Though slightly ashamed to say it, I just took my first (ever!) trip to Brighton, but absolutely loved it. I know, I know, what have I been doing with my 27 years of life, but when you grow up in the North, you don’t really do beaches on the south coast. At least, we never did and I’m now only just getting round to it. I ticked off Whitstable and Broadstairs for the first time last year, so Brighton was indeed well overdue.
There’s something about UK seaside towns though that can’t help but make you smile. I find it’s a little like going back in time, and I mean that in the most charming way possible. From the cheeky souvenirs to the colourful signage, chip butties, caricature artists set up on the seafront, and two-penny arcade games, it all feels so very kitsch. Brighton sea front is beautiful —minus the eyesore that is the i360 tower— and a walk along the Palace Pier and fish and chips on the beach are essential Brighton activities. In from the promenade, meaning around The Lanes is lovely and there are loads of cute eco and vintage shops to browse — there’s a bit of a hippy-meets-Camden vibe around here too.
As I spent less than 24 hours there (most of it lying on the beach eating fish and chips and drinking Red Stripe) I feel far from qualified to put together a real guide to Brighton, but wanted to share some pictures from my trip and call out a few of the places I visited and loved, or have heard great things about. I already can’t wait to go back and explore more. Isn’t the UK seaside just so much fun?
SILO - Silo, the highly acclaimed zero-waste restaurant, was the one place I knew I definitely wanted to visit in Brighton, and I had a great and super interesting dinner there in collaboration with Wines of Germany. Silo is actually relocating to Hackney Wick next month and this original site will be closing (sob). A new incarnation from the same team will be opening on the site though and I’ve no doubt it’s going to be mega.
MELROSE FISH AND CHIPS — You can’t come to the seaside and not have fish and chips at least once, and Melrose has been voted to be the best place for ‘em. Located just above the promenade, it’s all white cloth tables, old-school glass salt and vinegar shakers, and chalkboards telling you the Catch of the Day. They do take out at quieter times, and for me, nothing beats eating fish and chips on the beach.
THE REGENCY - If you don’t go to Melrose, go to The Regency. Right next door and just as popular (also won various awards and votes), it’s got loads of tables and chairs outside so you can catch some rays on a sunny day. Along with your standard fish and chips, there are loads of other options like muscles and oysters should you be in the market for a something lighter.
PLATEAU - Natty wine fans should make a beeline for Plateau, a relaxed wine bar in The Lanes, which has a focus on natural wines, alongside with a food menu designed for sharing. Go for or after dinner and share a bottle in a cosy corner. A dreamy way to end a night.
REDROASTER CAFE - For coffee, Redroaster is the place everyone talks about — and not just for its Instagram-friendly tiled bathrooms. Go for its great coffee, all-day cocktails, and buff brunch options that range from coconut bircher to breakfast tacos, and thai chilli eggs. FYI they do bottomless weekend brunch too!
ARTIST RESIDENCE - The perfect place to stay in Brighton, Artist Residence is a quirky boutique hotel with sea-view rooms, comfy beds, a great cocktail bar, and The Set restaurant that’s a popular spot for brunch. Read my full review here.