was plucked straight out of France. Today, the punters outside, drinking and smoking on little tables and chairs perched in the sunshine on the pavement corner, sell this image perfectly.

Inside, the space continues to feel.. well just not typically Brighton. A chequered floor, ceiling fans, art nouveau decorative pieces and the barman with a french accent all combine to maintain the illusion that you just stepped off Western Road and into a back-alley bistro in Paris.
The large french flag above the bar and the many black and white photos in cases along the walls lead you in a more pointed way towards that Parisian cafe vibe, but still it doesn’t seem overdone. In fact, the bedded-in, shabby-chicness of the decor gives it authenticity in a way Cafe Rouge could only dream of.

In the fore of the space there are a number of tables set out in the windows which today were bathed in the sun’s afternoon rays streaming in. Beyond the bar and down a step the area is darker and wood clad, and feels a bit more secluded.

Today some of the continental beers we came in search of, such as Vedett and Affligem, sadly weren’t available, and their usually good variety of Belgian bottles were limited to a single Westmalle option. Brexit and COVID were both blamed and while the barman was apologetic he was also kind of nonplussed about it all, which, to be honest, only further sold the authenticity of the French vibe to us. I think he mentioned he was a wine drinker, and the wine options, as you might guess, were pretty extensive.

We had a decent pint of Hophead each as well as a pint of Goose IPA – a pretty standard drinkable IPA – before sharing a bottle of the Westmalle Trappist Dubbel. What a stunningly dangerous beer this is, both refreshing and malty.
When we became peckish we realised that the Paris House also have one of Brighton’s best bar snack menu’s. Choose from jars of various spiced or coated things, or lord it up with a platter of various cheeses and cured meats. There are also toastie options and a pâté of the week, mais bien sur.

In the background the speakers gently oozed an album of easy-going jazz organ, played at the exact perfect volume for chatting. In fact we only noticed it into our second beer, that’s how seamlessly it and the environment gelled.
Pre-covid The Paris House used to host tons of live music, orientated around jazz and swing, and we can only hope these return asap as laid back music, particularly live, really is a dynamic that works so well here.

Not having hung out in Paris before, my friend and I were unable to say whether the Paris House Brighton nailed the Parisian authenticity or not, we expect they don’t provide Belgian beers as readily there as they do here. Either way we can emphatically say that it’s a totally relaxed and lazy place to while away time, whether alone or with friends, and whether you drink wine or beer. On a normal day they are one of the few places in town to offer draft Belgian options with a good list of bottled beers as well and live music most evenings of the week.

The Paris House Brighton is a petit slice of Bistro culture and the perfect way to mix-it-up from a homogenous high street pub.

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