I have been to two college restaurants previously (where students practice their catering skills within a professional environment).

They are a great initiative wherein the college raises funds and the students get some really good work experience in a fully functioning restaurant. My previous two experiences had me thinking that, whilst the food and service were excellent, the environment and overall atmosphere were slightly sterile and well… like a college. COAST, however, as part of Sussex Coast College, (now East Sussex College, Hastings), by Hastings train station, is a completely different story.

The college has made an enormous effort to not only give customers a great menu and food, but they have also considered the entire experience for diners. The decor is delightfully kitsch and the atmosphere has a friendly buzz, with staff cheerfully running around and patrons excitedly chatting and having a great time!

I and the Get Hastings team visited the restaurant on Wednesday 14th January for a staggering six course gastronomic adventure, each course accompanied by a carefully selected glass of wine. All for a ridiculous £25!

We had chosen between Assiette of Salmon and Cream of Salsify Soup with Garam Masala Oil. Both were wonderful and were served with a glass of Reisling.

The students and their tutors could not have tried any harder to make the experience enjoyable and we all left with tipsy heads and extremely full bellies!

On arrival, we were ushered to the soft seating area and given a glass of Prosecco along with canapes. Once sat at our table, we had chosen between Assiette of Salmon and Cream of Salsify Soup with Garam Masala Oil. Both were wonderful and were served with a glass of Reisling.

A strawberry and champagne sorbet was sent to cleanse the pallet before we tucked into out main course of Steak Diane with Sautéed Potatoes & Pea Pomme Femme. Much to our excitement, this was cooked at our table with some flambé action. Our young chef was incredibly nervous but, with some encouragement from her tutor, triumphed and seemed so proud of herself for doing so. Our main course (a delicious-sounding vegetarian option was also available) was served with a glass of Running Duck Cabernet Sauvignon which was so delicious that we simply had to order a bottle!

Our dessert of either Almond Cake, Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream & Fruits of the Forest Compote or Vanilla Cheesecake with Poached Rhubarb was served with a deliciously smooth dessert wine.

Cheese and biscuits were then served with a glass of port before we were offered coffee and petit-four.

Opening Times & prices

We are open Monday to Friday, each week during the term and offer the following service sessions:

Monday-Friday for Lunch from 12.30 pm – 3.00 pm.

Thursday evening from 6.30 pm-10.00 pm.

Throughout the year the students practice a variety of service styles and techniques including silver service and different types of table theatre. On Thursday evenings, we offer a 5 course dining experience, for £28 per person. Your evening begins with a complimentary cocktail or mocktail and canapés on arrival, 5 courses including a fish course and sorbet, and then to finish off your meal, a choice of tea or coffee. We also have specialty liqueur coffees available at an additional cost.

Themed evenings are priced individually.

Coast Restaurant photos © Samara Jayne Martin

Author

  • Mel Elliott

    Originally from Barnsley in South Yorkshire, Mel Elliott graduated with an MA from The Royal College of Art in 2007, after which she started her publishing label, I Love Mel. Mel's pop-culture colouring books have sold worldwide and her children's books have been published in many languages. Mel has worked on projects with major publishers in the UK, USA, Italy, Taiwan and South Korea. She is currently working on her first YA novel... as well as Get Hastings.

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