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How To Spend A Day In Brighton: The Revised Guide

A post that’s been 29 years in the making…

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Aside from ‘Where did you get your clothing hangers from?‘ (Zara Home FYI), ‘I’m coming down to Brighton, what should I do?‘ is easily my most frequently asked question. It’s one that I’m happy to answer both online and to friends and family in real life too and when people mention that they are coming to visit I send them dissertation-length emails featuring ALL THE PLACES, which is basically a carbon copy of this blog post from last year. Brighton is amazing for a whole plethora of reasons that I could moot for at least four hours, but in my eyes it’s the fact that you are never done discovering it, there’s always more to see; that is the pièce de résistance of my argument. So with that in mind, here’s the extended version of last year’s post, featuring all the new places we’ve discovered since I hit publish.

The city itself stretches further than just the centre, but if you want to do the highlights in 12 hours, then that’s totally doable too. Combine some of my old recommendations with my new ones and have yourself a jolly ol’ day by the seaside. Just arm yourself with some comfy shoes, SPF and an appetite for ice cream…

How To Get Around & Where To Stay

BIG NEWS GUYS! The buses now accept contactless card payments. As someone who only ever has a 20p and a handful of 2p’s rattling around at the bottom of their purse, this is big news. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve got an Uber instead of getting on the bus because I didn’t have cash (in my defence we’re not particularly close to any ATM’s). Download the Brighton & Hove Bus App before you get here to plan your routes; they are vast and cover the whole city, suburbs and all. We’ve also started to use the Bike Share Programme and it’s brilliant. Bikes are available everywhere and you can use the app to see where your nearest available one is, clock off them wherever you want and place a hold on your bike whilst you grab some food so someone else doesn’t ride off with it. Such a great, fun way to take in the Brighton & Hove coastline.

Like last year I’m still pretty light on hotel recommendations seeing as those in the city centre can often be without parking and very noisy, so Airbnb does seem to be the best option (opt for somewhere a little further out of town like Kemptown or Hove for a chance at scoring yourself a parking permit and a better chance of uninterrupted sleep). If you fancy a five-star fancy schmansy pick then South Lodge Hotel & Spa has recently opened and is about a 25 minute drive from the city centre. A nice option if you’re having a treat yo’self moment and just want to pop into town for an afternoon.

Where To Eat

In last year’s post I went HAM on the food recommendations, so definitely check that out for a full list of our favourites that have stood the test of time. But if you’re wondering where we ate in the photos above we started off with a little snackette and a coffee at Small Batch Coffee, an ice cream at Brass Monkey Ice Cream (a new ice cream place where everything is organic and churned in-house; the Double Ginger flavour is THE ONE), we ate lunch at Red Roaster which has recently undergone a menu change and is better than ever (the Big Mac Bao would be my personal pick) and then dinner at Cin Cin, which is just our favourite place to eat in Brighton full stop – book ahead to avoid disappointment.

Seeing as this is the revised guide I thought I’d share some new places that we’ve unearthed. First up is Jo & Co, an all-day dining spot (although I’ve only been there for brunch) that’s been set-up in central Hove by a local couple. Big points for the pancake stack and the fact that there are loads of vegan options on the menu. For dinner I have loads to add. Baby Bao at The Pond is perhaps my favourite new discovery; I have so much love for the Panko Squash Bao and I think about it regularly. Bincho Yakatori specialises in Japanese-style small plates and if you don’t get the Korean Cauliflower and go for a cocktail at Gungo across the road afterwards then you’re missing out. We visited The Chilli Pickle this weekend with my parents for the first time and we all loved it. The two-course set menu is great value and a nice way to try a range of dishes. If it’s a Sunday roast that you’re after then The Walrus is where you need to head; they serve the largest roast I’ve ever seen, it’s really quite something. For something a little fancier try Wild Flor in Hove; the Crispy Beef Fat Potatoes are out of this world, or The Little Fish Market, which has been voted the best restaurant in Brighton (the Top 20 list is really solid if you need more recommendations); book early – like weeks/months in advance – and prepare for a pricey meal, but one that’s special. Next on our ‘to-try’ list are Chard (the newly revamped spot that used to be I Gigi – remember me going on about that all the time?), and The Flint House, the latest venture for The Gingerman Group who have some stellar restaurants down here. Will keep you updated…

Where To Explore & Shop

There’s a fair amount of redevelopment happening in Brighton right now, so although there’s not much new report when it comes to where to explore (check out last year’s guide for my recommendations), over the coming years there’s going to be all sorts – a new part of The Lanes (currently open but the new shops haven’t moved in yet!), an outdoor swimming pool, a Soho House which will bring some new restaurants to the sea front pitch – it’s all happening.

For shopping though, I do have a few new spots up my sleeve to share. First up Papersmiths, which has recently opened a Brighton brand after the success of their London one and WOW HELLO THIS PLACE IS HEAVEN. If you have a penchant for expensive stationery then I suggest that you ignore the shopfront and walk on by. Right next door is The Crop, which is perhaps the most Instagram-able place I’ve ever seen. They specialise in high-end *very* expensive jewellery, so save up your pennies if you fancy a treat. The North Lanes are booming with vintage shops these days, but Waiste Vintage is brilliant and sell the brilliant duo of vintage denim and plants. What a place. A little further down on Bond Street is Tribeca and if you fancy yourself a designer buy from an edited selection of the chicest pieces around then you know where to head. Nola and Our Daily Edit are great for womenswear too. Interiors-wise we will always love Workshop Living. The guys in there are so friendly and their candle and print selection is so good that I just can’t leave empty-handed. Hey, as long as you have one hand for shopping bags and the other to hold an ice cream, then we’re all good… 

Photos by Mark Newton

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