The Rainbow

3.9
143 Reviews
£25 and under
British
Welcome to the Rainbow!

In showing this building some love, local businesswoman Shoes Simes has said that she hopes to help make her pub more food-led and family-friendly. In doing so she hopes to turn this local building of historical importance into an establishment for local families and friends to enjoy together. It all started 13 years ago when she first saw the building and she knew straight away that this was the pub for her and finally her dreams have come true, with a full refurbishment, this pub is now ready to be revealed to Eastbourne in all its glory. Once functioning as an old Moot Court, eventually turning into a restaurant in the 1970s, before it boomed as a pub trading as The Rainbow. It eventually changed to The Counting House and saw a new lease of life as the garden grew to be a popular haunt of all in old town. Returning with a change of name to the older style of The Rainbow, and with it a focus on food again.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 143 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.9based on recent ratings
3.9
food
3.9
service
4.1
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MH
MadeleineH
London
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2020
Overall1food1service2ambience1

Very disappointed, looking forward to last meal out on Christmas Eve.
Very chilly as near door opening all time. Young staff more interested in themselves than customers, no one asked whether we enjoyed our meal
Food was awful, my small piece of sea bass was very salty & came with large underdone carrots & Brussels, leftovers from lunch?
My sisters burger was burnt & topped with a smear of blue cheese & cranberry sauce,
Mostly inedible.
Shall not be returning unless they improve the food & service.
Also will be posting negative review of a TripAdvisor
M HENRY

AW
ArianeW
East Sussex
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience4

Ambiance cosy on Christmas Eve, staff attentive.
I have one gripe though, my dinner was cold and i was so looking forward to my usual standard of cuisine at The Rainbow.

JL
JasonL
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

A brilliant Christmas Eve was had by all. Such a great ambiance and atmosphere in the garden although it was slightly chilly. The service was exceptional. The pizzas were very tasty although slightly expensive. I’d recommend the Rainbow anytime.

PC
PeterC
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience4

Given the conditions that they are working under,l have to say that the food was good, the staff were friendly curtios and efficient, l would definitely go back again.
Although they have made a great effort to make it comfortable outside
the heaters aren't up to the job on a windy cold day, a job well done overall

LH
LisaH
Berkshire
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We had a lovely lunch with golf buddies - so great to meet up in a lovely setting outside with heaters

KK
KarenK
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Fantastic service from everyone
Food lovely
Fireside seating gorgeous

DH
DebbieH
East Sussex
2 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2020
Overall2food1service2ambience4

Really poor food, such a shame as the surroundings (particularly in current climate) could make for a wonderful eating experience. This pub has missed a trick. The food was very poor, and all appeared cheap bulk buy quality. Service also leaves a lot to desired, and they appear to need proper restaurant manager to oversee a troop of young people with little experience, or front of house ability. Unless significant changes I wont return as this was a second attempt, in the hope that there may have been initial teething troubles.
Shame....

DS
DanielS
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Great food, the chap organising outside was awesome, service was great and Covid rules were adhered too.

M
Marje
Kent
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a lovey evening at the Rainbow even though we were outside. Had great service from Joe and Martin. The Christmas dinner was excellent. Thank you all

CB
CarolynB
East Sussex
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We booked outside as 2 friends sharing and requested a booth if possible. Unfortunately they had apparently all been reserved ahead of us but the waiter was so helpful in finding us the driest seat, it had been an awful day! When later a booth became available he kindly helped us move. The service was excellent, food good and the whole place so well adapted for Covid

e
elliem
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Amazing! so nice given the circumstances, would definitely recommend

KF
KarenF
East Sussex
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Really tasty food, love it

Tables could of been further apart in places, but as no one sat on the table beside us, it didn’t disturb our meal

A
Allex
London
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2020
Overall2food1service5ambience3

Service was great but apart from that I felt it was all show and no substance. Garden looks lovely and booths were good idea but the food and drinks were very poor and over priced. Sad to say it was a disappointing experience.

M
Minstrels23
London
2 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

A lovely, friendly, relaxed environment.
Perfect to meet outdoors. The children enjoyed the play area too.

L
Lizzie
Brighton
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2020
Overall1food1service2ambience2

Ordered quickly but we were placed next to bar when requested to be by fire.. lots of staff standing around but was served quickly.
Food was awful.
1 burger, cold and a small portion of chips. Could have done with salad, coleslaw etc for money.
Turkey roast was awful, bland, dry, flavourless. Gravy was like water & other than red cabage everything was tasteless... I expected so much more. I wish I had read other reviews before going. Previously had a sandwich at lunch time which was very good so had high expectations!

