Tucked away up the hill of Upper Gloucester Road, a mere 5 minutes walk from Brighton Station, The Eddy, as it is known to regulars, is delighted to welcome customers old and new.
Recently re-furbished and now lovingly cared for by custodians Gez, Ali and the team, The Eddy is a hidden gem offering a wonderful modern British menu from Josh Fallon, whose extensive experience includes time in the kitchens of Heston Blumenthal, Gordon Ramsey and Tom Kerridge, to name a few. With a wide range of real ales, a tantalising selection of gins and whiskeys, a smorgasbord of events such as ‘In Your Ed’ quiz night, ‘Com Eddy’ comedy night, ‘One Foot in the Rave’ DJ and live music nights to 1am on Friday and Saturdays, there’s every reason to visit.
Gez Wilmot, who previously worked in the City and had been a patron himself over the years having walked up the hill desperate for a pint, jumped at the chance to take on the mantle as Licensee when the opportunity arose in August. His partner Ali, who works in the world of interiors, had a vision of how the pub should look going forward, and so, between them, they set out to stop the building’s decay in its tracks. It’s true to say that even the die-hard regulars had found that the pub, which started life as a hotel, had well and truly fallen into the doldrums and the toilets were, practically, a no-go area.
Gez, Ali and the team have given the whole building a complete make-over and created a welcoming atmosphere for all. It’s family and dog friendly; they are now busily working on an events space on the first floor, with future work to be carried out on the top floor of the building for a 3-bedroom B&B. Gez tells me it’s no longer a sports pub, although there’s a big screen for showing special sporting events such as the Rugby Six Nations, the Rugby World Cup next year and Wimbledon. It’s also the plan to have film nights when they gain licensing. Local artists present stand-up comedy, live music, and DJ nights.
Gez sees a gap in the market for those 30+ people who want to dance, after they’ve eaten, to the early hours. There are very few places in Brighton where this happens, where the more mature person can let their hair down, where a single woman can walk in and feel safe and have a boogie. Gez’s long-term plan is to turn The Eddy into a living, breathing building, hosting a variety of events.
Josh Fallon’s approach to food at The Eddy is to ensure consistency, quality, variety, and value for money. The essential ingredient in his cooking is the combination of great, seasonal flavours. Josh was born in Birmingham but grew up in Brighton and has recently returned to his roots via a circuitous route after he graduated from City College Brighton ten years ago.
After an apprenticeship at the Ginger Pig in Hove, he completed a year-long stint at Gordon Ramsey’s Michelin-starred restaurant Maze in Mayfair, after having wowed the management with his signature dish, terrine. He worked again with Ginger Pig associates, this time helping to turn a down-at-heel pub, The Woolpack in Tenterden, into a destination pub eaterie. A glutton for fine food and hard work, he went on to work at other Michelin-starred restaurants: Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck in Berkshire; the first pub with two Michelin stars, Tom Kerridge’s Hand and Flowers in Marlow; and Michael Parkinson’s Royal Oak in Maidenhead. For the last couple of years he’s had a wonderful time in Hove at etch. by ‘MasterChef: The Professionals’ winner Steven Edwards.
With this sort of CV, it’s understandable why Gez, a fully-qualified chef himself, has drafted in Josh as head chef to create a memorable new pub menu. Alongside freshly prepared terrines, scotch eggs, meat, fish, vegetarian and vegan options, there’s also daily, seasonal specials. Sunday roasts of all persuasions are also on offer.
Gez and Ali are sociable people and you’ll find a warm welcome from them and their team of experts on the hill – whether you’re passing up or down it – or making a special visit for a superb meal and a drink.