Nov 28, 2021
4 min read
A City Guide to Brighton
Ask any Londoner where they head for a beach break and it’ll be Brighton. The capital of kitsch is just 1.5 hours away from London, and the ideal place to trade the city for some sea air.
There’s also a proud green focus here – Brighton often wins award for its eco-credentials, thanks to its beach cleaning initiatives, thriving vegan scene, no-waste restaurants and pioneering politicians. The LGBTQ+ community has played a huge part in putting Brighton on the map – Pride celebrations here are considered the best in the UK. Britney has previously headlined, so, it’s worth planning your trip to coincide.
As much as we love the buzz of Brighton, our best tip is this: for quieter beaches, take a 10-minute train ride, or walk along the seafront to Hove. You can thank us later.
Day Out With The Kids
Where to stay in Brighton
Located right on the seafront, this townhouse is as quintessentially English as they come and loved by Cate Blanchett, Kylie Minogue and Woody Allen. If you can, book the circular room with couple-sized bath overlooking Brighton Pier. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped right into a postcard. Don’t miss the Drakes Viper cocktail before perusing the Modern British menu.
Above Regency Square, this bohemian Artist Residence was the first of the boutique brand. The ping-pong in the basement tells us that the crowd is younger and perhaps more sociable than other hotels in the city. Decorated by artists, rooms are curated for creative eyes and filled with antiques. Don’t forget that breakfast is served until midday – these guys know what they’re doing.
The real pull for this hotel is the underground spa. Built within the exposed bricks of the old smugglers’ tunnel, you’ll find six treatment rooms, a heated indoor pool, sauna, steam room, Scandinavian hot tubs, a hydrotherapy pool, and gym. There are plenty of seaview rooms to choose from and Harby’s bar offers a relaxed setting for drinks and dinner.
The Travel Magazine
Where to eat in Brighton
Looking for sustainable seafood? This place should be your go-to. The tasting menu includes six courses, featuring dishes like hand-dived scallops, mussel curry with apple, and gigha halibut. Definitely add the wine pairing.
This restaurant serves a short but delicious menu, from Thursday to Saturday evenings. The rest of the week, check out their concept store just a stone’s throw away, which serves coffee, pastries and sandwiches throughout the day and is a great place to stock up on luxe local provisions. There are also a couple of outdoor tables, perfect to sit for 10 minutes, while you drink your flat white in the sun.
Practicing ‘farm-to-table’ perfection, every ingredient is sourced from a local supplier on a daily basis. Isaac At also claim to be the only restaurant in the UK to offer an all-English wine list. And we particularly love their inventive desserts.
Where to drink in Brighton
Plateau focus on ethical farming, sustainability and organic wines. Their friendly staff ensure the wine tastings are accessible, even for non-experts. Offering a choice of around 20 wines a day, the list is updated regularly, too.
This bar hit the headlines a few years back by banning phones. Whether you’re for or against the idea, the lack of technology means you can focus on present company and enjoy the fantastic cocktails. Their Happy Hour works out as extremely good value.
One for the beer drinkers in the heart of Brighton’s Lanes, this pub spans three floors so you should find space, even when it’s busy. Saturdays draw in the crowds ready for a night of dancing, while on Sundays, they’ll be serving up classic roasts.
Where to dance
Here you have all three: a restaurant, bar and nightclub. From 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays, the tables are cleared and the DJs set up their decks. Expect RnB, hip-hop and pop classics.
Expect a lot of themed music nights at The Haunt, from ‘80s Party’ to ‘SH*T POP’. Entry costs just £3 and in the past they have hosted British bands, such as Hot Chip, The XX and Wild Beasts.
Locals love this spot for a no-fuss live music experience, and warm welcome from the staff. Don’t expect anything fancy – this place is founded upon grit, good stories and classic Brighton charm.
Where to shop
Don’t leave the UK without trying seaweed beauty brand Haeckels. This shop stocks a whole bunch alongside Grown Alchemist, Tangent and plenty more.
Brighton is a haven for thrift shopping. You could spend hours in Wolf & Gypsy, sifting through one-off treasures. Don’t rush it.
Vinyls are slim and can slide nicely into your case. So, go crazy at Resident: the best record shop in Brighton.
Dowse Design is the store for present buying – from jewelry to art prints and ceramics.
What to do in Brighton
Time for a cliché: let’s talk about the British weather.
If it’s sunny, head toPavilion Gardens
, walk down the coast, hop between shops inNorth Laine
. And, we’d highly recommend a street art tour with street artist REQ and Enter Gallery(bookable via Eventbrite)
If rain persists, cheer yourself up with treats and arcade games at thePier
then take shelter inThe British Airways i360,
which presents the best panoramic views whatever the weather.
Quick hit of culture
The ocean is always a huge inspiration for artists, so it’s no surprise that Brighton has some great galleries and museums.
Start withBrighton Museum
for photography or LGBTQ+ themed work.Two Kats and a Cow
is a smaller option, launched by three painters. Finally,Fabrica
is all about new contemporary work, based in a former Regency church building.
Photo via Brighton Museum
The train back to London will likely take you viaClapham, so, here are five things to do
while you’re there.
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