Waterhouse Bar, Brighton

Dating back to 1890, the Metropole hotel is one of the landmarks of Brighton seafront. It was designed by Alfred Waterhouse who is best known for the Victorian Gothic grandeur of London’s Natural History Museum and Manchester Town Hall, and he has inspired the name of the hotel’s new bar. As part of an ongoing £4million refurbishment of the Hilton hotel, the Waterhouse Bar & Terrace has been created as an all-day bar and brasserie where people can enjoy lunch, dinner and cocktails.

The 260 sq m hotel bar has undergone a dramatic renovation by interior design and architectural specialist DesignLSM, whose most recent projects include restaurants Colchis and Quilon in London and the 1871 Bar at the Leeds Marriott Hotel. This one is closer to home for the design practice which is based up the road in Hove. At the Hilton Brighton Metropole, senior designer Karen Mitton was inspired by private members’ clubs and grand bistros, creating a venue with an opulent atmosphere that reflects the heritage of the hotel.

A striking new bar features a marble top with wood panelling on the walls and an Art Deco look. The interior design is a mix of contemporary and traditional styles with low-hanging pendant lighting, modern chairs and leather studded booths that create a snug area for people who want a bit of privacy. The colour scheme in a palette of greys and plums adds a sense of warmth and elegance.

Classic bar food is on offer, influenced by the hotel’s coastal location. As well as traditional English sandwiches such as honey roast ham and English mustard, the menu ranges from smaller dishes including crab and chilli spring rolls through to larger meals such as the Waterhouse Gourmet Burger. Desserts and afternoon tea are also available.

There is a wide range of wines, beers and spirits, with an emphasis on gin, while head bartender Gyorgy Piros has created a drinks list that spans classic cocktails and interesting twists on traditional favourites. Priced at £9, they include the Pavilion Blush which is a frozen Martini-style drink made with Tanqueray gin, mixed berries and fresh mint. Another refresher is the Kings Road Collins, a twist on the classic made with Johnnie Walker whisky, Bénédictine and apple juice as well as lemon juice and soda. The 1890 Cooler is a long fruity drink using ingredients that were popular in the year that the hotel was opened: Noilly Prat vermouth, crème de cassis, Green Chartreuse, lime juice and soda water.

The hotel’s general manager Guy Hilton says the Waterhouse Bar, which has a terrace looking out to sea, is set to become “the new hot destination” in Brighton. “It is now a modern, contemporary bar and lounge where hotel and non-hotel guests alike will be able to enjoy cocktails, afternoon teas and drinks.”

Hilton Brighton Metropole, King’s Road, Brighton BN1 2FU
Tel: 01273 775432 www.hilton.com

Who did it
Design: DesignLSM
Lighting: Into Lighting
Furniture- Hill Cross Furniture
Artefacts: Tracy Brent
Artwork: Soho Myriad
Drapes: Bowden Tollit

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