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“Pull up the drawbridge”
Review of Alfresco

Alfresco
Ranked #63 of 1,124 Restaurants in Brighton
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Special occasions, Business meetings, Families with children, Kids, Scenic view, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Drinks, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Leicester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Pull up the drawbridge”
Reviewed July 9, 2013

On arrival you are 'welcomed' by the bouncer waiting at the end of the bridge leading to the restaurant. He will refuse to seat you, not smile, and when his boss decides not to turn away paying customers, will ask you to move so non-existent guests can leave the restaurant. You, and the children in your party, will then be seated without shade on the terrace. When you ask to move to an empty shaded table you will be told it is reserved...of course these diners will never appear. Finally, when its time to pay your bill, mystery items, extra pizzas & non existent starters, will appear bumping up your bill by at least 10%. This place seems to feel that because of its spectacular location it can treat its customers like fools. We spent nearly £500 and were treated as unwelcome guests. Save your money and have fish and chips on the beach. Same view and much nicer company.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Catherine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlfBrighton, Manager at Alfresco, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
"We were very disappointed to receive this review as we bent over backwards to accommodate this party of 20 who arrived on our doorstep without pre-booking. Initially we said we could not take them because the restaurant was completely full. There are always empty tables inside, where no one wants to sit if the sun is shining, and those on the terrace which have been reserved in advance by our online and telephone customers. With a party of this size we could not allow anyone to change tables once they had sat down. We have three large umbrellas on the lower terrace to protect our customers from the sun. However, the terrace accommodates 40-50 people and whilst some wish to be in the shade, some do not. It is impossible to please everyone all the time but we always do our best. There was a mistake on the bill which was quickly rectified. This was simply an error, there was no intention to overcharge the table as is the implication in the review. We immediately corrected the mistake. Fish and chips on the beach sounds great!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,029 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Brighton, United Kingdom
1 review
“60th birthday celebration”
Reviewed July 9, 2013

Beautiful modern restaurant with iconic Brighton beach view on a glorious sunny afternoon, efficient and unobtrusive service, excellent party and catering advice, lovely food which all our guests said how much they enjoyed - we couldn't have wished for a better venue for our birthday celebration lunch with family and friends.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Judy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Faulty towers is alive and well in Brighton”
Reviewed July 7, 2013

The visit was a disaster from start to finish. We went out for dinner for my fathers 70th birthday. My daughter and I travelled from the north of England and my sister, niece and nephew from Hong Kong. The party consisted of 1 grandparent, 2 mothers and 3 children. On arrival we were sat next to the generator. When asked if we could change tables as we were all struggling to hear the conversation due to the high level of noise, the waiter was difficult even though there were plenty of empty tables. We ordered our drinks which never arrived but we chased and chased, when we finally got them the wine was hot, although we didn't say anything. Myself and my daughter ordered monk fish (£19 each), when it arrived the fish was rubbery and very difficult to cut. We called the waiter over and explained that the fish was rubbery and showed how we could not cut it. He took it away and came back and said that monk fish is a rubbery fish, he bought the original fish back and said that he had put extra sauce on it. We said that the fish has been over cooked as it was rubbery and with that the waiter pulled my arm, told all of us to get out of the restaurant and took all the food away. We were all so shocked at his behaviour, he then turned to my 70 year old father and swore at him. We had never heard language like this before and were extremely concerned as there were 3 children in the party. We later looked at the BBC website to get a description of monk fish and it says skin the monkfish tail, being very careful to remove all of the membrane or the fish will take on a rubbery texture when cooked. We then went over the road to the Regency restaurant and had a fantastic meal at half the price. I do not recommend Alfresco.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Amanda0123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlfBrighton, General Manager at Alfresco, responded to this review, July 9, 2013
As you can appreciate this was a particularly busy weekend for us. We served 1,969 people over a 3 day period in the restaurant alone. In addition, we had events downstairs on both Friday and Saturday. Despite this we had exceptional feedback from our customers, some visitors who came back to us on all 3 days even though they had to queue and may not have got the table that they would have liked. We do our best to seat people in a table suitable for their requirements and as they were unhappy we moved them promptly.

