Fancy a sunny seaside sojourn? Brighton’s shingled shores are the perfect setting for a weekend of coastal pursuits. Boasting everything from cool hotels and trendy eateries to one of England’s biggest, brightest festivals, this bohemian bolthole is one of the best places to venture for a change of scenery.
Whether you’re after gourmet grub, live music or beachfront yoga, Brighton has everything you could ever wish for, and plenty more. From where to stay to what to do, here’s SL's ultimate guide to Brighton…
WHAT TO DO:
Stroll Along The Beach
Nestled next to the coast, Brighton’s famous pebbled shores are a tourist hotspot. The beach is always buzzing, with live music and street performers swarming up and down the promenade, whilst cocktail-drinking crowds spill out from the beachfront bars, as they sip on sundowners making the most of the afternoon sun. Brighton Pier is also a must – go from fairground rides to fortune telling in the blink of an eye, with a stick of rock to lead the way.
Shop In The Lanes
The boho North Laine district is where you’ll find offbeat designers, antique jewellers and bustling flea markets sitting alongside a collection of sleek restaurants and swanky cocktail bars.
Get Your Culture Fix At Komedia
A Brighton institution, the Komedia is where Brighton dwellers go for their fix of fringe comedy, Indie bands, kids’ puppet shows, cabaret and surreal stand up. Located in North Laine, it has a friendly, clubby, ever-so-slightly grungy atmosphere, while Dukes@komedia is a branch of Brighton’s revered indie cinema – an offshoot of the Duke of York’s Picture House – where you can watch everything from big blockbusters to indie arthouse screenings.
44 Gardner Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1UN
Raise A Glass At The Cocktail Shack
The Caribbean-inspired Cocktail Shack is part of Brighton’s artistically inspired boutique bolthole, Artist Residence, nestled among the terraced townhouses in Regency Square. The sounds of Dub, Ska and Reggae carry you away to an exotic Caribbean Paradise, whilst the straight-talking cocktail list will satisfy all your thirst-quenching desires – think Rye ‘n’ Goslings with Bulleit Rye and Gosling's Rum and Danny Dorito with tequila and pineapple shrub. And for some late-night action, there’s ping-pong downstairs in the basement and a groovy '60s-style games lounge with a collection of books and board games.
34 Regency Square, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2FJ
Indulge Your Sweet Tooth At Choccywoccydoodah
Famed for their outlandish range of flamboyantly decorated cakes and giant chocolate slabs, Choccywoccydoodah is the place to go to indulge your chocolate fix. For the ultimate sugar rush, book into the Witches Kitchen, where you’ll be served a lavish chocolate feast in darkly gothic, decadent surroundings.
3 Meeting House Lane, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1HB
Get Pampered At TheTreatment Rooms
Escape into a blissful world of relaxation at The Treatment Rooms’ serene sanctuary, which offers a range of heavenly spa, beauty and wellness treatments.
21 New Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1UF
Wander Through The Pavilion Gardens
Once a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV, this exotic, grandiose building now parades as a museum with an ever-changing roster of cultural exhibitions. You can also take a wander through the grounds to take a glimpse at the magnificent Banqueting Room, The Great Kitchen and glorious landscaped gardens.
4-5 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1EE
WHERE TO EAT:
Pike & Pine
Michelin starred chef Matt Gillan and the food team behind Lucky Beach bring another foodie gem to Brighton’s sunny seafront. During the day, Pike & Pine (which is located in the heart of trendy Kemptown) will open up as Redroaster, a laid-back coffee house offering small plates and hot drinks, whilst in the evening it will blossom into Pike & Pine – a fully fledged restaurant serving contemporary dishes using only locally sourced ingredients, with each dish reflecting the changing of the seasons.