KB
KathB
East Sussex
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Lovely atmosphere- especially in the garden. Food choice limited but acceptable under current restrictions. Would definitely go back

BS
BrianS
London
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience3

We understand that it was busy but a lack of staff was not the problem. The service was slow-the meal came before the drinks & was not of a high standard.
We were a table of 6 & none of us would rush back!

MM
MarkMark
Kent
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2020
Overall1food3service1ambience2

They are taking too many bookings and they can’t cope. We were told we only had our table for 2 hours. We waited 15mins before being allowed to sit, then didn’t get served for half hour. Then didn’t receive our first drink til almost an hour in. We were just ordering our pudding when we were told we would have to vacate our table. The ‘host’ was rude and dealt with it badly. Wouldn’t go back.

KD
KeiraD
East Sussex
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Your staff are annoying apart from one person he was nice

The Rainbow
Responded on December 22, 2020

Hi KeiraD, Appologies if you felt my staff were annoying, I would appreciate an email in this regards to follow up also why we didnt hit the mark with food and value based upon this review on: team@therainboweastbourne.co.uk So that as a new business opening we can correct these matters and move on stronger than before. Best Wishes, Team Rainbow

Report
FG
FrancescaG
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience3

Upon arriving for my booking it was very busy and very noisy.
Our table wasn't ready and clean. I asked for the WiFi code and the girl serving said she didn't know and I'd have to ask someone else which isn't helpful when you're not allowed to get up and roam about the place.
There was clearly too many people to each table and didn't feel too safe in the circumstances.
I'd still go back, I understand its so close to Christmas and people are meeting up before the big day. And I like this pub.

JK
JackieK
East Sussex
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The pork belly was amazing, we didn’t have time to order dessert as our time slot was over. We will visit again.

EL
ElianL
Brighton
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Disappointed. Had a lovely meal here at the beginning of December but this meal was not good. Burnt burger in a tasteless bap followed by the smallest bit of tasteless stodgy stuff advertised as Christmas pudding. Not good at all and will not be going back.

v
vickys
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Food was fine but confusion over how many drinks we could have wasn’t great.

RE
RobertE
East Sussex
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Food very good, service good to start, our request to move when our heater wasn't working was granted quickly. Had to ask to order dessert after waiting ages, had to ask for a spoon to eat it with twice! But overall I think these were just teething problems and I'm sure with a bit more training service will improve.

AB
AdamB
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I went with my wife and we didn't feel rushed, the staff were all very friendly. The food was amazing which went down nicely with a few pints! Nice to have a bit of 'normality' in the current situation

BC
BookClub
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience3

I have to admit to being rather disappointed, as I think the concept of all the outside space is just the right idea at this difficult time. We had wanted to be in a booth. Meet and greet person was very off about how this was decided. Cannot see why one cannot book these - as we were a 5 and saw groups of only 2 in them. As a result will not be returning in the cold weather as Tepee was ineffective at keeping us warm on a cold evening and heaters kept going out. Menu was too limited and no fish main course was offered although there were vegetarian/vegan options, although one choice was a burger. Most main courses were enjoyed except for the Roast Turkey where the meat was dry and the potatoes looked and tasted as if they had been cooked and then reheated too many times. The team did offer to replace this but it was too late, and should have never been sent out from the kitchen. Personally I thought both the food and the drinks were overpriced.

SP
SPOON
East Sussex
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Overpriced, kitchen clearly cannot cope with demand. Overcooked burger, underwhelming presentation. Service was pleasant but we were forgotten about. Would have ordered dessert but no one came to take our order. I understand what they are trying to achieve but feel they need to be at it a bit longer, until then reduce prices because they are over promising and underdelivering. Have heard similar from others. Lovely interior, good job. Hope things improve, and the business flourishes. Be great to have a new eaterie in Old Town just price it right.

