Sussex food and drink is biting back better


Wendy James and Rachel Blake of Brighton Gin (credit Julia Claxton)

Hospitality and tourism businesses from across Brighton and the surrounding county joined Sussex producers for a local food and drink showcase on Brighton Palace Pier on Monday 20 June 2022.


Organised by BITE Sussex and the Brighton & Hove Tourism Alliance business group, it was the first major opportunity for the wider industry to get together for networking since the pandemic.


Over 25 local producers showcased their craft spirits, beers and Sussex wines alongside independent foods from Squished, Sussex Crisp Co, Boho Gelato and Julien Plumart Patisserie amongst others. Brighton & Hove Mayor Lizzie Dean joined the event and enjoyed sampling the breadth of produce that is grown and made on the doorstep of the city.



Katie Overton-Hart of GH Spirits and Inger Smith of Madame Jennifer Distillery (credit Julia Claxton)

“It’s been a difficult couple of years for our industry”, said Nick Mosley, co-director of BITE Sussex.


“This event was a first step to re-establishing professional and personal relationships between those of us who are passionate about all things Sussex food and drink. It was an absolute pleasure to welcome so many old friends and colleagues alongside newcomers who are clearly showing through their efforts that innovation hasn’t stalled and that we can collaboratively build the food scene of the city and county back better and stronger”.


In addition to the producers exhibiting, around 70 local hospitality businesses attended including restaurants, hotels, bars, retailers and attractions with many expressing interest in forming new commercial relationships with the local growers and makers.



Chef Julien Plumart and Anne Ackord, CEO of Brighton Palace Pier (credit Julia Claxton)

“It was wonderful to meet up again with Tourism Alliance members for the first time since pre-pandemic and hear how Brighton business is on the road to recovery”, said Anne Ackord, CEO of Brighton Palace Pier and chair of the Brighton & Hove Tourism Alliance.


“Being able to join in with Bite Sussex for their trade day added an additional element to the event and reinforced what a great and innovative city Brighton and Hove is”.



Brighton & Hove Mayor Lizzie Deane with Howard Corney and Hugo Corney of Court Garden Vineyard (credit Julia Claxton)

The team from The Argus were also on-hand to announce the launch of a new monthly tourism supplement that will not only run locally but also in titles across south and south west London and Hampshire creating an affordable and accessible platform for attractions, venues, restaurants and hotels to promote their unique offerings.


“As the voice of the city, The Argus is always keen to innovate and embrace new opportunities to promote the hospitality and tourism industry”, said Arron Hendy, editor.


“Each month the Brighton tourism supplement will appear in 97,500 printed newspapers in London, Sussex and Hampshire – and online – putting the offering of the city in the hands of hundreds of thousands of readers”.



Marie Davies of Stopham Wine Estate (credit Julia Claxton)

In addition to hosting two annual trade networking days, BITE Sussex organises two consumer-facing food and drink festival periods each year to connect Sussex food, drink and hospitality businesses with residents and visitors.


The next festival runs Wednesday 24 to bank holiday Monday 29 August with events including an ‘Under The Sea’ immersive dining experience with Isaac At at Sealife Brighton, a Cocktail & Canapé party at the Brighton Toy and Model Museum, Brighton Bier Yard takeover, sustainable Sussex Spirits tasting in Worthing and the welcome return of the Brighton Cocktail Weekender featuring promotional drinks at the city’s top bars. More information and tickets will be announced in mid July at www.bitesussex.com