Pike & Pine, St James’s Street in Kemptown, Brighton BN2 1RE
The Salt Room
This swanky beachfront restaurant serves up some of the best seafood in Brighton, and when the likes of Jay Rayner give the sterling stamp of approval, you know you’re in for a gastronomic treat. The sister restaurant to Razak Helalat’s The Coal Shed, this fishy, foodie hangout is located just a stone’s throw from the seafront promenade, on the ground floor of the Hilton Metropole Hotel. Inside, the restaurant is styled with exposed-brick and bare-lightbulb interiors, whilst outside on the terrace is where you’ll get first-class seats with stunning seaside views. The food here is beyond incredible. Naturally, the seafood takes centre stage, but the smoky Josper Grill means that meat lovers can also get their carnivorous fix, with a selection of chargrilled steaks and smoky, charcoal-infused lobsters. Start with the crispy salt cod fritters and chargrilled sardines, followed by teriyaki salmon or luscious lemon sole, which comes generously piled with fresh shrimps and lashings of herby, lemon butter. Be sure to leave room for the Taste of the Pier dessert, a playful display of candy floss, ice-cream cones, doughnuts and pebble-shaped chocolates, that's as much fun as a bucket and spade – and a darn sight tastier.
106 King's Rd, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2FU
A firm favourite on the Brighton food scene, chef-owner Michael Bremner – winner of this year’s Great British Menu – and his wife Carla run this quaint, award-winning bistro (it’s been voted number one restaurant in Brighton the last two years running) and although it may be small in size, it more than makes up for it in flavour. The open kitchen is a dramatic affair – you’ll sit counterside at the heart of the action, watching the talented chefs sauté and slice whilst you sit back and glug on fancy wines and gorge on gastro grub. Their ‘social dining’ concept means you’ll be plonked next to food-loving patrons – you’ll be sat very closely, so prepare to make friends with your neighbour – whilst the chefs work their magic. Serving up an ever-changing, inventive menu of fresh, seasonal small plates, each impeccably presented with the best-quality, locally sourced produce, feast on everything from cuttlefish, pancetta, celeriac, gomassio to tomato, romesco, bread with ricotta and ox tongue, pea, jowl.
53 Meeting House Lane, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1HB
Terre A Terre
One of Brighton’s best-loved vegetarian restaurants, Terra A Terre is a popular haunt for veggies and meat eaters alike. Each dish is artfully executed with a heavy emphasis on flavour, and guaranteed to ignite the senses. Tuck into the likes of Korean fried cauliflower with sweet and sour sesame and onigiri rice; steamed rice buns stuffed with Szechuan marinated halloumi and ginger bok choy; and Havarti cheese souffle loaded with Daas Blond fondue sauce and served with a crispy rye, super seed and Big Cat stout and a melba bagel cracker collar. Divine.
71 East Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1HQ
Expect sumptuous sharing plates and an impressive selection of natural wines at this fabulous French-inspired hangout. Food is rustic and drenched in fresh aromas – it’s the perfect lunchtime pit stop after a day of shopping in The Lanes – but if all you’re after is a glass of vino, pull up a pew at the bar and work your way through their organic, biodynamic and natural wine list. Bliss.
1 Bartholowmews, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1HG
The Coal Shed
One of the newer stars of the Brighton restaurant scene, this local gem specialises in the best Josper-grilled steaks in town. Tuck into juicy cuts of Chateaubriand, sirloin and fillet, alongside glorious starters of beef carpaccio, spiced quail and BBQ-glazed Jacob's ladder served with kimchi and sesame.
8 Boyce's St, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1AN
WHERE TO STAY:
This chic contemporary townhouse hotel is spread across two elegant Regency buildings just north of the skeletal West Pier remains and the newly built British Airways i360. Elegant, understated, with subtle hints of designer finesse, this family-owned boutique hotel offers 19 individually designed rooms with a heavy hit of style and great, friendly service.
55-56 Regency Square, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2FF, rooms from £115 per night
One of Brighton’s original boho boutiques, this cosy Kemp Town retreat has 12 stylish bedrooms designed in different themes – picture rich colour schemes, bold wallpaper and sumptuous fabrics – for a luxury night away without the hefty price tag. Be sure to sample the killer cocktails at their downstairs bar.
17 Atlingworth St, Brighton, Sussex BN2 1PL, rooms from £89 per night
Overlooking Brighton’s infamous West Pier, the quirky Artist Residence is set in a smart townhouse on Regency Square. A mish-mash of eclectic pieces – every room is designed by a different artist – the hotel features everything from colourful chairs to jars of Brighton rock and collage-printed walls. A seriously cool stay.
33 Regency Square, Brighton, Sussex BN1 2GG, rooms from £110 per night
For more information on Brighton visit visitbrighton.com