“ 10 New Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1UF. Tel +44(0)1273 328728. „
The Colonnade is a lovely old-fashioned bar in central Brighton. It's next door to the Theatre Royal, and we usually refer to it as the Theatre Bar, but it is actually independent from the theatre and has separate entrance. That said, it very much has the feel of a theatre bar, and you can order interval drinks and a bell rings to let you know when to go back to next door's performance.
Brighton has a lot of fly-by-night drinking holes, often enjoying 15 minutes of trendiness before becoming deeply unfashionable and disappearing. The Colonnade is like an antidote to all that. Its camp-as-you-like, cosy atmosphere, all red velvet and warm lighting make it a lovely place to meet up for a relaxing drink or three. The walls are covered in signed photos of celebs (from A-list to Z-list) who've played the Theatre Royal.
Staff are proficient and friendly, and there's a decent range of drinkies - mind you, you'd expect that in a bar. The surroundings have also become a lot more pleasant since New Road was semi-pedestrianised a year or two ago - so smokers can pop out for a ciggie without being run over/breathing in anyone's pollution but their own!
Often the bar is a lovely, relaxed place, but if there's a production on at the theatre it can, naturally, get very busy. It's not a big place, so you'll find it nearly impossible to get a seat at these times, and it can be crowded standing room too. But as soon as the start/interval is called it will revert to its more laid back incarnation - which is how I like it best.
The Colonnade Bar, 10 New Road The Colonnade is one of the most personable of the old-style pubs in the centre of town as well as everything you might expect from a pub neighbouring a theatre. Old notices, signed pictures and theatrical photos and memorabilia make it impossible to forget that the Theatre Royal is next door and this boozer's raison d'etre. However, it is independent from the theatre and a boozer in its own right as well as superior to the watering holes inside the Theatre. It's small and atmospheric, if perhaps a little cliquey as a result, but also refined and stylish. Red drapes and polished brass evoke an age of Edwardian splendours that a night at the theatre and the Colonnade might just briefly recapture. The bar staff are friendly and efficient, happy to chat and pass on garnered reviews of the plays. Orders are taken for interval drinks.