24 Hours in Brighton
It feels good to be able to write a city guide that is for a place beyond Margate (Summer guide to Margate coming very soon, Winter guide is here). For so many years I’ve loved sharing places I’ve been and fun things I’ve seen with you, but having a baby has made me very much a home bird. We’re just starting to explore again as a family, and June makes it more fun than ever (even if you need to pack more stuff than ever).
Brighton is one of the first seaside places I fell for, after my hometown of Cleethorpes. Being just over an hour train ride from London, it was the first seaside town I used to escape the hectic-ness of London for when I had the chance. Luckily Jack has family there, so I’ve always had a reason to visit. Although when I went last week I realised I’d not been for over two years - a lot had changed. When I arrived in Brighton a week last Thursday it was maybe the only heat wave of 2018, that may or may not be summer over and done with. Oh well, I’ll always remember the 24 hours we had there….I certainly took enough photos.
I stayed in the Artist Residence, which is located in the historic Regent’s Square. The hotel could not have been more accommodating with June, they got her a travel cot and she slept in it the ENTIRE night (be assured she never does this at home). I’m wondering if moving into the AR is an expensive, yet sure fire way to get June to sleep through the night? Having never had a baby before, I have no idea where you can and can’t take them. So we just try to carry on staying and visiting places we would have pre-June and see what happens. Before I make a booking I send an email to see if they can accommodate babies, if they can’t that’s totally fine, and if they can BRILLIANT. Be warned the hotel is narrow, so depending on what buggy you have it might be a tight squeeze. We left ours in the boot of the car when we weren’t using it, which was parked in the car park just outside.
I loved the room itself and more importantly the roll top bath, and so did June. What a luxury to have a bath IN YOUR ROOM, it doesn’t take much for me to feel like I’ve been to a spa these days. There was lots of attention to detail, with Tunnock’s Caramels for our tea, a Swan fan (honestly obsessed with these fans, they actually work), a cute Robert’s Radio and the best smelling toiletries from Bramley to use at our leisure. The view outside our room was beautiful, it was a sea view which looked over the square. The floor below us had a balcony so if you’re visiting sans baby might be a good choice for enjoying the view even more!
Also did I mention the bar downstairs serves the best cocktails and has a lot of House of Hackney fabric? My new happy place...
Now Brighton itself is just a wealth of inspiring things to do, there are so many independent shops, boutiques, cafes, bars and restaurants. If all cities were as inspiring as Brighton I’d have no money EVER. Here are just a few places I enjoyed, but as ever there are so many more to be discovered, you can't go far wrong.
We ate here on the first night and I wasn’t expecting too much from a beachside burger bar, as generally I avoid places directly on the sea front. The Miso Cod Tacos and Lobster Bisque fries were delightful, and we were more than happy with our burgers. Highly recommend.
I was hoping that this place wasn’t going to be style over substance, and I was not disappointed. The interior is right up my street, and so was the food. Also extra points for serving edible flowers with their drinks. I noticed a lot of people coming in for take away coffees, from an extensive list I barley understood - so if coffee is your thing I would pop here and give it a whirl. Lastly, a bonus point for the toilets, I love an inspiring bathroom design.
Redroaster, 1D St James's St, Brighton BN2 1RE
The Flour Pot Bakery
When I asked for Brighton recommendations, I think this was mentioned to me by at least ten different people. How good can a bakery be you ask? Just try one of their donuts and get back to me. OH SO GOOD. Also the staff were the nicest, which makes the memory of that donut so much sweeter.
We didn’t actually eat here as there’s only so much you can eat in 24 hours, but I'v eaten here before and had a lovely time. Also their ethos of no waste is inspiring, do check it out if you're visiting.
Best ice cream in town. Period.
Other places to try:
You might actually swoon from excitement after stepping in here. I’ve never been in a shop with so many knick knacks I wanted to buy. After a modest purchase of match boxes (several) and some earrings, I’m already having regrets about the gems I left behind. Not for minimalists.
Waiste Vintage / Spider Plant
Firstly if you don’t follow Sara Waiste on Instagram, you can find her here. She’s all kind of 70s inspiring and her vintage shop in Brighton is just the same. If you’re looking for vintage Levi’s then this is mecca. On the second floor all your plant needs are catered for, I can't think of a more perfect combination.
As you'll know if you saw June's first birthday on Instagram this weekend, I love planning parties. Peach Blossom is just the place is you've got a colour scheme to follow or are generally just looking for party decor inspo. Also helps that they colour graded the shop, I'll be back before her 2nd birthday for sure!
If you want to stock up on all your favourite indie magazines, then this is the place. I walked in and that smell of freshly printed magazines will always talk me back to when Betty was in print. Now I don’t produce a magazine, I feel like I can love and enjoy them in a different way. My favourites include: Frankie, Cherrybombe, Violet, Ingenue, 91 Magazine, and Lionheart.
Magazine Brighton, 3 Trafalgar St, Brighton BN1 4EQ
This is in Hove, a bit further out from Brighton's centre but worth the drive, or walk on a sunny day. Wick is a candle boutique, a one stop shop for all your candle needs. They sell some really cool brands such as Boy Smells, Maison Balzac and Lola James Harper, alongside skincare brands too. I dare you to leave without a little something #BettyMadeMeDoIt.
Posh Totty Designs
If you're looking for a little treat for yourself then this Brighton based jewellers is just the place. They have two stores in Brighton (and now one in London), but their Sydney Street store is just picture perfect. They do same day personalisation and sell the loveliest homewares. Apologies in advance to your bank balance.
Other places to keep an eye out for include:
If you want to see a grown man (Jack) get excited about baby clothes, then take him into Happyology. I loved this shop, but Jack was the one who insisted we buy June a super cute matching peter pan collar blouse and bloomer set from here. I'm not complaining though as their clothes are so beautifully designed.
Full of fun toys, gifts and clothes for little ones. I had to control myself in here as quite frankly we'd spent enough in the shop named above! However I will be sure to stop by here first, next time we are in Brighton.
Bluebelle & Co
A real treasure trove of things for children, plus interiors and the most lovely cotton pyjamas for adults too.
Don’t just take photos of the outside, get inside and pay for the audio tour. This was my first ever audio tour experience and now I get them whenever they are available, always SO informative. I love the decor inside the Pavilion, did you know it was built for a Princess called Charlotte, coincidence? I think not.
Goes without saying but get on the Pier and enjoy everything it has to offer, sunset is my favourite time as you just get the best views of Brighton twinkling in golden sunshine.
I would like to say a big thank you to the lovely Kerry Lockwood, who is a Brighton resident and kindly put a very thoughtful list together which shapes my recommendations. Go and give her a follow on Instagram, she’s tres chic.