The food is of a very good standard with our chef having won awards. One Italian lady said she had never had such good gnocchi in her life. Of 72 monkfish dishes served this was our only complaint, in fact we received a number of compliments about his dish. Monkfish is a 'firm-textured, meaty white fish' (BBC definition) and should not be rubbery. We do not believe that this dish was rubbery. The chef actually left the service to come and speak to the customers who then agreed this is how it should be served.

Drinks were slow to arrive because the party had specifically asked not to have their drinks served until the table issue had been resolved.

Regretfully there was a breakdown in communication between the Manager and this party. We apologise unreservedly for any offence caused.

We pride ourselves in delivering excellent service and food and hopefully this is reflected on the many good reviews we receive and the Trip Advisor 2013 certificate of Excellence award.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“So rude, 3rd time in 3 years and worse than ever, never going back!”
Reviewed July 6, 2013

I simply cannot believe the rudeness of the staff. Last night we had table booked for 8pm for 12 people, we were made to wait for 25 minutes queuing outside the restaurant despite having reserved.
We thought it might be extremely busy due to the sun shine hence the delay. When my friend asked why the delay when we had booked the man simply replied you are in next, my friend repeated her question why and got the same reply several times. My friend then pointed out that the lead person who booked the meal was pregnant and this was not fair on her, still we waited outside.
When we eventually were allowed in the place was half empty! 3 friends from our party were late, they tried to enter and were told the restaurant was closed for a private function and directed downstairs. Even we she argued this saying no her friends were inside they told her no they weren't. One of us then had to go and collect her!
The food was OK – overpriced though, my starter was very nice, my £13 pizza was OK, the beer/cider selection is non existant!
The chips were not home cooked, they were basic fries, but argued they were not, so we refused to pay £4.25 for the smallest bowl of awful fries.
Then when the desserts order was being taken, another friend was being indecisive and the waiter said it was 500 calories she did not need.
We paid our bill £340 between 11 people, we carried on finishing our drinks, the waiter then came over said “you had a good time yes? Now you go home then night” and basically shoved us out the restaurant...you cannot make this stuff up! AWFUL!
I will give the restaurant 2 good marks, they did sing happy birthday to my pregnant friend and give her a candle in her dessert, which was nice, and the location is the best in Brighton

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Tracey B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlfBrighton, General Manager at Alfresco, responded to this review, July 9, 2013
Unfortunately we have to have a very strict entry policy to the restaurant as so many customers use every excuse under the sun to queue jump. Many claim they have booked a table in advance when they have not. We do not wish to employ a doorman to enforce the 'please wait here to be seated' policy but we have been forced to regretfully. That does not mean that people who have booked should be made to wait, particularly a pregnant woman. Once again we would like to apologise. We have spoken to the doorman on this subject and there should be an improvement in the future.

Whilst we acknowledge that our venue has an unrivalled location in Brighton, we are never complacent and take all complaints very seriously. We pride ourselves on the quality of our food and service and respond immediately if either falls short of customers' expectations.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Meal”
Reviewed July 6, 2013

Was disappointed. After previous reviews was looking forward to an excellent meal. found the food average and the bill was more than I would have wanted to pay. Service charge is also automatically added so beware. Felt pressured and rushed with the main waiter 'hoovering' over our table

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Rickcall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlfBrighton, Manager at Alfresco, responded to this review, July 9, 2013
We are sorry that you felt your experience did not live up to your expectations. We pride ourselves on delivering good food and service and have received many awards recently which reflect this. We do automatically add 10% service charge to the bill but so do most restaurants in Brighton. We do allow customers to opt out of the service charge but rarely people ask as customers feel it reflects the hard work our staff put into delivering a lovely experience in our restaurant.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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