D
Daffodil
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2020
Overall3food2service2ambience3

My second visit. The first was poor. 6 of us. We ended up not getting the food we ordered and an hour and a half late, because apparently they lost the ticket in the kitchen. Beware, the kitchen closes at 6.00pm some days even if you have booked a table at 6.00pm and you haven't ordered until 6.45pm!
On the second visit they had totally run out of any red wine, couldn't do mulled wine either! Waiters want you to order food and drinks (I know covid rules etc.,) but before you've even looked at the menus. No wine menu on this occasion as they hadn't got any red! Not enough vegetarian choices. No pizzas in the afternoon! Sharing plates expensive considering what you get. Presentation poor. It is such a shame as they have made the place look very inviting, and the outside space is the best Covid friendly in town. Concerning the question below, yes maybe but with warnings attached.

r
rodp
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2020
Overall2food4service3ambience3

when we pre booked, we expected to be welcomed and given a table with a working heater. After 3 changes of table, the server finally found a heater that was working some of the time. The wine list was reduced as many wines where out of stock. Why not walk over to Waitrose and plan for customers ? You refused to serve by the glass and getting a second beer for one guest became a major issue,
The food was adequate but needed to be hot and served with adequate sauce and salt and pepper are expected on the table.
The final bill seemed high especially as so many items where not on offer,
We appreciate that you are working under very difficult conditions but you need to have sufficient competent staff for the numbers who have booked.
I tried to telephone to talk to the owner, rather than leave this poor review but you failed to even use the answer phone for a call back.

LO
LaurenO
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience4

Lovely refurb, great idea being outdoors. Heaters provided just enough heat for those sat furthest away. Booths were nicer but booked up.
Poor waitresses were run off their feet - seemed too busy.
Ordered food, asked for them to remove something - came out with that and the wrong meat. Friends asked for burger without Brie and cranberry..arrived and you could see it had been scraped off, good job none of us had serious allergies!
Didn’t complain whilst there as you could see how crazy busy they were.
Don’t think I’ll return for food for a while, would definitely return for a drink outdoors when restrictions are relaxed

H
Heartsandfun
East Sussex
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2020
Overall3food2service2ambience4

Lovely outdoor seating area and although a wet evening we were able to stay dry under the canopy, if a little close to the next tables.
Food is average and somewhat overpriced for what it is. Although lovely pub and vibe particularly given the Covid-19 restrictions everyone is having to abide by.

SF
SueF
Kent
3 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Not applicable due to Covid 19 restrict
Inside is good outside has heatets

LS
LorriS
East Sussex
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Our outside table had been given to someone else, the gas heater stopped working where we sat, the coffee machine broke before got the drinks, food quality was average, the service was the best part.... Maybe things will be better next year

P
Pip47
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

The Rainbow was awful, advertises outside heating which is why we chose to be warm and have a nice meal with friends. Heaters all had no gas - not sure why they couldnt have been topped up! Food was small portions and looked like it had been thrown at the plate. Service was slow and lacked any enthusiasm from staff - perhaps they are fed up of complaints as sure there is alot!!
Couldn't order nicer wine from the glass as they were running low?! Could only have house.
Pretty sure its only busy as groups can meet in the garden! Would not recommend !

SG
SueG
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First visit since refurbishment. Very impressed, COVID precautions in place so felt safe, food delicious and comfortable surroundings.

MS
MaryS
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience2

We sat outside as in a group of 6 in tier two (covid) in December. It was a bit chilly and we had to keep our coats on but we all expected this. The heating was a push button system which needed someone to press the button every 10 mins or so which was a bit annoying for the person sitting next to it. The food generally was good except for the pudding, not much choice and would not recommend the Pavlova, no sign of any cream, very small portion size and didn't look very appetising either, meringue flat and not the whole dish was not a pleasant taste. The other deserts were ok. We also had to pay every time we ordered a drink or course of food, ie used my card 4 times, which i suppose was for security reasons because we sat outside? but again this was a bit annoying. Overall I would go again but not have a dessert.

KB
KarenB
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Great ambience, lighting, seating fabulous with tents and alcove seating. They provided heaters which was great as we opted for outside seating, I would recommend taking a hand warmer and blanket with you to make the experience more pleasurable, as even the warmest heaters don't abate the winter weather. The food and drink was first rate and plentiful, overall we had a great experience and I wouldn't hesitate to go there again. thanks

OT
OpenTable Diner
Gloucestershire
3 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience4

Great for social distancing lots of room around you. Food was good and very enjoyable Service was very slow but everything eventually arrived

P
Pete
Brighton
2 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience3

One of our group had risotto that was just a glutinous lump of white rice and hence very disappointing! However, her fish was good!

G
Gill
East Sussex
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The staff were very helpful and attentive and we were warm enough at our table with the heater.

FAQs

The Rainbow is rated 3.9 stars by 143 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.