Ah Brighton, with its Regency-era buildings, cosy café, bohemian vibes and colourful characters – a far cry from the city’s past reputation for the old dirty weekend. Brighton is only an hour on the train from London, so is perfect for a little weekend away for Londoners.
This was the perfect little seaside getaway between Christmas and new year and it is possible to do Brighton on a budget with my tips below.
Where to stay
Brighton Seafront Regency Apartment
We stayed in this Airbnb which was on a row of apartments centred around a seafront regency square. This was perfect for what we wanted and was a very good location as it is on the seafront. Out stay here was very comfortable and Toby was very helpful. It took us about find. The living room is lovely, stylish and spacious and the TV has Netflix. The kitchen was small but had everything we needed to cook breakfast and a few dinners. For new year we stayed in and cooked dinner and watched a movie, and when it was nearly midnight, we grabbed a bottle of prosecco and two glasses and walked down to the beach with a towel to sit on and watch the fireworks, it was perfect.
What to do
Walk to Brighton Pier: Every day we walked along the sea front, picking up our morning take-away coffee from our favourite coffee vendor. With a coffee in your hand, even the briskest wind wont chill you for long. Brighton Pier itself is great for a leisurely stroll and has the traditional mix of fish and chips, noisy arcades, sweet shops and ice cream vendors.
Walk to Hove: Hove is the upmarket, more laidback neighbour of Brighton and our apartment was only a 10-minute walk along the seafront in the opposite direction of Brighton. Grab a pistachio ice cream cone and walk along the seafront where eventually you will meet huge cream-coloured mansions and rows of cheerfully colourful little beach huts. Next time we are here I would like to explore Hove more as we did not go into the town.
Stroll around the Lanes: It’s nice to get away from all the typical high street stores that we always shop in, and instead wander around twisting alleyways filled with small boutiques, traditional pubs and independent restaurants, here you can find unique gifts and items that nobody else will have.
North Laine: Make sure you visit this area which is also full of independent shops and restaurants and home to a snooper’s paradise antique shop and a vintage store in its attic called Snooper’s Attic which is stuffed full of fabulous vintage and antique clothing and treasure.
Amble through the Royal Pavillion: Is it the Taj Mahal? Is it a mosque? The Grade I listed former royal residence was built as a seaside pleasure palace for the extravagant King George IV where he could pursue his favourite hobbies: drinking, gambling and womanising. The Pavillion is magnificent example of Indo-Saracenic style which was prevalent in India. Take a stroll around the regency gardens and take in the view of the iconic building.
Where to eat
Bus Stop: Authentic Caribbean restaurant in the heart of the North Laine quarter. On Sundays they have 2-4-1 on their Jerk Chicken and a rum special. The interior is bright and colourful, just how I like it. The Jamaican Jerk Chicken is served with rice and kidney beans and a small salad.
La Choza: This is a lovely colourful little Mexican street food restaurant that we lived just around the corner from on Brighton’s main street, Western Road. The restaurant is decorated with folk art, sugar skulls and neon lights, its an assault on the eyes and on the taste buds in a good way. I am of the opinion that life is better when there is a wrap involved, so the idea with the main meals at La Choza is that you choose your base (soft taco, burrito, quesadilla, tostada or, if you are feeling extra healthy then a burrito bowl), your filling and your salsa. For starters we shared a grande bowl of nachos. Despite being very full after the starter, I went for a burrito with slow cooked spicy beef with salsa Mexicana and Tim went for the burrito with crispy masa fried chicken and green taco shop salsa.
Where to drink
The Fix: We stumbled across this bar whilst trying to find another bar, which we never found. Housed in a regency townhouse, it feels like you are walking into a hotel or someone’s home, so we tentatively crept in expecting to be shooed away. But this was a great find and a lovely little alternative cocktail bar serving awesome cocktails by a waistcoat-wearing, spectacle-donning man with a Captain Hook moustache. And it gets better, there is table tennis downstairs, so you can show you’re partner who’s boss, or in my case, let them wipe the floor with you. Great place for a date.
L’Atelier du Vin: Great little dimly lit prohibition cocktail bar tucked away in the North Laine quarter. It has a quiet and laidback appeal and the place is furnished with mis-matched armchairs and sofas, adding to the overall speakeasy feel.
We didn’t go to Brighton to rave it up, but rather to go for walks along the beach and nice dinners. It was a lovely, relaxing weekend and I would definitely be keen to go back as there are so many other nice restaurants and cafes that I want to try!
Perhaps you have some recommendations for me? Feel free to leave them in a comment! ❤️