When I moved to London for Uni I thought Brighton would become my second (or third) home. Coming from a seaside town I envisaged many Saturday trips to the beach, and mid-week jaunts when the great English weather blessed us with some fleeting sunshine. Alas, it never happened.
In fact it took until my last week, week 155 of 156 of being a London resident for me to fulfil my ambition and visit the famous town (or is it a city?) and OH MY GOODNESS did I regret all those sunny days I wasted binge watching whatever series I fancied and hiding from the overbearing heat that comes with sunshine and high temperatures in London, why didn’t I flee to the coast for a little sea breeze instead?!
Anyway, seen as I only managed to make the trip once I thought I’d share with you what I managed to fit in and things I’d perhaps do differently next time, or if I had a little longer to explore
WHERE TO GO/WHAT TO SEE:
Obviously you HAVE to make a trip to the beach, even on the colder than average British summer day it was so beautiful. Being beside the sea is one of the most calming places there is, or so I believe anyway! And as the beach is pebbled you don’t have to worry about getting your clothes covered in sand- although neither do you get to feel the sand between your toes so I guess there’s pros and cons.
Explore The Lanes/North Laine: While The Lanes are full of cutesy shops and cafes the North Laine is much more quirky, at the time I didn’t fully realise they were two completely different things except for their different vibes. The North Laine is much easier to navigate being on streets that are grid like while The Lanes are like a maze but both are definitely worth a visit. A special mention must go to Photomatic, in the North Laine, a shop dedicated to photo booths! A word from the rise though- they shut quite early, around 5pm, so don’t leave them until the end of the day as you may be disappointed.
Visit the pier: It’s just one of those places you have to go! If you’ve ever been to a UK seaside town it’ll all seem very familiar, even to those that don’t have a pier- there’s some charm about it even if it’s probably due a bit of a refurbishment and the gaps in the wooden slats make you fear for your life (or at least the life of your phone!)
Hunt for graffiti: My personal favourite was a wall covered in dogs BUT it was cordoned off so I couldn’t get an up close photo, the walls surrounding the North Laine are covered in a whole host of different murals and definitely worth a look at!
WHERE TO EAT:
Red Roaster: This was the one place I felt I HAD to have a meal at. My Instagram feed has been covered with people’s brunches over the last few months and it is for sure one of the most ‘instagrammable’ locations I’ve been to. I like to think if I owned a restaurant it would look pretty similar to this, all white, gold, marble and plants! I opted for Eggs Benedict and it was gorgeous, as I’m assured was the avocado, bacon and egg on toast- I could probably eat my breakfast here every day for the rest of the year and be happy!
Boho Gelato: When I heard they did a carrot cake ice cream I made a beeline, this is a place I wish I lived next door to so that I’d eventually get to try all the flavours without giving myself diabetes. I obviously had the carrot cake- which was everything I had hoped and more- and I also went for the mojito offering, seen as mojito’s are my go to cocktail, and again I was blown away! There are so many ice cream places in Brighton it would be easy just to visit the closest one to where ever you are but I would really suggest you make the extra journey to one of their two shops in The Lanes!
Juice42: We stumbled upon this in The Lanes and after the stodgy (but 100% worth it) breakfast and the Ice cream I felt like a dose of greens was needed. If I lived in the area it would be on my ‘cafe’s I like to work in’ list- it’s very bright and airy and despite it’s popularity there was only one other person in there when we popped in.
The Chilli Pickle: After an early start to get the train from London and a full day of exploring, as well as only one proper meal at RedRoaster, we started to flag at around 5/5:30pm and decided we needed our dinner. Strangely enough, most of the restaurants closed between lunch and dinner and didn’t open again until 6pm- this is something I’ve never really come across before? Anyway, we weren’t sure what we fancied and ended up settling on The Chilli Pickle as we had walked by earlier in the day and it looked (and smelled) good! It is right opposite the library and a patch of faux grass so we just had a little lounge until it opened and were the first ones through the door at 5:55pm prompt. The food was DELICIOUS and to say that we didn’t do any research before visiting nor had we heard about it beforehand I was very impressed- you NEED to go is all I can say!
There were so many other fab cafes/restaurants that we passed and if I could possibly fit more food into my trip I would definitely make a trip to Silo/The Flourpot Bakery/Cafe Coho/Pizzaface/Food for Friends/64° and Terre a Terra just to name a few, honestly Brighton is probably on par with London when it comes to food offerings! If you’re visiting on a Friday there is also a weekly street food market on Queen’s Road, which is well worth a visit!
I also thought I’d give a little heads up to those of you chasing the DumDum doughnut- they aren’t that good! Although by the time we stumbled upon the Brighton store they had sold out I had already tried a couple of their offerings from the Shoreditch store and I wouldn’t rush back!
FAB PHOTO SPOTS:
I really wanted to get the most out of my trip photograph wise for some Instagram content (I really should have taken an outfit change!) so photo opportunities were always on my mind and I thought that it would be nice to share my favourite locations with you incase you too wanted to get the all important Instagram!
The Bandstand: so much symmetry, the sea in the background, beautiful architecture- what more could you want in a photograph?
Red Roaster Bathroom: if a selfie is more your style the bathroom at Red Roaster is picture perfect
The West Pier: who would’ve thought a burnt down structure would look so pretty?
Pastel Painted Streets: I know most towns have at least one to offer but it seemed everyone wanted to get in on the action in Brighton! Two of my favourites were Kemp Street and Tidy Street.
Have you ever been to Brighton? Do you have any other suggestions for the next time I visit? I’d love to know your favourite spots and any hidden gems! I’m also hoping to make some more UK weekend trips so if there’s somewhere you think I NEED to visit please let me know?